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Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore
Dharmapuri
Thanjavur
Dindigul
Sivaganga

Erode






 
Dharmapuri District
     
Dharmapuri district, which came into existence from 2.10.1965 is situated in the North western Corner of Tamil Nadu and is bounded by Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram Districts on the east, Salem District on the South, Krishnagiri District on the north and Kaveri river on the west. It is located between latitudes N 11 47’ and 11 57’ and longitudes E 78 02’ and 78 40’. The total geographical area of Dharmapuri District is 4497.77 Sq Kms,  i.e. 3.46% of Tamil Nadu. National Child Labour Protection (NCLP) is undertaken in this district.

HISTORY

The earliest known chieftain who ruled Tagadur (present Dharmapuri) during the Sangam era, is Adigaman Naduman Anji, whose patronage sustained the famous poetess Avvaiyar. The next we hear in the 8th century when the northern parts of Salem District were probably under the Pallavas regime. Subsequently, we hear of the Ganga Pallavas having sway over the Western parts of the Salem District. The Western Gangas are also mentioned as having ruled Baramahal during the end of the 8th century.
In the beginning of the 9th Century, the Rashtrakutas gained power and influenced the history of the district for the next two centuries. During the period, the Cholas also rose to power in the south and Aditya-I conquered the Kongunadu in 894 A.D. During 949-950 A.D., the Cholas suffered a defeat from the Rastrakuttas whose decline started later after the death of their king Krishna-III. Subsequently, the entire area in Salem District came under the rule of the Cholas. The Gangavadi was then annexed to the Chola territory and placed in charge of an Adigaman Tagadur. The 12th century witnessed the decline of the Chola empire when the Hoysalas rose to power and routed the Cholas from Gangavadi. They are said to have captured Kolar, sacked Kotayur and over ran the western parts of Kongunadu. The Baramahal and Talaget areas apparently still remained with the Cholas. But the Adigaman seems to have practically become free and owed only nominal allegiance to the Cholas. Soundrapandia-I assisted the Yadavas in driving out the Hoysala king, Vira Someswara from the Chola territory.
The history of the 13th Century revolve itself between the Hoysalas and the Pandyas. This portion may be added after when they were attacked from the North by the Yadavas, the Hoysalas retreated towards the South in Kongunadu. It is known that Jatavarman Soundrapandian-I assisted the Yadavas in driving out the Hoysalas king, Vira Someswara, from the Chola territory. But it is doubtful whether he made himself master of the Talaghat area as there are records to show that Vira Someswara's son Vira Ramanatha later ruled the whole of Salem District and the Pandiyas were then eclipsed by the Mohammadan emissaries of the Delhi Sultanate.
The rise of Vijayanagar kingdom was seen in the 14th century. In 1365-66 A.D., Bukka-I turned his attention towards the south to overthrow the Mohammedan Sultanate of Madurai. One of these campaigns must have brought Salem District under the Vijayanagar kings. They ruled these parts till 1565 A.D when the glory of the Vijayanagar king was laid in dust by the combined armies of the Deccan Sultans on the field at Talikota Hosur Denkanikota. While Jagaderea Raya of Chennapatna ruled the Baramahal along with Mysore. Meanwhile the ascendancy of the Madurai Nayakas reached its zenith during the time of Tirumala Nayak who came to power in 1623 A.D. and this tract was placed in charge of Poligars owing allegiance to him. Ramachandra Nayaka, one of his poligars was incharge of Talaimalai a hill overlooking the Cauvery in the south Namakkal taluk. The Namakkal Fort is said to have been built by them. The Gathi Mudaliars were incharge of the most dangerously exposed province of the Nayak Kingdom with Kaveripuram on the right bank of the Cauvery as their strategic capital commencing one of the principal passes to the Mysore plateau. The centre of then power seems, however to have been Taramangalam where they built a grand edifice of a temple. It is said that their domination extended as far as Talaivasal to the east, Dharapuram in Coimbatore District in the south. The forts of greatest strategic importance held by the Gathi Mudaliars were Omalur and Attur.
Several places in Coimbatore were taken by Kantirave Narasa Raja of Srirangapatinam from Gathi Mudaliars in 1611 A.D. After 11 years, he seized Baramahal including Viralahadradurg, Pennagaram, Dharmapuri and Denkanikotta in 1654 A.D., he took over Hosur from Chandra Sankar Dodda Devaraju the king of Mysore wrested Omalur from the Gathi Mudaliars and thus erased them out of political scene. The aggression of Marattas, however checked the power of the Mysore Kings. For a time Baramahal and Talaghat passed into the hands of Marattas. In 1688-89 A.D., Chikka Deva Raya king of Mysore felt strong enough once again to invade Baramahal and wrested Dharmapuri, Manukonda, Omalur Paramathi, Kaveripatinam and Attur were also retrieved by Chika Deva Raya and the whole district of Salem came under his control before his death in 1704 A.D. Meanwhile Abdul Nabikhan of Nawab of Cuddapah extended his possession towards South and by 1714 A.D., he made himself master of the Baramahal.
By about 1750 A.D., Hyder Ali was in power in Mysore Baramahal came under his sway in 1760 A.D. By 1767 A.D., the British Government at Madras planned an attack on Hyder Ali and seized Kaveripattinam without serious opposition. Krishnagiri was then besieged. Meanwhile, reinforcement was brought by Hyder Ali and they drove away the British. Thus, Kaveripattinam was recaptured. Some months later the British made another invasion on the Baramahal. Further, South Dharmapuri, Salem, Attur, Sendamangalam and Namakkal were surrendered to the British without serious difficulties. The victory, however, was shortlived because Hyder Ali soon recaptured Dharmapuri, Denkanikota, Omalur, Salem and Namakkal. During the period of second Mysore war, Salem District was in the hands of Hyder Ali.
Tippu Sultan succeeded Hyder Ali and proved to be a formidable power. The British made an alliance with the Marattas and the Nizam and started the third Mysore war in 1790 A.D., in order to curb the power of Tippu Sultan. A wing of the British forces stationed itself fully reinforced at Kaveripattinam. Even though Tippu Sultan rushed to this spot with his full force, he could not dislodge the British. A number of alternations took place between the commanding forces in the Baramahal area. In 1791, Hosur, Anjetti, Nilgiri and Ratnagiri came under the British Royakotta and many other small forts fell without much resistance. In 1791 Tippu sent a force from the South along the Tippu pass. In the battle at Pennagaram they surrendered to the British. In 1792 A.D., a peace treaty was signed between Tippu and English. According to this, a half of the dominion of Tippu was taken away. The whole of Salem District except the Balaghat and a portion of Hosur came into the hands of the British. The first British Collector had is headquarters at Krishnagiri on strategic consideration.
The last Mysore war in 1799 added up several places in Hosur Taluk like Nilgiri, Anjetti, Durgam, Ratnagiri and Kelamangalam which were recaptured by British. After the fall of Srirangapattinam in which Tippu Sultan lost his life the Balaghat area was also added to Salem District. The present Dharmapuri District was then the part of the Salem District. The British on their victory over Tippu had control over this area since 1792 A.D. During the British rule in the country and even till 1947 there was no separate district except Dharmapuri as one of the taluks of Salem District. This was formed as a separate district in 1965 with it headquarters at Dharmapuri.



