Thursday, May 6, 2010


Namakkal (Tamil: நாமக்கல்) is a city and a municipality in Namakkal district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of Namakkal district. It is the first ISO 14001-2004 certified municipality in Asia for environmental management[1], specifically the provision and maintenance of water supply, solid waste and sewage management, town planning, lighting and other social services[2].

It is named as Educational city, Poultry city, and Transport city.

It is a part of Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu which was hotly contested and coveted by both the ancient Pallavas and the Pandyas.

Since, the Namakkal District is a part of the Salem District, the historical background of Salem and Namakkal remains the same. After the struggle between the Cheras , Cholas and Pandiyas, the Hoysalas rose to power and had control till the 14th Century followed by Vijayanagar Kings till 1565 A.D. Then the Madurai Nayakas came to power in 1623 A.D. 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 A.D., the area came successively under the rule of Muslim Sultans of Bijapur and Golkinda Mysore kings and then the Marathas, when about the year 1750 A.D. Hyder Ali came to power. During this period, it was a history of power struggle between Hyder Ali and later Tippu , with the British.

The Rock Fort in Namakkal is a special feature of the Town. The Fort covers an area of one and half acres of flat surface and is accessible from South-West by a flight of narrow steps. Namakkal was in the hands of Atikula King called Gunasila who has marriage with Pallava King. Later the taluk was over run by the Cholas in the Kongu Mangalam which has over run by the Cholas in the 9th Century and passed on to Vijayanagar under the Viuroyultry of madra. Namakkal was held by Killdhar (Caption) on Hyder Ali until it was captured by British in 1768.


Namakkal is located at 11°14′N 78°10′E / 11.23°N 78.17°E / 11.23; 78.17.[3] It has an average elevation of 218 metres (715 feet). It is close to Kolli Hills (கொல்லிமலை)- which is part of the Eastern Ghats (கிழக்கு தொடர்சிமலை). The closest river is Kaveri (காவேரி).

The Namakkal City is located with the surrounding Cities as mentioned below (distance in Kms approximately):

* 360 km southwest of Chennai
* 250 km south of Bangalore
* 55 km East of Erode (Textile Yellow City)
* 55 km South of Salem (Mango & Magnesite City)
* 150 km east of Coimbatore
* 84 km northwest of Tiruchirapalli

The landscape of Namakkal is such that it would not be affected by floods.


Namakkal is a historic town with reference back to at least the 9th 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. The fort and the temples in the rock including Anchaneya Temple were built by Ramachandra Nayakar, a small king who ruled Namakkal 1200 years ago around 800 C.E. 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 even though some people believe like that. The front side of the hill is called Thiru. Vi. Ka. Paarai and used by taxis as their stand. Generally, Namakkal is considered to be a Vaishnava Setram, and there is no Shiva temple in the town until a few years ago. Recently, a Shiva temple has been built near Mariamman Temple. Even today, Pujaris in the Narasimha temple say that there is no Shiva temple in the town even though a small Shiva temple has been built in Namakkal in recent years.

Gandhiji held a public meeting in 1933 in Namakkal under the slope of the Namakkal rock. Namakkal falls in the region of Kongu Nadu and was ruled mainly by the Cheras. The Cholas and the Pandyas also ruled this region for some time. It has also been under the control of self or autonomous rulers for at least a century. It is one of the few places in Tamil Nadu, that has not been seriously affected by famine and war.

Lord Anjaneya temple

Namakkal Anjaneyar temple has more than 1500 Years history . The fort of Namakkal is guarded by a giant Anjaneya. The idol is so famous that it has been known as Namakkal Hanuman.Anjaneya is in Digambara temple (with sky as the roof) facing and worshiping Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha and the Saleegramam. The Anjaneya in this kshethra is eighteen feet tall and is having dharshan of the Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha about 250 feet away. The eye of Anjaneya is in straight line with the patha [lotus feet] of Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha. One can witness Anjaneya having the dharshan of Lord's Lotus feet from the Garudalwar sannathi even today. The imprint of the footsteps of Anjaneya Swami is seen in the Kamalalam tank steps.

