Kamandalu also called as Kamandalam is a holy pot, usually kept by the saints and the sages, and it is made out of metal or wood. Sacred water would be stored in the Kamandalam, and ancient sages mostly use it whenever they want to curse or give boons to others.
Ancient sages like Vasishta, Atri, Vishwamitra and Gouthama always used to keep holy water into the Kamandalam. Once when Ganga speedily reaches the earth from Mount Kailash, she disturbed the penance of sage Jahnu, and due to that, the great sage Jahnu, stored Ganga into his Kamandala. Then after the repeated request of King Bhageeratha, he released Ma Ganga from his Kamandalam. Likewise lot of interesting stories are associated with the holy Kamandalam.
According to ancient legend, once the great sage Agastya had filled up the Kauvery River in his Kamandalam through his divine powers. In order to release the Kauvery River from his Kamandala, Lord Vinayaka took the form of a crow and pulled the Kamandala into the floor. Due to that, the River Kauvery began to freely flow in the earth.
Apart from Rishis, ancient kings also used to keep Kamandala, when they were performing the ritual yagna. The great king Mahabali when he offered the three feet of land to Lord Vamana, he used the water from the Kamandala, cleaned the feet of Vamana along with his consort, and then he has started donating the land, and finally went to the Underworld, the SutalaLoka.
Similar to King Mahabali, his grandfather, the great Bhakta Prahlada would keep the Kamandala while doing pujas and yagnas. It is also believed that the powers of the sages are contained in the sacred water of Kamandala. When Guru Raghavendra has become a Madhwa saint, his Purvashrama wife, Ma Saraswati Bai had committed suicide. But due to her sincere love and affection on her Purvashrama husband, she appeared in front of Guru Raghavendra, and began to lament. Guru Raghavendra immediately sprinkled the holy water from his Kamandala, and gave salvation to her.
“OM SRI GURU RAGHAVENDRAYA NAMAHA”