Lord Shiva’s devotees, who reside by the banks of the mighty Ganga take a customary spiritual bath in the river on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri or the biggest night of the God.
And many, who dwell elsewhere, travel to the cities that are blessed to be on the banks of the divine water body. Taking bath in the Ganga is one of the most significant features of the festival of Maha Shivaratri.
Ganga’s presence on earth is attributed to Lord Shiva, who held her in his matted locks as she descended from the heaven with an enormous force. Had Shiva not absorbed the pressure generated due to Ganga’s sudden plunge, the earth wouldn’t have been able to withstand her force.
It is believed that after landing on Shiva’s head, Ganga meandered through his matted locks and then flowed like a calm stream.
To know why Ganga descended from the heaven and at whose behest, click here.
Those who do not get an opportunity to take bath in the mighty river, sprinkle her water in their homes. Every Hindu household has Gangajal (water of the Ganga) stored in a copper container. This is used on special occasions as a purifier and to do Abhishek on Lord Shiva’s idol.