Nearby Villages around Namakkal
# Pandamangalam
# Thindamangalam
# Velur
# Puduchatram
# Kavettipatti
# koodacheri
# Vazhavanthi and
# N.Kandampalayam
# Konur.
# Kalangani
# Villipalayam
# Velagoundampatty
# Vallipuram
# Vasanthapuram

Nearest Tourist Place
Main article: Kolli Hills

The Kolli Hills are featured in several works of classical Tamil literature such as Silappathigaram, Manimekalai, Purananuru and Ainkurnuru. The region was ruled by Valvil Ori around 200 A.D., who is praised as one of the seven great philanthropists of ancient Tamil Nadu. His valor and marksmanship are sung by several poets, and his exploits are a popular part of folklore. Ori is said to have killed a lion, bear, deer and a boar with a single arrow. The jackfruit grown on these mountains is known for its taste and fragrance and is often soaked in wild honey that is also harvested from these mountains. The mountains are covered by lush green vegetation in the spring and monsoon, and are streaked with streams which add to the natural beauty. There are three reserved forests that are controlled by the Government of Tamil Nadu, namely Ariyur Solai, Kundur Nadu, Pulianjolai It is not correct to regard the name kolli hills as being due to the incidence of deadly diseases such as malaria!It is because early literature records the existence of an image called kollippavai on top of these hills.This image was believed to represent the spirit of a maiden who lured wayfarers by her beauty and then killed them. The mountain is a site of pilgrimage, because of the Arapaleeswarar temple, which is believed to have a secret path to the Shiva temple in Rasipuram. This Shiva temple is said to have been built by Valvil Ori in the 1st or 2nd century when he ruled this area. "Arappaleeswara sathakam" is the poem which praises the Lord Arappaleeswarar. It is believed that this temple exists during the Sangam period itself.

Tourism: Kolli Hills has to be explored in a leisure space. Kolli Hills has been the top choice for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, trekking clubs and meditation practitioners among hill stations in Tamil Nadu. In comparison to other hill stations in Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills is not commercialized, less polluted and offers unique mountain ranges.

Some of the famous spots are:

* Agaya Gangai Waterfalls
* Siddhar caves
* Mini Falls
* Arappaleeswar Temple
* Ettukai Amman Temple
* Masi Periyasamy Temple and falls
* Selur View Point
* Boat House
* Botanical Garden
* Seekuparai viewpoint
* Sandana Parai
* German swami's ashram
* Puranikadu Sat Dharma sangam ashram

What to do in Kolli Hills:

* Trekking
* Nature Walk
* Rock Climbing
* Rappelling
* Bird watching
* cave exploration
* star gazing
* Camp fire
* Watching local folklore/Folk dance with campfire.
* Lord Murugan is supposed to have visited Kolli Hills and evidence is found at Belukurichi, 24 kilometres from Namakkal, in the route of Namakkal to Rasipuram via Muthugapatty and Sendamangalam.
* Arthanareeswarar Temple, Tiruchengodu is a Lord Arthanareeswarar Temple situated in Tiruchengodu, Which is 35 km from Namakkal.

Economy and Industries around Namakkal

* The economy of the district was primarily agricultural, but as on today it has changed its occupation to Lorries, Educational Institutions, Poultry Farms and real estate. So, Poultry, Lorry Transport and related businesses drive the economy of the town.

* Namakkal is famous for its Lorry body building industries and Poultry farms. It is India's 2nd biggest egg producing region (producing 3 crore eggs per day).

* A wide variety of crops are grown within the district. One of the main crop is Tapioca and due to that Namakkal is famous for Sago Factories (particularly Sellappampatty and Attur taluk around the place).

* Migration to other countries is very common in Namakkal and it started in the 1900s. The early migration was mainly to Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Now a days people are migrating to USA and UK also.

* It has been recorded several times to be the "number one" location in ATM tansactions in Tamil Nadu.[citation needed] Next to Coimbatore & Erode. Also it has the most number of crorepathis followed by Erode and Tirupur.


