Legend: A pot of nectar and the seeds of creation were placed in a pot (kudam) and set adrift in the deluge. The drifting pot settled at Kumbhakonam; and Shiva as Kiratamurthy, bearing a bow pierced the pot with an arrow, and spilt the nectar, which flowed all over. The bulk of it flowed into what is now the Mahamagam tank. It is believed that all river Goddesses live in this tank. The remnants of the nectar mixed with sand, and the lingam was created. The Mahamagam tank is a scene of great festivity once in 12 years, in the month of Aquarius, when the moon and the planet Jupiter align themselves in the zodiac signs of Leo. People congregate to have a sacred bath, when the festival image of Shiva from the Kumbheswarar temple is taken in procession to this tank on a silver rishabha vaahanam
Legend: Bhrigu muni entered Vaikuntham; and out of arrogance kicked Vishnu on his chest, at not being recognized and welcomed. Lakshmi left for the earth and settled on the banks of the Kumbhakonam tank. Bhrigu muni was reborn as Hema Rishi, and offered penance; Lakshmi was reborn as his daughter, in the Mahamagam lotus tank, and he offered her in marriage to Sarangapani. Vishnu, bears the sarangam bow in his hand. There are several mandapams on the banks of the Mahamagam tank, built for the reception of deities during festivals.
Temple: The Sarangapani temple is of great religious significance. The Vaideeka Vimanam is regarded as the offshoot of the Sreerangam Pranava vimanam, and a replica of the vimanam presented to Vibhishana by Rama. It is made like a chariot with wheels, drawn by horses and elephants. This vimanam has two gateways. The northern gate - the Uttarayana vaasal, is open on Makara Sankaranti, and the Dakshinayana Vaayil is opened on Aadi perukku, the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi. The temple existed from the Pallava period, but the current structure is attributable to the period of Vikrama Chola (1121 onwards). Later Cholas built the superstructure including the 11 tiered gopuram, the tower was actually completed by the Vijayanagar rulers. The tower is 140 feet tall. There are sculptures depicting the Bharata Natya karanas - on the first tier of the Gopuram, in contrast to other temples where they are seen on walls.
Festivals: The first day of Uttarayanam witnesses the silver chariot procession. Bhramotsavam is celebrated in Thai and Chittirai, and Vasantotsavam in Vaikasi. Also celebrated are the Pavitrotsavam in Ani, Navaratri, Pankuni Uttiram, Maasi Magam, and the Dolotsavam in Margazhi.
(Last Updated on : 16-09-2010)
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