Eminent Personalities

C. Rajagopalachari

(10.12.1878 to 25.12.1972)
A leader gifted with amazing intellectual brilliance, a multifaceted personality, popularly known as ‘Rajaji’ was born in Thorapalli, an interior village near Hosur in Dharmapuri district.  He held the position of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the pre and post Independent periods.  He had the distinction of being the first Indian to occupy the position of Viceroy and he was also the last Governor General of India.  An eloquent speaker and a great writer his works are cherished even today.  From the presidentship of Salem town municipality to the Governor General of India, he bestowed luster on the positions he held.

Subramanya Siva

(04.10.1884 to 23.07.1925)
The relentless freedom fighter and heroic patriot Subramanya Siva chose Papparapatti village in Pennagaram taluk as the center of activities during his last years of life.  He came to Papparapatti in 1921.  Though his efforts to establish a Bharatashram at Papparapatti did not materialize, the land donated to him for this purpose is still used for public purposes and has in it the samadhi of Subramanya Siva.  Despite his illness and the severe restrictions imposed on him by the British government,  he did a lot in enlightening the people in political matters and introducing order in their public life. Through his dramas and bhajans, he sought to bring about consciousness among the people of their rich tradition and culture. He was the author of the journal Jnanabhanu. The books Ramanuja Vijayam and Madhya vijayam were written by him.


Language and Culture

The inhabitants of the district speak different  languages.  The Balaghat area consisting of Hosur and North Western  portion of   Krishnagiri taluk is a multi-lingual area where Tamil, Kanarese, Telugu and Hindi speaking people are living.

The predominant communities  found in  this  area are the  Kapus, Lingayaths, Okkaligas, Baliya Chetties, Oddars and Scheduled Castes like Holeyas and  Madigas.

The weavers of this area mostly belong to Sali Chetties. 

The Baramahal  area comprising eastern part of the Krishnagiri, Hosur and  Dharmapuri taluks constitutes Telugu and Tamil speaking communities  majority of whom belong to Vanniars, Kongu Vellalas and Gollas.  Telugu  Chettiars Okkaligas and Senaikudyars.

The Malayali tribe is inhabited in the Chitheri Hills areas.   Among the Scheduled Caste population Adi-Dravidars and Arunthathiars  form major share who scattered throughout the district.


Monuments and Memorials

 

Adhiyamankottam

The capital of Adhiyamans, ancient rulers of Tagadur, was Adhiyamankottam which is situated on the Salem-Dharmapuri road at a distance of 7 Km from Dharmapuri. The ruins of the roughly oval shaped fort is still there. The Chenraya Perumal temple is the biggest of the lot which is held as a protected monument which is believed to have been constructed both by the King Krishna Deva Raya and Hoysala Kings.  There is a mandapam which leads to the sanctum sanctorium.  There are   paintings in the ceiling depicting scenes from the Mahabaratham,  Viswarupa dharshan of Lord Krishna and some scenes from Ramayana and is still pleasing to the eye.  All the paintings are belonging to 13 century.

