The river is held sacred by most Hindus and a ritual dip in its waters is believed to purify all sins. According to legends, the river is the daughter of Sage Vashistha, who is believed to have brought the river from heaven to earth.
The river is also associated with the epic Ramayana. Lord Rama is believed to have taken a dip in the river at Dhopap on the advice of Sage Vashista. Even today thousands of Hindus take a dip in the holy river during Dusshera to wash away their sins. Also, Lakshmana, younger brother of Lord Rama, is believed to have stayed at Lakshman Teela (part of present day Lucknow), on the banks of River Gomti. Some even trace the name of Lucknow city to Lakshmana.