Masi Maham festival of Feb 24, 2024 at Kumbakonam Mahamaham tank,TN - held with with devotion

Kumbakonam Masimaham festival,

old image,Kumbakonam Masi maham festival

The annual Masimaham that comes in the Tamil month of  Masi (February–March),  is an important Hindu  festival and the popular venue is Mahamaham  tank of the temple city Kumbakonam which is close to Thanjaviur city. The famous tank is located in the prime area of the city and on the masi maham day thousands of devotees descend on the tank  in the early morning to take head bath and to give tharpanam -paying respect to the pithroos - forefathers. Devotees, coming from far and wide, would  visit Shiva  Vishnu temples, etc., to get blessed by the almighty.  

,Kumbakonam,TN Kumbeswarer car

Masi Maham, or Maasi Magam, being an auspicious day in the Tamil month of Masi devout Hindus never miss this occasion and this festival has been around for several centuries. Maasi Magam  date is February 24, 2024.  Mahm or Makam, is one among the twenty seven stars (Nakshatras) as per  the Hindu astrological system. A major temple ritual is Theethavaari -   ritual  bathing of temple murtis  in the water body sea, pond, etc.  Her at the Mahamaham tank,  the processional moorthis of Shiva   as well as Vishnu temples are taken to the ghat in a religious procession. The temple priests will normally conduct the Theerthavaari rituals with dedication by chanting relevant mantras.  It is rare to see the ritual bathing of the deities from the Shiva and Vishnu temples in the same tank being witnessed by thousands of devotees.. 

 To day Priests performed special puja, abhishekam, and aradhana and the “theerthavari” was held around 12.30 p.m with religious fervor.   As part of the festivities,  the Shiva and Vishnu temples in the temple town wore a festive look and special pujas were performed. Devotees celebrated the occasion with devotion by participating in the temple car festival of   Chakkarapani Temple (dedicated to God Vishnu) . 

Kumbakonam Mahamaham tank, TN

Above image: Popular Mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam, TN: The annual  Masimaham festival held in the tank has about 100,000 visitors whereas  the Mahamaham festival that comes once in 12 year has close to 2 million visitors who take a holy dip in the tank that covers 21 acres. This festival, known as the ‘Kumbh Mela of the south’, the  occurs  when Guru (Jupiter) is in Simha Rasi (Leo), Sun in Kumbha rasi on a full moon day in the star ‘Maham’ in the Tamil Month of ‘Masi’. The holy tank  is  surrounded by sixteen small Mandapams (shrines)  and has 21 wells inside the tank. The names of the wells carry the name of Hindu god Shiva or that of Rivers of India. Govinda Dikshitar, the chieftain of the ruler Ragunatha Nayak of Thanjavur, constructed the sixteen Mandapams and stone steps in the ghat  around this tank. Next Mahamaham festival will be in 2028. ..................

Paying respect to the departed forefathers is an important duty of the family members.  So on this occasion Hindus in other places go to the water bodies near-by to  take a dip in the water or sea to offer tarpanam to their ancestors. Worship and chanting are performed  to seek blessings from one's ancestors. It is also said takin a holy dip at places like mahamaham tank will give the devotees salvation - free from cycles birth and death.