COMBACONUM, or Kumbakonam, a city of India, in the Tanjore district of Madras, in the delta of the Cauvery, on the South Indian railway, 194 m. from Madras. Pop. (1901) 59,623, showing an increase of 10% in the decade. It is a large town with wide and airy streets, and is adorned with pagodas, gateways and other buildings of considerable pretension. The great gopuram, or gate-pyramid, is one of the most imposing buildings of the kind, rising in twelve stories to a height of upwards of 100 ft., and ornamented with a profusion of figures of men and animals formed in stucco. One of the water-tanks in the town is popularly reputed to be filled with water admitted from the Ganges every twelve years by a subterranean passage 1200 m. long; and it consequently forms a centre of attraction for large numbers of devotees. The city is historically interesting as the capital of the Chola race, one of the oldest Hindu dynasties of which any traces remain, and from which the whole coast of Coromandel, or more properly Cholamandal, derives its name. It contains a government college. Brass and other metal wares, silk and cotton cloth and sugar are among the manufactures.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)