Kumbakonam dates back to the Sangam period and was ruled by the Early Cholas, Pallavas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Pandyas, the Vijayanagara Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks and the Thanjavur Marathas. It rose to be a prominent town between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, when it served as a capital of the Medieval Cholas. The town reached the zenith of its prosperity during the British Raj when it was a prominent centre of European education and Hindu culture; and it acquired the cultural name, the "Cambridge of South India". In 1866, Kumbakonam was officially constituted as a municipality, which today comprises 45 wards, making it the largest municipality and second largest local civil body in Thanjavur district.
The name "Kumbakonam", roughly translated in English as the "Pot's Corner", is believed to be an allusion to the mythical pot (''kumbha'') of the Hinduism god Brahma that contained the seed of all living beings on earth. The ''kumbha'' is believed to have been displaced by a ''pralaya'' (dissolution of the universe) and ultimately came to rest at the spot where the town of Kumbakonam now stands. This event is now commemorated in the Mahamaham festival held every 12 years. Kumbakonam is also known as Baskarashetram and Kumbam from time immemorial and as Kudanthai in ancient times. Kumbakonam is also spelt as Coombaconum in the records of British India. Kumbakonam was also formerly known by the Tamil language name of Kudamukku. Kumbakonam is also identified with the Sangam age settlement of Kudavayil.
The region around Kumbakonam was inhabited as early as the Sangam Age (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD). The present-day Kumbakonam is believed to be the site of the ancient town of Kudavayil where the Early Chola king Karikala held his court. Kumbakonam is identified with the town of Malaikūrram which had served as the Chola dynasty capital as early as the 7th century and with the town of Solamaligai which had also served as a Chola capital. and between the Pandya king Srimara Pandya and a confederacy of the Cholas and Western Ganga Dynasty.
Following the decline of the Chola kingdom, Kumbakonam was conquered by the Pandyas in 1290.Following the demise of the Pandya kingdom in the 14th century, Kumbakonam was conquered by the Vijayanagar Empire. Each of these foreign dynasties had a considerable impact on the demographics and culture of the region. When the Vijayanagar Empire fell in 1565, there was a mass influx of poets, musicians and cultural artists from the kingdom.
According to the chronicles of the Hindu monastic institution, the Kanchi matha, the ''matha'' was temporarily transferred to Kumbakonam in the 1780s following an invasion of Kanchipuram by Hyder Ali of Mysore kingdom. When Tipu Sultan invaded the east coast of South India in 1784, Kumbakonam bore the brunt of his invasion. The produce fell sharply and the economy collapsed. when it emerged as an important center of Brahminical Hinduism, Hindu religion and European education in the Madras Presidency.
Kumbakonam continued to grow even after Independence of India though it fell behind the nearby town of Thanjavur in terms of population and administrative importance. The population growth rate began to fall sharply after 1981. On 16 July 2004, a 2004 Kumbakonam School fire in the Sri Krishna school killed 94 children.
Kumbakonam is located at . It is situated south of Chennai, east of Tiruchirappalli, and about north-east of Thanjavur. It lies in the region called the "Old River delta" which comprises the north-western taluks of Thanjavur district that have been naturally irrigated by the waters of the Cauvery and its tributaries for centuries in contrast to the "New Delta" comprising the southern taluks that were brought under irrigation by the construction of the Grand Anicut canal and the Vadavar canal in 1934. It has an average elevation of 26 metres (85 ft). The town is bounded by two rivers, the Cauvery River on the north and Arasalar River on the south. and moderate. Kumbakonam is cooler than Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The maximum temperature in summer is about while the minimum temperature is about . Kumbakonam receives an annual rainfall of every year. The region is covered with mainly alluvial
Vertisol which is conducive for Paddy field.
The town of Kumbakonam is surrounded by extensive paddy fields. basin separating the Ariyalur-Puducherry depression from the Nagapattinam Depression (geology). This granular ridge projects further eastwards penetrating the Puducherry depression and forms a hard layer of cretaceous rock underneath the sedimentary top soil.
- one of the most prominent landmarks of the town
Kumbakonam is known for its Hindu temple and ''matha''s (monasteries). There are around 188 Hindu temples within the municipal limits of Kumbakonam.
Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is considered to be the oldest Shaiva (the sect of the god Shiva) shrine in the town, believed to be constructed by the Cholas in the 7th century. The Nageswaraswamy Temple, Kumbakonam has a separate shrine for the Sun god Surya who is believed to have worshipped Shiva at this place. Adi Kumbeswarar temple, Nageswaraswamy temple and Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Kumbakonam are Shiva temples in the town revered in the ''Tevaram'', a Tamil Shaiva canonical work of the 7th-8th century. Kumbakonam has one of the few temples dedicated to the god Brahma.
Sarangapani temple is the largest Vaishnava (the sect of the god Vishnu) shrine present in Kumbakonam. The present structure of the temple having a twelve storey high tower was constructed by Nayak kings in the 15th century. It is one of the "Divya Desams", the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 Alvars saint-poets. The Ramaswamy Temple, Kumbakonam, which has scenes from the Hindu epic ''Ramayana'' depicted on its walls, was constructed by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of successive Nayak rulers, Achuthappa Nayak (1560-1614) and Raghunatha Nayak (1600-34). He added a commercial corridor between the temple and the older Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam, which in modern times is called Chinna Kadai Veethi, a commercial street in the town. Pilgrims from all parts of India take a holy dip once every 12 years during the Mahamaham festival in the Mahamaham tank, Kumbakonam. Govinda Dikshitar constructed the sixteen mandapams (shrines) and stone steps around this tank.
