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Mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam

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#9 of 18 in Historic Sites in Kumbakonam
Religious Site Tourist Spot
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
95 reviews
  • As told this is a famous water tank. But the places surrounding it is very dirty. It is situated in the heart of the city, so can be visited easily. Govt should come forward to protect such wonderful ...  more »
  • The tank is quite big and looks gorgeous but without even a single drop of water. But could imagine how marvelous it would look during the festival. There are lots of shops around it. Its a great happ...  more »
  • Nothing to comment as there was no water but in the early morning local goes for morning walk and nearby Kashi Vishwanath temple was good  more »

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Where to stay in Kumbakonam

As a tourist town and place of pilgrimage, Kumbakonam has a good range of accommodations to suit diverse tastes and budgets. Look right in the center, close to the main temples, for the greatest array of budget-friendly lodgings, with guesthouses and small hotels located right in the thick of it. Farther out, a few larger hotels make use of the additional space with extra amenities, including large dining halls, pools, and gardens.
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