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Where does Ganga originate from and when did Ganga start?

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The water of Ganga originates from the the water that Brahma used to wash Lord Trivikramas feet when the Lord measured the upper worlds. Siva slowed the water coming down by catching it in his hair and making her flow in several streams such as Bhagirathi (Gangotri Glacier) and Alakananda that originates from an icefield close to Badrinath. Check notes for more information.

Note:

Trivikrama covered the entire earth with just one footstep. He then took his second step – He raised his leg. This foot covered all the galaxies in the universe where higher beings like Brahma live. The lord’s foot extended higher and higher and covered the Maharloka, Janaloka, the Tapoloka and even the most distant loka of Satyaloka. One toenail of the Lord’s second foot was in Brahmaloka. Brahma saw that the radiance coming from this toenail was reducing the tejas or brilliance of his own loka of Brahmaloka, and understood whose toenail it was. Brahma approached Trivikrama. He was joined by all the great sages headed by Marichi rishi, and the great yogis headed by Sanandana. These sages, yogis and Brahma himself were experts in all the knowledge in the Universe, and they had accomplished so much in their lives. They worshipped Trivikrama, and started washing the toe of the Lord with water present in BrahmaLoka. This holy water, after it touched and washed Vishnu’s foot, fell down to the earth – This is the river Ganga, which came to earth very forcefully, and Siva slowed it down by making her flow through his hair in various streams.

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