A pilgrim is required to visit these places first before entering the
temple of Adi Kumbeswarar to offer worship. The nectar settled at two places on of which
became the famous Mahamakham Tank and the other became Potramarai Kulam (tank of golden
lotuses) of Sarangapani temple.
From the drops and spray of the nectar, there arose innumerable holy
tanks. Out of the pieces of the broken pot Lord Siva made out a Siva Linga and entered
into it. The sthalapurana states that this is the very Linga now enshrined in the temple,
and hence the name Adi Kumbeswarar, meaning one who entered the Kumba or vessel long long
ago. The Devi is known as Mangala Nayaki.
There are many teerthams in Kumba- konam, of which the Mahamakham tank
is well known. The tank covers an area of 20 acres and is surrounded on all sides by
picturesque mandapams. These is a belief that it contains a number of other Teerthams in
the form of wells. Every year in the month of Magha (February-March) a festival is
conducted here and the image of Lord Kumbeswara is taken out in a procession.
The great Mahamakham festival, attracting lakhs of people from far and
wide, is celebrated in honour of Sri Kumbeswara- swami and it takes place every 13th
year. The exact time when the festival takes place is the conjunction of the moon with the
Makha Nakshatra and Jupiter on the full-moon day of the month of Magha.
Jupiter crosses one Rasi or sign in about one year. It comes to Simha
Rasi or Leo every 13th year. Makha or Regulus is situated in Leo. The
particular date on which the moon in the month Magha is conjoined with Makha and Jupiter
is considered specially sacred. This usually happens n the full-moon day of the month of