It is believed that on this auspicious day the tank receives supplies of
water from the Ganges and eight other holy rivers and all the deities are said to remain
present here on that occasion. The Mahamakham tank is also known as Anuratha Teertham,
Kanni Teertham, Papanasa Teertham etc. The legend states that Lord Rama,Chandi, Sulochana
and many other attained salva- tion by taking a dip in the tank. This has been surrounded
on all sides by 16 beautiful mandapams which are stated to have been built in the year
To the north of the Mahamakham tank there is a shrine dedicated to Lord
Siva under the name Kasi Viswanatha. It is said that Lord kasi Viswanatha, at the instance
of the Nava Kannikas, i.e., nine virgins namely Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Nar- mada,
Saraswati, Kaveri, Kumari, Payoshni and Sarayu, came down to Kumbakonam and stayed with
them. Temples for all the Nava Kannikas have been built here.
Women worship the Nava Kannikas to get cured of sterility. Lord Rama on
his way to Lanka to fight Ravana came here and worshipped Lord Kasi Viswanatha. The temple
of Lord Kumbeswara contains some wonderful pieces of sculpture and architecture. On a
single block of stone in the Navaratri Mandapam all the 27 starts and 12 Rasis (signs)
have been carved out.The image of Lord Subrahmanya, enshrined in a part of the temple, is
a rare specimen. He has six heads but only six hands holding different kinds of weapons.
There are 2 Nagaswarams (pipes) made of stone.
There is a temple for Vinayaka on the bank of the temple tank. The
legend connected with this Vinayaka is that once a sugarcane vendor with about 1000
sugarcanes came to the bank of the tank and was taking rest for some time. Then Vinayaka
took the form of a Brahmin boy, came to the vendor and asked him for a sugarcane. As the
man was a miser, he mercilessly turned down the request of the little boy.