Tam: கும்பகோணம் kumpakōṇam
‘Cosmic Pot Corner’ City, Tamil Nadu
From Tam: kumpam, ‘small water-jar’, ‘sacrificial pot’, ‘pinnacle (of a temple’; and kōṇam, ‘angle’, ‘corner’.
Every twelve years hundreds of thousands of devotees flock to the holy town of Kumbakonam (it has nearly two hundred temples) to bathe in the holy waters of the Mahamagam temple tank here.
They are commemorating the mythical cosmic pot or kumbha in which Brahma is said to have put the nectar and seeds of Creation to protect it from a great flood. The pot was carried away in the rising waters and landed here – in the very place on which the town was built.
The modern Kumbakonam has established industries producing metalware, rice, silk and cotton textiles, sugar, indigo and, not surprisingly, pottery.