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Mahamagha Tirthala

     The Pre-Eminent Tirtha during the Maha Magha festival. namely, the Maha Magha Tank is situated in about three acres at      the center of the town. When in days of yore, hit by the arrow aimed at by the lord, the ambrosia from the sacred pot      washed away all around and stagnated at two places, as ordained by th Lord, namely, the Maha Magham Tank and the      Potramarai Tank. Lord Brahma renovated and decorated the tank linking it with many roads. Accompanied by his consort      Sri Parameswara mounted on the Rishabha and Vinayaka on the Mushika and the other celestials on their respective mounts,      went round the tank and approved the other celestial guests of their seating accommodation in their respective places      according to status. Sri Kumbheswara with ceremonial observances and treated him to ceremonial bath and all the rest did      likewise.

     Then Brahma created a tirtham in his name. The eight Lords of the frontiers brought into being tirthams to alleviate the burden      of sins, initiated nine tirthas. So did the celestials, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas,Charanas and      the saints, established their own tirthas. So the Maha Magham tank consists of Brahma Tirtha, eight tirthas of the deities of      the frontiers, nine tirthas of the maidens of the rivers and the sixty six crores of tirathas of the celestials. The Maha Magham      tank is the repository of all these holy tirthas. Of these the nine major rivers are at the receiving ends to a multitude of people      who bathe in these rivers to absolve themselves of all the sins sustained till then. The sacred rivers, inturn, inorder to extricate      themselves of all the burden of sins visit Maha Magham tank every twelve years on the Maha Magham day and take their      ceremonial bath at the tank.

The efficiency of the Tirthas of the Maha Magham Tank.

         
                                       
  TIRTHAS     MERITS
   1.  Indira Tirtha --- extends heavenly bliss
   2.  Agni Tirtha --- disples Brahmahatti dosha
   3.  Yama Tirtha --- freedom from fear of death
   4.  Nirruti Tirtha --- disples the evil caused by the being , the dead and the demonic
   5.  Varuna Tirtha --- extends longevity of life
   6.  Vayu Tirtha --- cures all diseases
   7.  Kubera Tirtha --- extends all wealth
   8.  Isana Tirtha --- endows the bliss of siva
   9.  Brahma Tirtha --- emancipates the manahes
   10. Ganga Tirtha --- confers the status of Mt.Kalias
   11. Yamuna Tirtha --- ensures abundance of gold
   12. Godavari Tirtha --- fulfiles all desires
   13. Narmadi Tirtha --- sustains physical stamina
   14. Saraswathi Tirtha --- assures all knowledge available
   15. Cauvery Tirtha --- extends all purusharthas
   16. Kumari Tirtha  --- extends the merit of Asvamedha
   17. Payodhini Tirtha --- extends cheer and joy
   18. Sarayu Tirtha --- dispels mental agonies
   19. Sixty- six Crores Tirtha --- extends joy with all grief dispelled

This famous tirtha is widely known as Amudha Vahi, Amutha Tirtha, Kanya tirtha, Pavanasa Tirutha. Now - a -days it is known as Maha Magaham Tank. Some of the great personages who had the unique privelege of having attained the efficacious merits are sri Rama chandi and sulochana the wife of Hemabhabu. According to the puranas those who take bath in this tirtha on a fullmoon day accrue merits for seven generations. During the festival in the month of Masi Sri Kumbeswara shall go on procession on the tenth day along with the panchamurtis and have a ceremonial bath at the tank.

    Holy days to take bath at the tank

The holy days to take bath at the tank are the New-moon day, Full-moon day, the first day of every month. Uttarayana, Dakshinayana, Mahavidhipada, Kartigai and sivaratri, besides Masimagaham and Mahamagham. There are sixteen mandapas around the tank- Sodashalinga mandapa. When Sri Achyutappa Naick was the king of thanjavur, his minister Sri govinda Dikshitar (1542 A.D) had all these mandapas constructed and consecrated. His icon and that of his spouse are to be seen at Sri Kumbheswara temple.