V. Ramalingam Pillai, more popularly known as Namakkal Kavignar (நாமக்கல் கவிஞர்), is a Tamil poet who hailed from Namakkal (born in 1888 in Mohanur). His poems on the non-violent Indian independence movement are popular. His famous patriotic poem is

கத்தி யின்றி ரத்த மின்றி
யுத்த மொன்று வருகுது
சத்தி யத்தின் நித்தி யத்தை
நம்பும் யாரும் சேருவீர்!....

Pottery and sculpture are promoted by way of traditional festivals and temple celebrations. Most villages in the district, like many other south Indian villages, have a temple to a guardian deity at the perimeter of the village. Aiyanar is the guardian deity of the village. Much artistic expression goes into sculpting the Aiyanar statues.

Two famous Carnatic musicians Pallavi vidwan Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar and his student Namakkal Sesha Iyengar hailed from this village. Narasimha Iyengar studied under Manambuchavadi Venkatasubbayyar of the Thyagaraja sishya parampara. His grooming of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar is now the stuff of legend. Namakkal Sesha Iyengar also trained V V Sadagopan, an actor, musicologist and musician. Namagirippettai Sri.Krishnan a great musician (Nagaswaram) was at Namagirippettai.
[edit] Recent developments

* AIDS epidemic and control
o A "Permanent Legal Aid Clinic" for Namakkal has been proposed by the Madras High Court Chief Justice to protect the rights of HIV/AIDS patients, especially women.[5]
* Namakkal, the zero-garbage eco-city
o Namakkal is one of the few Indian Municipalities which have been successful in running a zero garbage, eco-friendly urban waste management project for which visitors are coming to study.[6][7][8]
* Train/Railway Station for Namakkal
o Work is in progress on a new broad gauge railway line between Salem and Karur via Namakkal and Mohanur, as part of the Southern Railways network.[9] A rail bridge across the Kaveri River (Cauvery) is to connect Vangal in Karur District and Mohanur in Namakkal District.[10][11][12]

* Nearest Airport for Namakkal is Salem Airport
o The Commercial Flights from Salem Airport had started from 15 November 2009, by the Kingfisher Airlines from Salem to Chennai

Transport Hub

Namakkal is a major lorry and truck hub right from 1957 when A.Muthuswamy Chettiar established AMC Automobiles. Many conglomerates of trailers, tanker lorries are found in Namakkal.

Namakkal district has emerged as one of the transportation hubs of the TN State. About 40 per cent of the trucks operated in the State are from Namakkal and the district, noted for truck body building, has over 18,000 trucks, including 3,000 tankers and 2,500 trailers, with an annual addition of approximately 500 trucks.

Namakkal Driver Training Institute was the first of its kind and has served as a beacon to lead the way in the training of drivers.

Easily accessible from Erode, Salem and Trichy, and spread over 25 acres, the campus includes a driving range with every conceivable road configuration. A spacious building accommodates large classrooms, a library, a model room, a laboratory and a cafeteria with an open-air theatre attached.

The driving range consists of single-lane, two-lane, four-lane and six-lane roads, ‘S’ bend, ‘8’ bend and hairpin bend, humps and dips with varying gradients, speed breakers, bye-pass road, ‘Y’ junction, a variety of parking bays, basic and variable yards.

The roads come with electronic signals, signs, markings and streetlights for night driving – everything, in fact, that drivers will encounter on the highways.
[edit] Poultry Hub

NAMAKKAL, the major poultry producer of southern India, has been witnessing a positive change in the recent years. The district alone accounts for about 75 per cent of the birds produced in the Namakkal zone of the National Egg Coordination Committee. The poultry sector in the zone has grown by 19.53 per cent in the past two years. The total number of birds has gone up from 307.34 lakh in 2005-06 to 367.35 lakh in 2007-08. The zone produces about 2.5 crore eggs a day, with Namakkal contributing 1.75 crore of the total production. The labour-intensive sector provides direct employment to over one lakh people.