Some interesting facts of Cauvery Pushkaram


Pushkaram, an Indian (Hindu) festival dedicated to worshipping of rivers, is part of the medieval Hindu astrological lore that links the planets and the holy rivers. Also known as Pushkara or Pushkar and Pushkaralu (in Telugu), it is celebrated with devotion and joy at temples or shrines along the banks of 12 major sacred rivers of India by rotation.  Each of these rivers is associated with a particular zodiac sign. The last Maha Pushkaram celebration was held in the Godavari river at Bhardrachalam in Telangana. Today is the turn of the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu. It is believed to be a 1000-year-old tradition and draws in devotees from various parts of the state. The age-old tradition continues unabated even to day as bakthi is deep rooted in Indian culture.

Cauvery Pushkaram,Srirangam, Aarthi. YouTube

The following are the interesting fats that may be worthy to note:

01. The Mahapushkaram is a rare event and occurs once every 144 years.

Sunrise in Thulaghat, Mailaduthurai, TN

02. Mahapuhkaram of Cauvery is observed for a period of 12 days from the time of entry of Jupiter into Tula rasi (Libra). The next pushkaram in the Cauvery  will be after 12 years from now.

Tula Ghat, Mayiladuthurai, TN

03. The venue of Pushkaram in the river where the festival is to be celebrated depends on the position of Jupiter. The Maha Pushkaram period is when the celestial transit of planet Jupiter from Virgo to the constellation of Libra (Thula) takes place.

04. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma at last accepted the prayers of Guru and ordered Pushkar - the king of all three and half crores of Theerthams on earth to be present in the 12 holy rivers associated with 12 rasis (constellations - Zodiac signs) to which Guru moves every year. Hence, Pushkaram is celebrated every year . This time Pushkar is present in the river Cauvery, where Pushkar is present.

05. So, the main venue for this Maha Pushkaram is Thula Ghat on the banks of the Cauvery in the town of  Mayiladuthurai (formerly Mayuram in Sanskrit), Nagapatnam District, Tamil Nadu.

06. The town is famous for the Mayuranathaswami Temple, a Shaivite shrine and Vshnu shrine Parimala Ranganathar Temple, one of the 108 Divya Desam.

07. Maha Pushkaram is being celebrated with unpreceded bakthi and commitments in Mayiladuthurai from September 12 to September 24, 2017. This being a rare religious event taking place once in 144 years  as dictated by the  configuration and alignment of stars, Pushkaram assumes much significance among the Hindu devotees.
08. Taking a holy dip in the Thula Ghat, it is believed, is good for the welfare of the family, besides the past sins are erased for ever. The aim of Pushkaram is to ask for copious rains and good crops as the region survives on agriculture.

09. The devotees throng the Thula ghat to have a holy dip. Veda Parayanam, Homam, Maha Yagnam, cultural activities such as music, traditional dances, spiritual discourses, etc., mark the entire festival,

10. The people are encouraged to participate in Homams, Yagams, Satsang and charity - Annadhanam, etc., during the Pushkaram  period.

Oil lamps in the river Cauvery,,

11For this auspicious event, the Thula Kattam (ghat) was renovated at a cost of ₹3 crore. A big tank with concrete flooring and and sand bed  was set up to help the devotees to sprinkle water. 

12. Yet another major repair work undertaken was  the historical 12 sacred wells   that were built during medieval chola period  in the Thula Kattam were revived. Daily puja is to be performed to the idol of Cauvery specially installed  as part of this festival.

13. The Acharyars from the Sankara Mutt and the Aadheems from local Mutts pontiffs poured the sanctified waters at the yagasala on to River Cauvery.

14. The auspicious event coincides with the 1,000th birth anniversary of the Vaishnava  Acharya Sri Ramanuja. 

15. Abishekam was performed to the processional deities (Utchavars) of Sri Mayuranatha Swamy, Sri Ayyarappar, Sri Kasi Viswanathar, Sri Vatharanyeswarar that had arrived at the banks of the Thula Kattam. Soon,  the Mutt heads took a holy dip to mark the commencement of the Cauvery Maha Pushkaram. The devotees followed the Archaryas in participating in the event.

16. In addition to Mayiladuthurai, the festival is held in major towns along the course of the Cauvery river such as  Srirangam, Thiruvaiyaru, Kumbakonam, Talaicauvery, Bhavani that are  major temple towns. The other places are Kooduthurai, Mettur, Kodumudi, Thirueengoimalai, Nerur,Kulithalai,Thirupparaithurai, Grand Anicut, Thirukkattupalli,  and Poompuhar.

17. The unique aspect of Cauvey Pushkaram is, the planets have come back to the same position after a span of 177 years.

18. The same event took place on 8 September 1840- Venus and Mercury in Kannni Rasi (Virgo), Jupiter in Thula (Libra), Saturn in Vrichikam (Scorpio)  and so on according  to Sri Vajpayee Sengalipuram Sudara Rama Dikshithar - vide The Hindu Supplement 19 Sept. 2017

19. On the last day - 24th September Cauvery Aarthi will b performed, marking the end of the 12 day festival.