The Tamirabharani "maha pushkaram" (festival of worshipping of rivers), held after 144 years based on unique planetary positions as per the almanac, got off to a start here Thursday.
Elaborate arrangements had been made to enable the people to take the holy dip in the river which runs through the districts of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin.
More than 60 bathing ghats had been spruced up while special 'homams' and 'pujas' would also be performed during the 12 days.
Though pushkaram was celebrated every 12 years, the maha pushkaram at Tamirabharani occurs after a gap of 144 years based on a unique combination of planetary positions, signifying the transit of Jupiter to the next zodiac sign, organisers said.
Speaking after inaugurating the festival, Purohit said holy rivers such as the Yamuna, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Krishna Cauvery and Tamirabharani were known throughout the country and people take baths in them on auspicious occasions.
Taking a dip in the sacred rivers like Tamirabharani was part of the 5000-year-old Indianculture which could not be destroyed despite invasion by Muslim kings and British model of education introduced by Lord Macaulay, he said.
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