The Maha Pushkaram (2017) in the Cauvery River

Religion World
 The Maha Pushkaram in the river Cauvery  was celebrated  on Tuesday 12 September 2017 with gaiety at various bathing ghats, in particular, in Tiruchy, Thanjavur and Nagapatnam districts along the course of the river in  Tamil Nadu. Pushkaram, a 13- day celebration, took off well despite the discouraging scenario -  the entire course of the river was almost dry or with pockets of water. However, the dry river bed and poor water condition  had not dampened  either the devotion  or the spirit and enthusiasm of the thousands of devotees at various ghats. Devotees thronged the other ghats and mention may be made of ghats at Talaicauvery, Hogenakkal, Bhavani, Mettur, Srirangam, Grand Anicut, Thirukkattupalli, Thiruvaiyaru, Kumbakonam, Kuttalam and Poompuhar. The Government officials  made elaborate arrangements to make the devotees access the river without hardship. Mayanur in Karur district; Kodumudi and Bhavani Kooduthurai in Erode district; and Mettur in Salem district are expected to receive considerable water flow; as for the riparian region, this may not be true. 

The Cauvery Pushkaram  is a thanks-giving ceremony to the river  as it forms the life line of the community living  along its course. It implies the fact that water plays an integral part of our lives  and we must be grateful to the god and pray to him for copious rain fall for the welfare of the society.

At Thula Kattam, the mouth of the river, in Mayiladuthurai, Nagapatnam district,  arrangements are afoot for  the celebration  of Cauvery Maha Pushkaram from September 12 to 24. 

Thula Kattam,Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu
The Maha Pushkaram period marks the celestial transit of planet Jupiter (Brihaspati') from zodiac sign Virgo to Libra (Tula). This particular configuration of stars happens once in 144 years, so the organisers have constructed a tank for the devotees to have a holy dip. At Thula Kattam, Mayiladuthurai  water is kept at safe level for the devotees to take a holy dip.

The Akhila Bharatha Sanyasees Sangam has played a major role along with various maths in helping the devotees. The HRCE - the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments are conducting  temple rituals of the deities involved in the events such as the Thiruindalur Sri Parimala Ranganathar temple, Mayiladuthurai Sri Padithurai Kasi Viswanathar, Sri Mayuranatha Swamy, Sri Ayyarappar and Sri Vatharanyeswarar. 

During the  13-day celebrations, there will be Veda Parayanam, Homam, Maha Yagnam, cultural programs, etc. Piithru tharpanam is an important religious event to pay homage to our forefathers.

Considered as `Cauvery Kumbh Mela', the festival is popular in north India and Andhra Pradesh. It was in 1981 Parasara Sudarasana Bhattar Swamy, Sthalathar of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, took  steps  to popularise the significance of the `Pushkaram'. At Srirangam, special homams, including Sri Hayagriva homam and Sri Vaibhava homam, will be held  for five days till October 2 and the brahma yagnam will be performed from October 4 to 10. The performance of Mahapurnahuti and Avaprutasnanam will  mark the conclusion of the `Pushkaram'.