Chennai, Feb 22 (IANS) Lakhs of devotees took a dip in the Mahamaham tank in Kumbakonam on Monday on the occasion of Mahamaham festival celebrated once in 12 years.
Part of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, Kumbakonam is a famous temple town about 300 km from here.
The festival began on February 13 with flag hoisting in various temples in Kumbakonam.
According to officials, over three lakh people had a dip in the tank on Monday.
Around 40 lakh people have taken a dip in the temple tank since February 13, officials said.
According to legend, holy rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sarayu, Godavari, Mahanadhi, Narmada, Pavoshnl and Cauvery once approached Lord Shiva and said that they have to wash off the sins left by humans taking a dip in them.
Hearing their plea Lord Shiva told them to take a dip in the Mahamaham tank to wash off the sins left by the humans, states Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department.
The belief is that on this day, taking a dip in Mahamaham tank where there will be a confluence of all the holy rivers, would absolve humans of all their sins.
The tank has 20 wells named after Indian rivers.
Before taking a dip in the Mahamaham tank, devotees should have a dip in the Cauvery river.
Since the holy dips are performed in the Cauvery river and the Mahamaham tank the festival is also known as Maha Kumbh Mela.