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Grandson of Sagara
descendant of Ganga on Earth
Affiliationdevotee of Ganga

Bhagiratha (Sanskrit: भगीरथ, bhagīratha) was a legendary king of the Ikshvaku dynasty who brought the River Ganges, personified as the river goddess Ganga, to Earth from the heavens. When he became prince of Sagara Dynasty, learning the awful end of his forefathers, who were unable to attain region of gods, with a sorrowful heart made over his kingly duties to his minister, and went for practicing austerities to Himalayas. He did penance for a thousand years (according to god timeline) on the advice of his guru Trithala, to please Ganga, to gain the release his 60,000 great-uncles from the curse of saint Kapila. Ganga told him if she will descend from the sky to the earth, the force of her fall will be difficult to sustain. She asked him to obtain the favour from sable blue throated god, Shiva, as no one except him is able to sustain her. He then did severe penance for Shiva and asked him to do so. Shiva granted him the boon, which eventually led to descent of the goddess Ganga in the form of the river Ganges, to the earth, filling the sea, drunk up by Jahnu.[1] [2] To commemorate his efforts, the head stream of the river is called Bhagirathi, till it meets Alaknanda River at Devprayag.

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  1. ^ Mankodi, Kirit (1973) "Gaṅgā Tripathagā"Artibus Asiae 35(1/2): pp. 139-144, p. 140
  2. ^ "The Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section CVIII". Retrieved 2019-04-14.