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Kumbakonam history

The earliest history of Kumbakonam could be traced to the town of Pazhaiyaarai, 8 kilometres from Kumbakonam which was the capital of the Chola Empire in the 9th century AD. Records from around the same time mention the nearby township of Kudanthai which grew into the present-day Kumbakonam. Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan; a semi-historical novel bring out the 10th century A.D., gives a detailed description of Kudanthai and elevates it to the status of a regional headquarters of the Chola governors.

During the Chola Empire rule this place had a local sabha with political autonomy to decide the administrative matters of the town. Krishnadevaraya, the emperor of Vijayanagara visited the town to attend the famous Mahamaham festival.

During the Maratha's rule Sankaracharya came as a refugee because of Hyder Ali and the person who gave asylum to him was Kabir. A ghat and a street in Kumbakonam were named after Kabir. The societal pattern formed in this town and the supremacy of the Brahmin community during the Maratha and the British rules were documented in the Encyclopdia Britannica.

Research on the name Tirukkudantai with other equivalents such as Kudavayil and Kumbam forms part of a chapter. It also mentions the negative connotations attributed to the place Kumbakonam as "a cheat" and "a crooked person" in the Winslow's dictionary (1862) and the Tamil lexicon. Later this was corrected and the historical reason behind this was also explained in the book.

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