Xiangtan (Chinese: 湘潭; pinyin: Xiāngtán; Wade–Giles: Hsiang-tan) is a prefecture-level city in Hunan province, China. The hometowns of several founding leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, including Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Peng Dehuai, are in the Xiangtan prefecture, as well as the hometowns of Qing dynasty painter Qi Baishi, scholar-general Zeng Guofan, and tennis player Peng Shuai.
Xiangtan is located on the lower reaches of the Xiang River. The name "Xiangtan" is derived from local geography, though there are several explanations for its origin vary somewhat in details. In any case, "Xiang" (湘) refers to the Xiang River, while "Tan" (潭) is a Chinese term that means "deep pool", specifically one produced by a moving current or waterfall; "Tan" in rivers generally are places where the current eddies. One reasoning is that the city was built by a large eddy in a bend of the Xiang River, and was thus called "Xiang-Tan". Another more likely story says the name originated in the Xiangzhou Eddy, today called the Zhao Eddy (昭潭). The Zhao Eddy is an ancient whirlpool located in a deep section of the Xiang River near the traditional border between Xiangtan and Changsha, and is named for King Zhao of Zhou, who is said to have died there.