Rajaji Memorial -Thorapalli

In memory of the great leader Rajaji, the Tamil Nadu Government has converted the house in Thorapalli where Rajaji was born, as a memorial.  It is located 10 Km from Hosur near Onnalvadi.  Some of his belongings and a photo gallery depicting his various walks of life are displayed  here.

Subramanya Siva Memorial –Papparapatti

A monument built in memory of the great patriot Subramanya Siva in his samadhi near Papparapatti, Pennagaram Taluk.

Rayakottah

Rayakottah, a hill fort, situated at a distance of 30 Km from Hosur marks the border of the Palghat plateau.  Even after the Mysore wars, for the British it was a strategic place where their troops were stationed till 1861.  The ramparts and the bastions of the fort are more or less intact.  The fort is a protected monument.
 Tourist Places

Hogenakal Falls

Hogenakal is situated at the borders of Karnataka at 46 kms from Dharmapuri. In Hogenakal the  river Cauvery enters into Tamil Nadu as a big river with gushing water    presentably as a natural falls.  The name Hogenakal is derived from Kannada means 'Smoky Rocks'.  The river when falls on the rock below, the gushing force of water resembles like smoke  emanating from the rocks.  At Hogenakal the water spreads for miles around and on these waters cruising on country made dinghies (PARISAL) is possible.  Parisal ride will give an enthralling experience. Surrounding by hills at various heights Hogenakal offers the visitors a different ambience and refreshing relaxations. One could also take bath in the falls.  Oil massaging by local people is a different experience.  As the river flows throughout the year Hogenakal can be visited all days through the year.  There are enough transport facility available from Dharmapuri & Krishnagiri.

Krishnagiri Dam (KRP Dam)

Krishnagiri dam is situated at a distance of 7 Kms from Krishnagiri. It is in between Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Thousands of acres of land around Krishnagiri is irrigated  with the help of this dam. This is a famous tourist spot too. This dam is flooded with tourists during the week ends.

Theerthamalai

Theerthamalai   is an   important   scacred place in Harur taluk of Dharmapuri District.  Shri Theerthagirishwarar Temple is located at the top of a hillock.   Chola   and   Vijayanagara   Kings donated liberally to this temple. A lot of devotees throng the temple during the Mahashivarathiri. The Department of Tourism has a Guest Houses for the benefit of the devotees. Theerthamalai is declared as an important tourist spot in Dharmapuri District.

Thally

This is 25 Kms from Hosur situated near the Karnataka state. The area is covered by a number of hills. The climate is chill round the year. It is called Little England. The taluk headquarters is Denkanikottai. The fort at Denkanikottai is built by   Palayakarar   in   1530   AD. The fort is destroyed during war with Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan. There is a temple for Venugopala Swami.   Car festival  is held during the month of   May   every year. Thousands of devotees visit during this festival.

Hanumanthathirtham

This place is situated on the bank of Pennaiyar at a distance of 10 Km from Uthangarai and traditionally associated with Tirtamalai.  It is believed that Hanuman who was instructed by Lord Rama to get the water from the Ganges for his penance at Tirtamalai which he could not do it in time.  So Rama was said to have done Asthrapryogam and got it.  Disapponted at this,  Hanuman was said to have thrown down the vessel in which he brought the holy water and this spilled water is believed to be the ‘Hanumantirtham’.  The water is considered sacred and during the Tamil month of Aadi (July-August) people frequent this spot.

 

Horticulture

Dharmapuri district forms a major horticultural belt in the state. As the area is drought – prone it has become essential to switch over to cultivation of drought tolerant perennial fruit crops in this district.
Mango is the main horticulture crop of this District. It has the highest area under the fruit crops . The district accounts for nearly one-third area under mango and nearly one-half of the mango yield in the state. Almost all types of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in Dharmapuri District. Dharmapuri District is very famous for mango.  Nearly 80% of the products are of Thottapuri variety (Banglora) commonly referred as Kilimukku. The district has the 2nd highest area under tomato and accounts for 22% of the area in the state. Palacode is  the main area where tomato is cultivated. Chilli is cultivated mainly at Pennagaram.

 

Fisheries

Dharmapuri being an inland district , fishing is restricted to inland only here. Main varieties of fish available are katla, rogu, mirgal, common and corp.

 

Mineral Resources

 

Dharmapuri district is endowed with sizeable reserves of granite. High quality black granite is available in Pennagaram, Harur and Palacode blocks.
Quartz is available at  Kendiganapalli Village of Pennagaram Taluk, A.Velampatti of Harur taluk and Pethathampatti of Pappireddipatti Taluk.
Another High value mineral available here is Molybdenum, which is identified as a good conductor. It is available in Harur.


 





 
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