The morning began with a cup of hot Kumbakonam Degree kaapi and this time I was looking forward to enjoying it in the town it is named after. I was sitting in a small restaurant along the streets of Kumbakonam taking in the morning scenes and waiting for my Kaapi. It came in a small davara tumbler- filled to the top with froth and smelt divine.
The man who served me the kaapi said "ithu than original kaapi" . I was curious about the "degree" attached to the kaapi and when I asked around, I heard different interpretations...
The Temple Tank
Once I was done with that, I set out to explore the town. The guy at the Hotel front desk told me there are more than 100 temples and I did think he was exaggerating, but then as I walked out of the hotel, I spotted not one but three temples within 100 yards, which meant he was probably right. I turned right from the hotel and there stood the infamous Temple tank was location. It was a large one, and a lady selling flowers outside a temple told me this was the infamous Mahamaham Tank where the big festival happened, with over 10Lakh people coming to take a dip in the holy water.
The temple tank is quite beautiful.. Spread across 6.2 acres and trapezoidal in shape, the tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines) and has 21 wells inside the tank. The Mahamaham is the Kumbh Mela of the south and takes place once in 12 years. The Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in in Kumbakanom in the Tamil month of Maasi (February–March) on the day when the star Magam falls..
I couldn't imaging that many people, the town is fairly small you know!
Well, shall share more from my Kumbakonam diaries in next post...