Mahamaham

Legend: When it was time for the destroyed of this world a huge pralaya came up. In order to save the Vedha’s Amirtham and tools necessary to create lives on earth, Lord Brahma collected all these things and put them in a mud pot and kept the pot safety on the top of the Mountain Meru. Pralaya kalam (ie) the period of non stop heavy rain came and the pot of Brahma was washed away by the flood. In due course moving in the south direction it came to halt at a particular place. For the wish of all heavenly people (Devars) Lord Shiva in the form of Kirathamurthy means hunter aimed the Puranakumbam and broke with the bow and arrow called Banam.

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Narmatha, Payoshnl and Cauvery are mingletogether and is also believed that taking bath would get rid of sins according to Hindu religion.

Immediately Amudham (ie) the liquid given eternity flowed from the pot and formed two tanks. One is known as Mahamaha kulam and the other is Potramarai kulam.

The remains of the pot and Amudham joined together to form “Lord Kumbeswarar”. In the name of the broken pot (ie) Kudam that place was called Kudamookku or simply Kudanthai presently known as Kumbakonam in the sense the Kudam also known as Kumbam.

The Saivaite Saint Tirugnana Sambandar and Tirunavukkarasar praised this kshetra as Kudamookku and among the Alwars Periyalwar, Sri Andal and Tirumalisai Alwar called this as Kudanthai while Boodhathazhwar, called this as Kudamukku. As Arunagirinathar points out this kshetra as Kumbakonam, we can safely conclude that kudamukku turned into kumbakonam during the intervening period of the Alwars and Arunagirinathar.

It is said then that the waters of the nine Sacred Rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, Sarayu, Saraswathi, Narmada,Tungabadra, Krishna, and Godavari are present at the tank on that Holy day and add to the sacredness. These Nava Kannikas are also in granite image forms in the Sri Kasiviswanatha Swami Temple just in the Northern Bank of the tank (and hence the town is also called Dakshina Kasi) where pilgrims Kumbakonam after bath go there and workship the goddesses.

The Bhavishyottara Purana gives a grand account of the tradition and greatness of Kumbakonam in 64 chapters and it is interesting to note that after the deluge the pot carrying the Nector was pierced by Siva’s arrow and the nector spilt into Mahamaham and Potramarai tanks and Kumbakonam was the First Home of Man spring out of those seeds. Tamilnadu should ne justly and rightly joyous and proud of this sacred place within it. The place lies on the bank of the River Cauvery which adds to its sanctity. There are in Kumbakonam over 20 temples Saivite and Vaishmavite and the only Temple for Brahma in Tamil Nadu where during Maham, festival would be celebrated. The town would wear a festival appearance on all the ten days with Gods being taken round the four streets on the temples daily in the morning and in the evening and on the last day huge Chariots being drawn by all to foster the social spitit. Sri Saranagapani Temple has the biggest car of the place. Each house in the Town would have innumerable guests and feasts and all relatives from far and near used to assemble at least on the Mahamaham day travelling long distances.