Yatra to Kumbakonam for Mahamagam – Navarathri at Tanjore
Virtue of Kumbakonam
There are several Siva and Vishnu temples in this city. Just before the last Mahapralaya, Brahma went to Parameswara and asked him what to do for the re-creation after the Mahapralaya. Parameswara asked Brahma to take a large amount of earth soil, make a kumbam out of it by mixing the soil with Amrutham, fill the kumbam with the seeds of all living beings and sprinkle amrutham on them, keep mango leaves in the mouth of the kumbam, tightly close it with coconut, then adorn the kumbam with Poonal and Dharbai. He later also instructed Brahma to keep the kumbam on the south side of the Meru hill. Brahma made the kumbam as instructed by Siva and kept the kumbam on a stand at the Meru hill.
When the mahapralaya started, darkness engulfed the world and there were nonstop rains, floods and winds. After the pralaya got over, the sun rose once again and the rains and the wind stopped. Brahma’s kumbam moved from the Meru hill and floated towards the south. Brahma tried to approach it, but the hot air from the kumbam stopped him from touching it. Parameswaran, who was standing aside, took an arrow, aimed it at the kumbam and split it in half. The places where the kumbam’s neck, mango leaves, coconut, dharbai and poonal fell became holy.
The place where the coconut from the kumbam fell became known as the ‘Abhimukeswarar temple’ on the south side of the Mahamagam tank. The place where the the poonal on the kumbam fell is now called the ‘Gowtameswarar temple’ on the north side of the tank. The mango leaves are said to have fallen five miles north of
Kumbakonam at ‘Thirupurambiyam’. The mouth of the Kumbam fell ten miles south east of Kumbakonam at a place named ‘Kudavail’. The place where Parameswaran stood while shooting the arrow is ‘Panathurai’ on the south side of the city. The place where most of the kudam fell came to be known as ‘Kudandhai’ or ‘Kudamooku’. Two drops of amrutham that fell out from the Kumbam became two holy tanks and one of them is now known as the Mahamagam tank.
Parameswaran came to the place where the kudam fell, made a Sivalingam with the earth and amrutham from the Kumbam and entered in the sivalingam in the form of Jyothi. That swayambu lingam is ‘Adi Kumbeswarer,’ residing in the center of the Kumbakonam city. Brahma celebrated and performed pujas for ten days to the
Sivalingam that was made by Parameswara himself and in the end, performed Avabrutha
Snanam in the maha magam tank. That day is the Mahamagam Poornima day. Based on these celebrations, Brahmotsavam is celebrated in temples all over Tamil Nadu and other states.