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Mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam

#7 of 23 in Things to do in Kumbakonam
Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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Mahamaham Tank is a huge temple tank located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India. It is considered to be the foremost and one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu. The Masimaham festival held in the tank has 0.1 million visitors and the 12 year Mahamaham festival has close to 2 million visitors.LegendIn the northern bank mandapa, there is an inscription of Tulapurshadana, a practise of weighing oneself against gold. The ceremony is observed during various times like equinoxes, commencement of an era and its ending, eclipses and Makara Sankranti. The ceremony is usually performed in sacred places like temples, rivers and tanks. The amount of gold thus weighed is distributed among deserving men. As per Hindu legend, after the end of each era, the whole world immerses in a deluge on account of the wrath of Hindu god Shiva for the sins committed by humans in earth. Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, recreated the world during the start of current Kali Yuga (Iron Age). Shiva declared that after the end of previous era, a divine pot would reach a holy spot. As the divine pot reached Kumbakonam, Shiva, in the form of a hunter, broke the pot with an arrow. The pot broke into many parts and scattered around, which became the cause for so many temples in the town - Kumbeswara, Someswara, Kasi Viswanatha, Nageswara, Kamata Viswanatha, Abimukeshwara, Goutameswara, Banapuriswara, Varahar, Lakshminaryana, Sarangapani, Chakrapani and Varadharaja. Brahma prayed to Shiva to allow pilgrims to visit the tank during the sacred occasion. Shiva acceded to the demand and is believed to arrive along with Vishnu and other celestial deities at the centre of the tank. Astronomically, when the planet Jupiter passes over Leo on the day of the festival, it is believed to bring all water bodies together and enrich the tank with minerals. Similarly, a lake in Kotihar in Jammu and Kashmir gets full supply of water the same day, which otherwise remains empty during the other 11 years. Since Brahma reconstructed the world after the last deluge, there is a temple dedicated to him in Kumbakonam, though he is cursed not to have any temple for him anywhere else.
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  • Magamaham Festival celebrated once in every 12 years ( 1992, 2004, 2016) in this tank, next magamaham is 2028. 
    Magamaham Festival celebrated once in every 12 years ( 1992, 2004, 2016) in this tank, next magamaham is 2028.  more »
  • A very badly maintained sacred tank. people are washing cloths in the water. The tank needs better maintenance 
    A very badly maintained sacred tank. people are washing cloths in the water. The tank needs better maintenance  more »
  • This is the best place in Kumbakonam town to have a relaxing evening. There are so many fastfood stalls around this tank..and they allow us to take the food into the tank and we can eat it while sitting on the stairs watching the beauty of this tank..we always choose a lonely place when we visit the tank. During festive seasons especially during maha Maham which comes only once in a 12 years. The tank would be filled with thousands of devotees and there would be beautiful celebration. Now a days due to corona precautions the tank is currently closed.
  • From what I read at the Adhi Kumbheswara Temple, this tank holds the Amrutha the Lord Brahma was worshipping to save the world from evil. Guess he didn’t succeed as we have turned this tank into a dhobi ghat and a place to dump garbage. There is no holiness ‘anymore’ about this.

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