Namakkal Knowledge Guide


Namakkal is a historic town with reference at (SM)back to at least the 7th century. The name Namakkal derives from Namagiri, which is the name of the single rock formation at the center of the town. The rock is enormous - 65 meters high and more than a kilometre in circumference. Over this massive rock, is a fort, Namakkal Fort. Kongu nadu a small kingdom who ruled Namakkal during the 16th century. During Sangam age, Namakkal region formed a part of the historical Kongu Nadu region ruled by Cheras It is believed that Tippu Sultan hid himself in this fort for some time to escape the British. The fort was not built by Tippu Sultan but he occupied it for a brief period of time. Later the fort was captured by British. The front side of the hill is called Thiru. Vi. Ka. Paarai and today is used by taxis as their stand. Namakkal is a part of Kongu Nadu which was hotly contested and coveted by both the ancient Pallavas and the Pandyas. Namakkal was in the hands of Atiakula King called Gunasila who had an alliance with Pallava King through marriage. Later the taluk was overrun by the Cholas in the Mandalam. After the struggle between the Cheras, Cholas and Pandiyan, the Hoysalas rose to power and had control till the 14th century followed by Vijayanagar Kings till 1565 AD. Then the Telugu Madurai Nayaks came to power in 1623 AD. Two of the Polygons of Thirumalai Nayak namely, Ramachandra Nayaka and Gatti Mudaliars ruled the Salem area. The Namakkal Fort is reported to have been built by Ramachandra Nayakas. After about 1625 AD, the area came successively under the rule of Muslim Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda, Mysore kings and then the Marathas. Hyder Ali came to power in about the year 1750 AD. During this period, it was a history of power struggle between Hyder Ali and later Tippu, with the British. Namakkal was held by Killdhar (Caption) of Hyder Ali until it was captured by British in 1768. For a brief period during late 18th and early 19th century Namakkal was under Tiruchirappalli district of British Rule. Later Namakkal was transferred back to Salem District. Then at 01-01-1997 finally announced as a separate district from Salem District. Two cave temples at Namakkal were called as Adiyendra Visnugrha (Ranganatha swamy Temple) and Adiyanavaya Visnugrha (Narasimha swamy Temple). These Rock cut shrines were built by King Gunaseela of Adhiyaman clan descendant. Because of his marriage relations with Pallavas the temples were built of Pallava Architectural style during the 7th century. Generally, Namakkal is considered to be a Vaishnava Kshetram, and there is no Shiva temple in the town until a few years ago.Mahatma Gandhi held a public meeting in 1933 in Namakkal under the slope of the Namakkal rock.


Namakkal Anjaneyar temple

Namakkal Anjaneyar temple is located in Namakkal, and is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman. It is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. The legend of the temple is associated with Narasimha, an avatar of Hindu god Vishnu appearing for Hanuman and Lakshmi. The image of Anjaneyar is 18 ft (5.5 m) tall, making it one of the tallest images of Hanuman in ancient temples of India. The image of Anjaneyar is carved out of a single stone and is existing from the 5th century. There is no roof over the sanctum and Anjaneyar has a unique iconography sporting a sword in his waist and holding a garland made of saligrama. The temple is considered one of the prominent temples in the Tamil Nadu state and the country. The Agamam is followed by "Sri Vaikhanasam".

Namagiri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami

Namagiri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami Temple is a "swayam udbhava" (naturally formed) murti of Lord Vishnu in the form of Sri Narasimha Swami. The temple is believed to be built during the 8th century by the Pandya kings in Rock-cut architecture. The temple does not find a mention in Naalayira Divya Prabhandams, and thus is not listed in Divya desam series of 108 temples. The sanctum sanctorum is rock-cut and square in shape with a black background. The sanctum has three sculpted cells, two pillars and a verandah in front of it. The central sanctum sanctorum niche houses the image of Lord Narasimha in sitting posture, called Asana murthi. The temple complex houses two other sanctums. These sanctums house Namagiri Tayar and Sri Lakshmi Narayana. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Namagiri Lakshmi, who is fondly referred to as Namagiri Thayar. Namagiri Lakshmi was the family Goddess of the renowned Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Annual car festival for the Lord Narasimmaswamy temple is celebrated in March and April every year (Tamil Month "Panguni") as per "Sri Vaikhanasa Ahamam".

Namakkal Ranganathaswamy Temple

The Ranganathaswamy temple is another rock-cut temple alongside the fort. Ranganathaswamy cave temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas. Ranganathaswamy temple is equally impressive.

Namakkal Fort

Namakkal Fort is a historic fort present in Namakkal in Namakkal district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The rock fort is on the summit of the rock, and the remnants in brick and stone still bear the brunt of the skirmishes to lay siege to the fort by the Cholas in the 9th century. The fort was reinforced during the reign of kongu Vellalars in the 17th century. The fort is located on the top of a hillock made of a single rock, 75 m (246 ft) tall. There is a temple and a mosque that are located within the fort, both of which are tourist attractions of the town. In modern times, the fort is under the control of the Archaeological Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Murugan Temple, Kandhapuri

Arulmighu Sri Murugan Temple at Kandhapuri built on a hillock is located some five kilometers far, easterly to the town centre.