     Shodashalinga mandapa murtis

The sixteen mandapa murtis are Brahmateertheswara Mukundeswara, Dhaneswara, Vrashabheswara, Bhaneswaram, Koneswara, Bhaktikeswara, Bhairaveswara, Agasteeswara, Vyaseswara, Ymaiyageswara, Nairruteswara, Brahmeswara, Gangadhareswara, Muktateerteswara, and Kshetrapaleswara. Of the sixteen mandapas lay the northern side, in the Brahmateerteswara mandapa, there sparkles a Tulabhara painting, as a result of its graceful appeal it is called Tulabhara mandapa.

 
 
Maha Maham Tank
 
                   
 

   
Maha Maham Tank
 
Other Tirthas
               
Kamadhenu Tirtha

                Once the highly irascible sage Durvasa hurled an imprecation on Kamadhenu to the effect that she should be deprived of everything including milk. To ger free from the curse of the sage. Kmadhenu recahed this temple. created a tirtha with its hoof got purficatory bath and worshipped the Lord and Sri Ambal as also Sri vinayaka and soon she was absolved of the curse. So those who take bath in this tirtha and worship the Lord, Sri Ambal and Sri Vinayaka shall be free from all curses. After worshipping the Lord and the Kiratamurti the devotee will e endowed with a progeny.

Mangala kupam

              Seated on the lap of his mother and having listened earlier to Kumbakonam Mahatmyam as divulged by the Lord, the young Muruga came to a decision that it is Kumbakonam which is the only khestra where at he could gain all the grace and benediction and mantrasakti to win over the demons during the war with surapadman. He arrived at this kshetra and before worshipping the Lord he worshipped Sri Ambal to get him fresh water to take purificatory bath. Accordingly Sri Ambal scratched the earth with her nail and out of which there appeared a tirtha which is called Mangalakupta. Having taken the purificatory bath at this well Muruga worshipped the Lord and Sri Ambal and so the well is also called kanda kupa.

            All rivers cast off their burden of sins sustained by the purificatory bath by the devotees, by taking a ceremonial bath as such at the river Cauvery. In turn the Cauvery divested herself of all the sins accumulated, by having a ceremonial bath at this wel. So it is also called Ponni Tirtha. In days of yore when the moon sustained a congential disease as a result of his undue excessive indulgence ith Rohini, he got himself curved completely with the application of this tirtha and hence this tirtha is also called Chandra tirtha. Once Mandata had a ceremonial bath in this tirtha and soon he was blesses with a progeny. Even today during the Surasamhara festial the effigy of Surapadman with his nine faces will be cut off and the sword used in this regard would be washed with the water of this well.

Kura Tirtha

            Once in the Treta yuga Indra, the clestials and sages went to Satya loka and were discussing some important topic. Intending to participate in the discussion Kamdhenu hurried in such a haste that it inadvertently jostled with the irate Durvasam where upon the latter imprecated Kamadhenu to lose every thing including milk. Kamadhenu implored Brahma Deva narrating the mishap. Brahma Deva said that the curse will beannulled should she take bath at Kasyapa tirtha and worship Sri Adi Kumbheswara and Sri Mangala Nayaki. Kamadhenu did like wise, yet the curse persisted. Then an incorporeal voice occurred to the effect that she should worship Sri Ganapathi at the outset. Listening to this Kamadhenu worshipped Sri Ganapathi located to the left of Sri Ambal and creating a tirtha by scratching the Kumbheswara and Sri Mangalambhigai and worshipped them in a ceremonial way. She was soon bestowed with milk and other auspicious prosperities. She anointed Sri Ganapathi with the butter from her milk and worshipped the deities and thereby got fully relieved of all the evil effects of the curse by the sage. hence it is called Kura Tirtha Kura = hoof - Ganapathi here is called Navaneeta Ganapathi as he was rendered satisfied with the butter annointment. Showld we anoint Sri Ganapathi with butter and worship Sri Adikumbeswara we shall be fre from all curses Like wise should we anoint Sri Ganapathi and worship Sri Ambal and Sri Kirtamurti we shall have progeny.