Mahamaham At Kumbakonam :
Mahamaham is a Hindu Kumba Mela festival celebrated every 12 years in a temple-town called Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. The festival takes place at a particular time as determined by astrological position: during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai (February-March) when the conjunction of the moon with the lunar asterism (Maha Nakshatra) and when Jupiter is in the constellation of Leo.
Lord Brahma said
People are washing their sins on the holy rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati River, Sarayu, Godavari River, Mahanadi River, Narmada River, Pavoshnl and Kaveri River. These rivers wanted to get rid of their sins and approached Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma advised these rivers if you meet together and take bath in Mahamaham would wash off all the sins. Hence, during the time of Mahamaham festival, it is also believed that taking bath in the holy stream of water from the famous rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati River, Sarayu, Godavari River, Mahanadi River, Narmada River, Pavoshnl and Kaveri River, which are mixed together in Mahamaham tank, would get rid of sins according to Hindu religion.
Mahamaham day worship
On the Mahamaham day, devotes first visit to 12 Siva temples, followed by holly dips in the 20 wells, visit to Kumbeswarar Temple, dip in the holy tank and finally in Kaveri river to complete the process. metal idols of the deities of the main temples of Kumbakonam is carried on palanquins or chariots and taken around the different streets of the town.
During this festival, thousands of Hindu devotees come to Kumbakonam, and take bath in a tank named Mahamaham tank. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams and a “Nava Kannika temple” in the Eastern Side, Sixteen Mandapams and stone steps around this tank.
There are 20 theerthams in the tank and bathing in the waters of each theertham rids of a specific sin & bestows a specific blessing.
The 20 theerthams in the Mahaamaham tank
1. Indra Theertham – provides moksham
2. Agni Theertham – rids Brahmahatthi dosham
3. Yama Theertham – rids fear of death
4. Nruthi Theertham – rids from fear of evil spirits
5. Varuna Theertham – provides long life
6. Vaayu Theertham – rids diseases
7. Gubera Theertham – provides prosperity
8. Isaana Theertham – moksham (to reach Lord Siva’s feet)
9. Brahma Theertham – pacifies ancestors
10. Gangai Theertham – provides Kailasa padavi
11. Yamuna Theertham – provides wealth
12. Godavari Theertham – fulfills wishes
13. Narmada Theertham – provides physical strength
14. Saraswathi Theertham – provides Gnaanam (enlightenment)
15. Cauveri Theertham – provides knowledge
16. Kumari Theertham – blessings to pets
17. Payodini Theertham – provides joy
18. Sarayu Theertham – removes mental strain
19. Arubathaaru(66)kodi Theertham – removes grief & provides hapiness
20. Deva Theertham / Naaga Theertham – rids of all sins and provides Devendra’s post /
rids of Kaala Sarpa dosham
After a dip in the Mahamaham tank, devotees should take a dip in the Potraamarai kulam and the Cauvery river to complete the ritual.
16 Gopuram Tower :
1.Brammatheertheshwarar 2.Mukundeshwarar 3.Dhaneshwarar 4.Virushabeshwarar 5.Baaneshwarar 6.Koneshwarar 7.Bhakthikeshwarar 8.Bhairaveshwarar 9.Agasthyeshwarar 10.Vyaneshwarar 11.Umaibakeshwarar 12.Nairutheeshwarar 13.Brammeshwarar 14.Gangatheshwarar 15.Mukthatheertheshwarar 16. Shethrabaleshwarar
Mahamaham Connected Shiva Temples :
12 Shiva temples are connected with Mahamaham festival, 10 temples are in Kumbakonam – Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Kumbeswarar Temple, Nageswara Temple, Someswarar Temple, Koteeswarar Temple, Kahahasteeswarar Temple, Gowthameswarar Temple, Amirthakalasanathar Temple, Banapuriswarar Temple, Abimukeswarar Temple, Kambatta Visvanathar Temple and Ekambareswarar Temple.
Mahamaham Connected Vishnu Temples
5 Vishnu temples are connected with Mahamaham festival, all temples are in Kumbakonam. Sarangapani Temple, Chakrapani Temple, Ramaswamy Temple, Rajagopalaswamy Temple, and Varahaperumal Temple.
Location: Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu 612001, India