When one looks at the canvas painting of the Descent of Ganga, they are immediately drawn to Shiva. His long hair cascades down as he breaks up Ganga’s arrogant descent from heaven, showing his control over even the mighty river.
But Shiva is not alone in this scene – Parvati looks on with admiration, while Nandi stands proudly and Bhagiratha kneels in gratitude. These figures play integral roles in the story of how Ganga came to flow on earth. According to Hindu mythology, Bhagiratha pleaded with Shiva to bring Ganga down to wash away the sins of his ancestors.
Though Ganga was initially hesitant and haughty, Shiva used his hair as a rope to tame her descent and control her flow on earth. This painting showcases not only Shiva’s power, but also the interconnected relationships between the gods and mortals. Each figure has their own story and purpose, but they all come together to create this powerful image. The Descent of Ganga is a beautiful painting that tells a complex and fascinating story.