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Mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam

(3.5/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
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 acceeded 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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TripAdvisor
  • An example of sacred pool still very used by the inhabitants for their bath, washing their laundry and children to play. Take the opportunity to visit the temple which is just next door.
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  • We had visited this holy tank during our vacation in Kumbakonam. We were staying in Rayas Grand hotel right opposite the tank. It was Maha Shiva ratri and we found pilgrims taking a dip in the holy wa...  more »
  • Like all across India, since there is a such a dearth of interesting and worthwhile places to visit, places like this are hyped up. It was dirty and filthy like most of India.  more »