ENARADA NEWS BUREAU
Thousands of devotees thronged Tirumakudalu Narasipura, a panchayat town in Karnataka to participate in the south India’s only Kumbh Mela (Feb 20-22). The mela saw a surge of crowd coming from different parts of Karnataka and the neighbouring states. As the Kumbh mela coincided with the Magha Snana (devotees believe that it is good to take a dip in the river during the lunar calendar month of Magha), one could see people queuing up for the holy bath. There were a number of religious programmes organised as part of the Kumbh Mela. Seers from different Maths too were part of this holy event.
Narasipura is picturesque place located at the confluence of the rivers Kaveri, Kabini and Spatika Sarovar (a hidden mythical lake or spring, also named Gupta Gamini) and the peninsular town at this location is also called Tirumakudlu (Trimakuta in Sanskrit).
This is the one of the few sacred places in south India where three rivers meet, and the only place where Kumbh Mela is held in south India every three years. It finds a mention in the Skanda Purana as one of the Trimakuta Kshetras (holy places with the confluence of three rivers. Considered as sacred as Prayag (confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati at Prayag – Varanasi – Kashi in North India), it is also known as Dakshina Kashi. The town finds its mention, both as a tourist place and a pilgrimage centre.
It is said that Tirumakudlu is where Rishi Agasthya had visualised it as ‘Dakshina Kashi’ long ago. When he travelled down South to Narsipur, the town was a thick forest. Enamoured by the confluence of the three rivers – Kaveri, Kapila and the undercurrent of Spatika Sarovara – he wanted to install a Shiva Lingam there and asked Hanuman to get him a lingam from Kashi. Since the auspicious period lasting three-and-a-three-fourth of a galige was fast approaching and Hanuman failed to get the lingam on time, the sage created a sand lingam himself and consecrated it.
An insulted Hanuman, who returned soon, cut off the top portion of the lingam and from the axed summit does the Spatika Sarovara flow out even to this day. The lingam that Hanuman brought was consecrated a little distance away and is called the Hanuman Lingam.
The Karnataka Kumbh which began in 1989 has been on organised on the lines of the Kumbh Mela of Allahabad.