Maa Ganga Story
According to the Hindu mythology, Suryavanshi King Sagar the ruler of Ayodhya, , magically acquired 60,000 sons. In those days, a Ashwamedha Yagya kings would perform or horse sacrifice. After a long ritual of worship, a horse would be left free to walk, protected and followed by king soldiers. The ruler of which-ever country the horse goes to either accedes to the hegemony of the king who sends the horse and pays tributes to him, or contests his supremacy by fighting his soldiers. When the horse returns back unchallenged, the king establishes his suzerainty over the neighboring kingdoms. King Sagar decides to perform the Ashwasmedha Yagya and sends his horse across the earth accompanied by his sons.
Finally, King Bhagiratha, grandson of Anshuman does very hard reparation by standing on single leg for several years. His intention is only to bring Ganga down to Earth so that her waters could cleanse their souls and release them to heaven. Goddess Ganga is pleased with Bhagirath`s single minded dedication and descends to the earth. Ganga arrogantly fell on Shiva`s head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his hair and let her out in small streams.
These streams followed a threefold course, three flew towards east, three flew towards the west and and the seventh stream followed theroute, as instructed by Bhagiratha, and hence was called Bhagirathi. Ultimately all the sixty thousand sons of Sagar were liberated by the sprinkle of the water of the Ganga. Since then Ganga is sanctifying the mankind with her divine waters. The seven streams are Bhagirathi, Janhvi,Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda which merge into Ganga at Devprayag.
Because of Bhagiratha efforts Ganga descended to Earth and hence the river is also known as Bhagirathi, and the term "Bhagirath prayatna" is used to describe valiant efforts or difficult achievements.