Mahapushkaram: Rice Bowl to see 5 lakh pilgrims for 12 day fest

Published Sep 11, 2017, 6:39 am IST
Updated Sep 11, 2017, 6:39 am IST
With Guru Bhagawan moving to Thula raasi, the celebration called Pushkaram is for Cauvery this year.
Grand Anicut
 Grand Anicut

Thanjavur: Rivers in India are revered and worshipped as Goddesses and each river is associated with a unique celebration ever year, depending upon Guru Bhagawanplanet Jupiter one of the Navagrahas, moving to the raasi (sign) to which a river belongs.

With Guru Bhagawan moving to Thula raasi, the celebration called Pushkaram is for Cauvery this year. The Mahapushkaram for Cauvery is to be celebrated from September 12 to September 24 for 12 days along the course of the Cauvery from Coorg in Karnataka to Cauvery Poompattinam (Poompuhar) in Tamil Nadu. 


With preparations nearing completion at “Thula Kattam” at Mayiladuthurai where the Mahapushkaram is to be celebrated from September 12, people from various parts of the country and also from other countries including Germany have started arriving for this unique celebration of Cauvery river. 

Ramachandran, a retired marketing manager of a private firm who arrived with his wife at Mayiladuthurai for the Mahapushkaram, said that it is auspicious and good to worship mother Cauvery. “That is why we are at Mayiladuthurai, our ancestral town. Though water remains a problem in the Cauvery, arrangements have been made by organisers of Mahapushkaram with bore-wells for water at Thula Kattam at Mayiladuthurai. We will get the blessings of mother Cauvery by taking dip in Thula Kattam” Ramachandran said. “My son from Germany has planned to come for Mahapushkaram”, said Narayanaswamy of Thanjavur. 

The festival is also being held in river Cauvery at ‘Bhagavat Ghat’ at the temple town of Kumbakonam on September 19, ‘Mahalaya Amavasya’ day (new moon day). According to Marudachala Adigalar of Perur Adheenam and Swami Ramananda, secretary of Akhila Bharatha Thuravigal Sangam, who are all in the Mahapushkaram celebration committee, people can take holy dip in the river at Kumbakonam from morning and Maha Aarthi will be performed in the evening to the holy river. 

However, while preparations are on at Mayiladuthurai, people regret that ‘Bhagavat Ghat’ at Kumbakonam is yet to be prepared for the festival. Moreover there is no water in the river. They are hopeful that officials will do the needful before September 19. 

Welcoming the Cauvery Mahapushkaram, B. Jambulingam,  a resident of Kumbakonam and former assistant registrar of Tamil University here,  said that the festival assumes importance as it is celebrated after 144 years.

It is in this backdrop of the huge significance attached to the river, Mahapushkaram assumes importance with people eagerly awaiting to worship mother Cauvery so that she can be in plenty and surplus every year to irrigate the delta.

It is said that during Pushkaram Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Devas, and Rishis enter Cauvery and one can earn the ‘punyam (good merit)’ of taking bath in the theerthas if he or she takes a holy dip in the river during this Mahapushkaram.

Guru Bhagawan moves from one ‘raasi’ to other and when he is in the ‘raasi’ meant for a particular river, pushkaram is celebrated for that river. 

Thus “Pushkaram is celebrated for Ganga (Ganges) when Guru Bhagawan is in Mesha raasi, for Narmada when in Rishapa raasi, Saraswathi when in Mithuna raasi, Yamuna when in Kadaga raasi, Godavari when in Simha raasi, Krishna when in Kanni raasi, Cauvery when in Thula raasi, Thamiraprani when in Viruchiga raasi, Brahmaputra when in Dhanusu raasi, Thungabadra when in Makara raasi, and Pranahita, a tributary of Godavari, when in Meena raasi,” as per tradition. 

The Mahaspushkaram for Cauvery begins at Mayiladuthurai with procession of portrait of river Cauvery in the evening on September 12 from ‘Thula Kattam’ with heads of various mutts and adheenams like Shankara Mutt of Kanchi, Darumapuram, Tiruvavaduthurai, Tiruppanandal taking part in it. A conference of saints and monks will also be held the same day. On September 16 procession by nearly 2,000 temple priests will take place. 

Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur