When we talk about the City of God Varanasi, it’s very difficult if we are not talking about The River of Ganges. Yes, without the ganges mybe Varanasi not become a very famous city for Pilgrim destination now.
We all know where The Ganges River Flow, that’s will be sacred destination. Like Gangotri, Haridwar, Allahabad and of course Varanasi
In Hindusm, the River of Ganges is personified as a goddess, GANGA.
Who is GANGA?
There are many verse about the story of Ganga.
Verse I :
Several years later, a king named Sagara magically acquired sixty thousand sons. One day, King Sagar performed a ritual of worship for the good of the kingdom]. One of the integral parts of the ritual was a horse, which was stolen by the jealous Indra. Sagara sent all his sons all over the earth to search for the horse. They found it in the nether-world (or Underworld) next to a meditating sage Kapila. Believing that the sage had stolen the horse, they hurled insults at him and caused his penance to be disturbed. The sage opened his eyes for the first time in several years, and looked at the sons of Sagara. With this glance, all sixty thousand were burnt to death.
The souls of the sons of Sagara wandered as ghosts since their final rites had not been performed. When Bhagiratha, one of the descendants of Sagara, son of Dilip, learnt of this fate, he vowed to bring Ganga down to Earth so that her waters could cleanse their souls and release them to heaven.
Bhagiratha prayed to Brahma that Ganga come down to Earth. Brahma agreed, and he ordered Ganga to go down to the Earth and then on to the nether regions so that the souls of Bhagiratha's ancestors would be able to go to heaven. Ganga felt that this was insulting and decided to sweep the whole earth away as she fell from the heavens. Alarmed, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva that he break up Ganga's descent.
Ganga arrogantly fell on Shiva's head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his hair and let her out in small streams. The touch of Shiva further sanctified Ganga. As Ganga travelled to the nether-worlds, she created a different stream to remain on Earth to help purify unfortunate souls there. She is the only river to follow from all the three worlds - Swarga (heaven), Prithvi (earth) and, Patala (neitherworld or hell). Thus is called "Tripathagā" ( one who travels the three worlds) in Sanskrit language.
According to Devi Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu has three wives, who constantly quarrel with each other, so that eventually, he keeps only Lakshmi, giving Ganga to Shiva and Saraswati to Brahma.
The Hindu epic, Mahabharata tells that the Vasus, cursed by Vashishta had requested Ganga to be their mother. Ganga incarnated and became the wife of King Santanu on condition that at no stage shall he question her actions, or she would leave him..
As seven Vasus were born as their children, one after the other, Ganga drowned them in her own waters, freeing them from their punishment and the king made no opposition. Only when the eighth was born did the king finally oppose his wife, who therefore left him. So the eighth son, Dyaus incarnated, remained alive, imprisoned in mortal form, and later became known in his mortal incarnation as Bhishma (Devavrata), who is one of the most respected characters of the Mahābhārata.
Verse II :
According to Skanda Purana,Ganga was the daughter of Himavan, king of the mountains, and his consort Mena; she was thus a sister of the goddess Parvati. the goddess Ganga is foster-mother to Karttikeya (Murugan), who was actually a son of Shiva and Parvati.
Parvati who created an image of Ganesha (son of Shiva and Parvati) out of her bodily impurities but which became endowed with life after immersion in the sacred waters of the Ganga. Therefore Ganesha is said to have two mothers—Pārvati and Gangā and hence called Dvaimātura and also Gāngeya (the son of Ganga).
From all the story I think we can conclude if GANGA is a symbol of purity that gives life with sincerity like a mother.
Jai Maa GANGA !!