Six people, who entered the Kollidam river near Poondi in Thanjavur district to take bath on Monday, were washed away in the currents, police said.
While two bodies have been retrieved, a search is on for the other four.
According to the police, D David (30), T Isaac (19), S Pravin Raj (19), and S Kermal (19) of Siluvaipatti village in Thoothukudi district were among the six, who got drowned.
They were part of the 40-member group who went on a pilgrimage to Poondi Matha Basilica and ventured into the Kollidam river to take bath this morning.
Unexpectedly all six were swept away in the water. Hearing their cries, the villagers rushed to their rescue and informed the Tirukattupalli police and Fire and Rescue Services, who retrieved two bodies, the police said.
The bodies were sent to Government Thiruvaiyaru Hospital for autopsy. The fire and rescue services personnel continued the search operation to find the other four, the police said.