Masi Magam is a major festival of south India which holds prime importance in the lives of the Tamils. The festival falls in the Tamil month Masi that overlaps a few days with both February and March. The festival is celebrated on that day during the Masi month when the full moon aligns with Magha star (Nakshatra) and therefore is considered a very powerful full moon day. This occurs only once a year and is considered very auspicious. Puducherry is where it is celebrated with most vigour. This festival is all about spiritual purification.
Magha is considered the birth star of ancestors and kings. It is believed that during this day, the heavenly beings descent to the earth to clear the Karma of humans. This day is believed to combine the full moon’s prosperity with the divine abundance of Magha star. Thus, this day is a unique opportunity to tap into your divine self and gain spirituality.
There used to be a king named Vallala in Tiruvannamalai. He was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. The king having no children was worried as to who would carry out his last rites. One day Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and promised to take care of his last rites.
When the time came, the king left his earthly vessel on Masi Magam and true to his word, Lord Shiva did perform his very last rites. Further, Lord Shiva blessed him and said that whoever takes a dip in the sea during this auspicious day will attain Moksha.
Since then, Masi Magam has been celebrated with great faith and devotion. It is also believed that Lord Shiva still, every year, comes to the sea and perform the king’s rites.
The Colourful Procession. On this day, idols of Lord Shiva, Shakti, and Vishnu are given a bath in the Bay of Bengal or Theerthavari. A procession of a number of devotees is organized and people walk while carrying the temple idols to the seashores or even local ponds, and rivers. A South Indian acoustic instrument Nadhaswaram is also carried along in addition to the idols. Some temples also perform Ashwa pooja and Gaja pooja to bring happiness and riches to the devotees.
Holy Dip. The devotees too take a bath in the holy water with a belief that it would wash away all their sins. It is also believed that on this festival, whoever takes a dip in the holy waters attains Moksha.
Maha Magam. Once every 12 years, Masi Magam becomes even more significant. This is when Jupiter moves into the sign of Leo. The festival is celebrated with great devotion at Kumbakonam’s Adi Kumbeswaran temple.
Tamil Nadu is the place where you can observe the pious Masi Magam festival in its most elaborate form. To reach there, you can travel to Chennai, its capital, and from there on you can take other modes of public transport to see the beauty of the state. Tamil Nadu is located at a distance of 2,492, 319, 1,305, 1,984 km from Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata respectively. Here are various modes of travel.
By Air. Chennai International Airport is the prime airport in Chennai. It receives all major flights from different parts of India. In the year 2018-19, it saw, on average, a footfall of 30,000 passengers each day. It is one of the busiest airports in India. Beyond the airport, you can take public transport to travel to the city.
By Train. There are numerous railway stations in Chennai. Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MGR Central railway station is one of the major ones. It is also known as Chennai Central. It was previously named as Madras Central. It began its operation in 1873, about 150 years ago.
Here are some train routes from major cities in the country.
By Road. If you happen to live near Tamil Nadu, travelling by road is also a viable option. Deluxe, luxury and A/C sleeper buses are also available.
Here is how you can reach here by the following routes:
27 February 2021
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