was Bhagirath, who after dirgha tapas pleased Sri Maha Vishnu and prayed for the
boon of sending Ganga to mortal world to liberate his ancestors. Though the Lord
granted it, he directed him to see it tamed and settled down suitably before
reaching the marthyaloka. Thereupon, he prayed to Lord Maheswar, who agreed to
hold her in his matted locks of hair. As promised, when Ganga descended with
unbearable violence and incredible speed, Lord Maheswar held it in his jata.
Later, she flowed down behind Bhagiratha to reach the area, where his ancestors
were burnt. As she was coming gurgling behind, suddenly the sound ceased.
Bhagiratha turned behind and searched, but could not trace her. There he heard
then, the muffled voice of Ganga from the Kamandala of the Saptarishis,
meditating at the foot of hills. And she prayed for instant release. When
Bhagiratha appealed to the rishis, they directed her to split her self into
seven streams and flow beside each asram for lessening her turbulence. She did.