Etymology

The name “Kudamookku” presently known as “Kumbakonam”, roughly translated in English as the “Pot’s Corner”, is believed to be an allusion to the mythical pot (kumbha) of the Hindu 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. Kudamookku is also known as Baskarashetram and Kumbakonam 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 name of Kudamookku. Kumbakonam is also identified with the Sangam age settlement of Kudavayil.