Ganga Dashara is celebrated in each year during the first ten days of Sukla Pakshay ( Waxing phase of moon ) of jyestha Month. The Goddess Ganga touched the earth on the day by dint of intense austerities performed by king Bhagirathi to relieve his ancestors from sin . The Ganga first descended from heaven & Lord Shiva held her in his matted locks so that she can not destroy the earth.
Descent Of Ganga – painting by Raja Ravi Varma
Hindu believes that who take holy deep to any river in the name Goddess Ganga on Ganga Dashara Day, get rid of from the ten sins (dasha means ten and hara means to destroy). It is the believes in Odisha, in Ganga Dashara period who take holy deep in Bindu Sagar Tank, Shrikhetra Swetaganga, Puri Sea ( Mahodadhi ) and take darshan of Lord Jaganath, never rebirth again. Numerous ceremonies are held on the occasion. In recent years steps are being taken to educate the people to save the river from pollutions.
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According to the Ramayana, Mahabharata and several Puranas, the history of Avatarana of Gange begins with a clever king Kapila. It is considered that Kapila was doing intense meditation but bothered by the sixty thousand sons of the King Sagara. Then Kapila burn them with his irritated stare and diminishes them to ashes, and send out them to the netherworld. They can get their salvation only by the holy water of Ganga. That time Gange was in heaven. The great offspring of those sons was the King Bhagiratha who was much worried to renovate his ancestors. He had done a great Tap for years to bring Gange on the earth.
Finally he granted the reward of Ganga’s fall to earth from heaven. Gange give him a Vardan that she is agree to go to earth but her tumultuous and force full water flow will definitely destroy the earth. Bhagiratha convinces Lord Shiva on his habitat Mount Kailash to control the flow of Ganga to earth by the coils of his matted hair. Lord Shiva gets agreed to Bhagiratha for Ganga descends. She then led by Bhagiratha down to earth at Haridwar flowing together with the Yamuna at Prayag and Kashi and finally meet to the Ganga Sagar, ocean. In this way Bhagiratha became success in saving the life of his ancestors.