Skip to main content

Story of Shantanu Marrying Ganga in the Mahabharata

The story of Shantanu Marrying Ganga, River Goddess, is found in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata. Shantanu, who in his previous birth was known as Mahabhisha, and Ganga were cursed by Indra to be born on earth and get married.

Shantanu was born as the youngest son of King Pratipa, a descendant of Puru.

When he decided to renounce the materialistic world, King Pratipa appointed Shantanu as the king.

One day while Pratipa was meditating, Ganga approached him and sat on his right lap. Sitting on the right lap of a man meant she wished to be his daughter.

Pratipa asked what she wanted from him.

Ganga told him that she wished to marry his son Shantanu.

Pratipa promised that his son would marry her.

A few days later, when Shantanu came to visit Pratipa, he told Shantanu that he will meet a lovely woman on the banks of the river; and if she asks you to marry her then take her as your wife.

Later Shantanu saw Ganga gliding on a dolphin and fell in love with her instantly.

Ganga and Shantanu decided to get married. However, Ganga put one condition that he should never question her actions.

Shantanu agreed to the condition kept by Ganga as he was bound by the promise given to his father and he was also enamored by the heavenly beauty of Ganga.

Thus, Shantanu and Ganga got married.