The festival starts from the Ashadha (June/July) month on the Chaturdashi day (14th day), when the planet Jupiter enters the zodiac sign of Leo. The festival lasts for the full year when the planet is in that sign, but the first 12 days are the most sacred. “Aadhi Pushkaram” refers to the first 12 days of the Godavari Pushkaram, while “Anthya Pushkaralu” refers to the last 12 days. In the year 2159, the Maha Pushkaram will be held again.
“Maha” means “great,” and “Pushkaram” alludes to the annual festival in which the god Pushkar appears. In Telugu, Pushkaralu is spelt Pushkaralu, in Tamil, Pushkaram is spelt Pushkaram, in Kannada, Pushkara is spelt Pushkara, and in Hindi, Pushkar is spelt Pushkar.
Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshipping 12 sacred rivers. The festival takes place once every 12 years along each river. Each river has a zodiac sign linked with it, and the river for each year’s festival is determined by the sign Bruhaspathi (Jupiter) is in at the time. Bathing in the sacred river during Pushkaram is thought to purify devotees of their sins. The Godavari is one of the 12 sacred rivers, and the Godavari Pushkaram takes place once every 12 years when Jupiter is in the Leo sign. The Maha Pushkaram (also known as the “Great Pushkaram”) occurs once in 144 years
The first 12 days of the Godavari Pushkaram are known as "Aadhi Pushkaram"
Pushkaram is a Hindu festival in India dedicated to water worship. Pushkaralu (in Telugu), Pushkara (in Kannada), and Pushkar are other names for it.
It is commemorated with ancestor worship, spiritual discussions, devotional music, and cultural events at shrines along the banks of India’s 12 major sacred rivers. The festival takes place once every 12 years along each river. Each river has a zodiac sign linked with it, and the river for each year’s festival is determined by Jupiter’s sign at the time. Some zodiac signs are associated with multiple rivers due to regional differences.
A Brahmin was granted a blessing by Shiva after hard penance, according to a tradition recounted in astrology treatises such as Jataka Parijata (1426). He would be able to live in water and cleanse the sacred rivers, according to the boon. Pushkara was the name given to the Brahmin (“the one who nourishes”).
On a request from Bṛhaspati (Jupiter), he decided to enter one of the 12 sacred rivers when Bṛhaspati travelled from one zodiac sign to another.
Each river has a zodiac sign linked with it, and the river for each year’s festival is determined by the zodiac sign Jupiter (Brihaspati) is in at the time. Jupiter is in retrograde motion for parts of the year, causing it to enter the same Zodiac sign twice a year. On such occasions, Jupiter’s second entry is used to commemorate the festival’s first half.
The Pushkaram tradition is found in mediaeval Hindu astrological lore and is not addressed in early Hindu writings. Therefore, the names of the 12 rivers may vary depending on the regional traditions. For example, in Maharashtra, Bhima is associated with the Scorpio sign, while in Tamil Nadu, Tamraparni is associated with it. The sacred rivers include.
Reverence for ancestors, spiritual discussions, devotional music, and cultural programmes are all part of the Pushkaram celebrations. Snana (river bathing), dana (charity), Japa (mantra recitation), Archana, and dhyana are some of the practises that devotees participate in (meditation).
The festival lasts as long as Jupiter is in the matching zodiac sign, in theory (generally, for one year). However, it only attracts large numbers for the first 12 days. The event is observed in the four places where the Tamraparni flows from south to north, namely Banathirtham, Papanasam, Thirupudaimaruthur, and Sinthupoondurai. A bath in the sacred river is said to cleanse the soul of all sins. Adi Pushkaram refers to the first twelve days, whereas Anthya Pushkaram refers to the final twelve days. During the twenty-four-day period mentioned above, it is thought that “Pushkar,” infused with the power to make any river holy, will travel with Jupiter as he goes from one Zodiac house to the next. In jyotish astrology, planets that fall in the “Pushkara navamsa” or “Puskara bhaga” of a birthchart are considered particularly good and auspicious.
Pushkaralu is celebrated in the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the rivers Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra, Pranahita, and Bhima (at the Bhima-Krishna Sangam). Godavari: Rajahmundry (Airport also), Bhadrachalam, Mancherial, Basara; Krishna are the major towns and cities in Telugu states that are easily accessible by train and extensive bus services for pushkaralu. Vijayawada/Amaravati (Airport also), Nagarjuna Sagar, Srisailam, Beechupalli, Repalle; Tungabhadra: Mantralayam, Kurnool, Alampur; Pranahita: Kaleswaram-Sironcha (of Maharashtra), Korisini, and Vemanpally; Bhima: Khalhalli. Direct bus services are available from Hyderabad and all local district headquarters to all of these locations.
When Jupiter is in Scorpio, Pushkaram is celebrated in Tamil Nadu in the Tamraparni River. The event is observed in the four places where the Tamraparni flows from south to north, namely Banathirtham, Papanasam, Thirupudaimaruthur, and Sinthupoondurai. During the Pushkaram year, the Tamraparni temple in Suthamalli is also a venue of religious celebration.