Kumbakonam also has a number of ''matha''s. The Sri Sankara matha of Kanchipuram was moved to Kumbakonam during the reign of Pratapsingh of Thanjavur and a Raghavendra matha in Kumbakonam. There is also a branch of the Vaishnava Ahobila mutt in Kumbakonam.
The Thenupuriswarar Temple at Patteeswaram, the Oppiliappan Kovil, the Swamimalai Murugan temple and the Airavatesvara Temple are located in the vicinity of Kumbakonam. The Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II (1146-73) during 12th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram that are referred as the Great Living Chola Temples., 1951 - 2001: A total of 12,791 were under the age of six, constituting 6,495 males and 6,296 females. The average literacy of the town was 83.21%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.
Kumbakonam has a strong Hindu majority; but it also has sizeable Muslim and Christian populations. Thondaimandala Mudaliars, and Dalits are the numerically dominant Tamil-speaking groups. There are also large populations of Moopanars, Kumbakonam also has a large population of Protestant Christians largely due to the efforts of the German missionary Christian Friedrich Schwarz.
The population of Kumbakonam is predominantly Tamil-speaking. The commonly used dialects is the Central Tamil dialect. There are significant minorities speaking Thanjavur Marathi (language), Telugu language,
Residential areas make up 32.09% of the town's total area while commercial enterprises and industry make up 2.75% and 1.21% respectively. The non-urban portion of the town constitutes about 44.72% of the total area.
As per the religious census of 2011, Kumbakonam had 86.07% Hindus, 9.57% Muslims, 3.99% Christians, 0.% Sikhs, 0.% Buddhists, 0.23% Jainism, 0.13% following other religions and 0.% following no religion
did not indicate any religious preference.
The Kumbakonam municipality was officially constituted in the year 1866. and currently, exercises its authority over an area of All these departments are under the control of a Municipal Commissioner who is the supreme executive head.
Kumbakonam is a part of the Kumbakonam (State Assembly Constituency) and elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years. Despite being a hub of militant Communism in the 1950s, The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam won the elections in 1977 Since 1989, barring an interregnum of five years between 1991 and 1996, the seat has been held by Ko. Si. Mani of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Kumbakonam was a part of the Kumbakonam (Lok Sabha constituency) from 1952 till 1977, when the constituency was disbanded. The assembly segments in the erstwhile Kumbakonam Lok Sabha constituency were included in the Mayiladuthurai (Lok Sabha constituency) and have remained so ever since. There are four police stations in the town, one of them being an all-women police station. There are special units like prohibition enforcement, district crime, social justice and human rights, district crime records and special branch that operate at the district level police division headed by a Superintendent of Police (SP). Rice production is an important activity in Kumbakonam. The main administrative offices of T. S. R. & Co., a cosmetic company, are also based in Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam is also famous for its metal works. They are largely used in the manufacture of Thirubuvanam silk sarees. The town lends its name to the Kumbakonam Degree Coffee, a blend of coffee prepared using undiluted pure milk. In recent times, Kumbakonam has emerged as an important manufacturer of fertilizers. and colonial-era buildings have been recognised for their tourism potential. The 12th-century Airavatesvara Temple in the town of Darasuram near Kumbakonam is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kumbakonam is also frequented by art collectors interested in handloom cloth and other curios. Banks such as the Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, State Bank of India, ING Vysya Bank, Karur Vysya Bank,
Kumbakonam is well-connected by road and rail with the rest of India. The nearest international airport is at Tiruchirapalli, which is from Kumbakonam. The nearest seaport is located at Nagapattinam which is about away. The town has around of roads, 544 municipal roads making up . There are also around of state highways running through Kumbakonam. On 1 March 1972, the Cholan Roadways Corporation was established by the Government of Tamil Nadu with its headquarters in Kumbakonam in order to improve transportation facilities in the districts of central Tamil Nadu. The organisation acquired the fleets of buses earlier owned by private operators - Sri Ramavilas Service, Raman and Raman Limited and Sathi Vilas.
The traditional modes of transportation are bullock carts. It is recorded that as late as the 1950s, landlords and rich farmers travelled mostly by bullock carts with the exception of rare long journeys which they undertook by buses
motor vehicles. Kumbakonam has an efficient local bus transportation system. The mofussil bus stand is located in the south-east of Kumbakonam and is situated just opposite to the Arignar Anna Bus Stand where the long-distance buses are stationed. There are occasional ferries that transport people and goods across the Cauvery. Till the beginning of the 20th century, students of the Government Arts College used to cross the Cauvery on coracle ferries in order to attend college. the practice of transporting men and goods by coracles has greatly diminished. About of solid waste is collected from the town everyday; 53% domestic wastes and 32% commercial wastes. The collected wastes are dumped in yards outside the town and segregated to produce organic manure. The major sewerage system for disposal of sullage is through septic tanks and public conveniences. Apart from telecom, BSNL also provides broadband internet service.
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43 Trains found crossing station KUMBAKONAM - KMU
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