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Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore
Dharmapuri
Thanjavur
Dindigul
Sivaganga

Erode






 
Dindigul District
     
History

Dindigul district was carved out of the composite Madurai District on 15.9.85 and named after one of the illustrious son  of Tamil Nadu, Thiru.C.N. Annadurai who was affectionately called as Anna by one and all.                       
Dindigul, which was under the rule of the famous Muslim Monarch, Tippusultan, has a glorious past.  The historical Rock Fort of this district was constructed by the famous Naik King Muthukrishnappa Naicker.   It is located  between   10005”  and 100 9”  North Latitude and  77030” and 78020” East Longitude.                              
This district is bound by Erode, Coimbatore, Karur and Trichy districts on the North, by Sivaganga and Tiruchi District on the East, by Madurai district on the South and by Theni and Coimbatore Districts and Kerala State on the  West.  It is spread over on area of 6266.64 Sq. Km.  It comprises of 3 Revenue Divisions, 7 Taluks and 14 Panchayat Unions, According to 2001 Census, its population is 19,18,960.                          

For a long time, Dindigul town has been associated with Iron locks, Iron safe of good  quality and durability.  A lock manufacturing unit under co-operative sector is functioning here.  Another industry for which Dindigul is noted is Leather Training.  The widely known “Angu Vilas scented Tobacco” and  “Roja Supari” are produced in this town and are being sent to various places in our State and outside.  It is flourishing industry gives employment to vide section of people.                          
This district is having a flourishing handloom industry at Chinnalapatti, which is located at 11 Kms away from Dindigul on the Madurai-Dindigul road.  Art –Silk sarees and sungudi.  Sarees Produced in Chinnalapatti are famous through out India.  More than 1000 families are engaged in this Industry.
Dindigul city which is an important wholesale market for Onion and Groundnut has the network of inter-district roads connecting Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruchi, Karur, Madurai and Sivaganga District. 
Educationally, Dindigul is a well developed and popular city.  It has got many High and Higher Secondary Schools to its credit.  St.Marry’s Higher Secondary School, a well disciplined Institution is one of the oldest institutions in this city.  This district has the credit of having two Universities, viz, Mother Theresa University for Women at Kodaikanal and Gandhigram Rural Deemed University at Gandhigram. Also a number of Engineering Colleges, Arts & Science Colleges, Politechnics, ITIs are available through-out the district.
This district is privileged to have one of the “Six Celebrated Hill Abodes of  “Lord Muruga” at Palani Hills, where the famous Dhandayuthapani Temple is situated on the hilly rock at a height of about 450 mts.
Thousands of pilgrims come down to this holy temple every day particularly during festival days, like “Thaipoosam, Adi-kiruthigai, Panguni Uthiram, Sura-samharam, Vaikasi-visagam and monthly Karthigai".    Provision of three Electric Winches, the first of its kind in India is unique feature of this temple.  It facilitates the aged, children and the disabled to reach the temple in 8 minutes.  The income of the temple, which is the Largest in the State, is growing year by year.                       
Besides this famous Murugan Temple, there is also another Murugan temple at Thirumalaikeni, 25 Km.  away from Dindigul town which is becoming a growing pilgrim centre.  Abirami Amman  temple in Dindigul town and Raja Kaliamman  Temple at Thethupatti 20 Km. away from Dindigul are the other important Temples  which attract several thousand pilgrims.                       
Kodaikkanal, a  popular Summer Resort, located at an altitude of 2133 meters in the Western Ghats is the “Princess of Hill  Stations”.   A notable feature of this Hillock is “Kurunji” flowers blooming once in 12 years . Next blooming in the year 2006.   It is also famous for potato cultivation.                        
Peranai  and Sirumalai  are the two fine picnic spots of this district. There are four dams viz, Palar Porundalar, Varathamanathi, , Parappalar in Palani Taluk and Maruthanathi  in Dindigul Taluk  augment irrigation facilities to agricultural fields in this district. Nilakkottai town is famous for Brass Vessels and Jewellery.  Nilakkottai Taluk is famous for the growing and marketing of flowers and Grapes. Oddanchatram is a noted market centre for vegetables. It is also famous for the export of Butter, manufactured in the nearby villages using cream separators.  Batlagundu is an important market centre for Tomato.  Pattiveeranpatti in Vathalagundu Block is famous for Cardamom and Coffee curing enterprises.

Places of Interest in Dindigul District

Dindigul - Fort

The Huge Hill at Dindigul, if we see it from one angle, looks like Pillow ('Dhindu') and hence the City is known as Dindigul. On this at a height of 280 ft. In the year 1605 Madurai King 'Muthu Krishna Naicker' started the construction of this Fort. In 1623 to 1659 Mannar Thirumalai Naicker completed this. In 1755 Hyder Ali was escorting Fakhr-Un-Nisha his wife and Five years old Tipu to Dindigul. From 1784 to 1790 the Fort was under the rule of 'Tipu Sultan'. In 1784, the Tipu's commandant Syed Ibrahim, under whose care the Fort was, constructed many rooms in the Fort, strenthend the walls and also got repaired. During the year 1790 in the Mysore war Tipu was defeated and the Fort came into the hands of English. 

Begambur Big Mosque

During the rule of Hyder Ali at Dindigul, he constructed three Mosques - One for himself for Namaz, 2nd for his soldiers underneath Rock Fort and 3rd in the south of Rock Fort for public and gave more grants for the maintenance and upkeep of the same. In Hijri 1187 (1766AD) Ameer-un-Nisha Begum, the wife of Killedar MirRiza Ali khan and the younger sister of Hyder Ali Bahadur, was dead and buried in the Begambur Mosque compound itself. A Tomb was constructed on it. In memory of the Royal lady this part of Dindigul is known as Begambur. 

Sirumalai - Hill Resort

This is on the way to Natham from Dindigul. This can be reached from Madurai also.

Thadikombu - Perumal Temple

This is 5 Km. from Dindigul on the way to Karur. During Chitra Month, Lord Alagar will have 12 days of special Pooja. During Full moon day of the month Lord Alagar will be on procession of Ethir Servai.

Sri Kottai Mariamman Kovil

This Temple is more than 200 years old. The Mariamman idol is said to be installed by the army men of Tippu Sultan at the fort of the mountain. Hence it is called Kottai (Fort) Mariamman temple. The temple is constructed in the shape of a square. There is a temple for Vetri Vinayaka at the South & Lord Muruga at the North of this temple. There is a Mandapam (Hall) in the centre of the ground in which there is a sculpture of a Lion facing the Sannidhi. The Sanctum Sanctorum is small & square shaped. The deity consecrated (Moolavar) is seen here, embedded deeply under the floor.
Here are several sculpture on the sniper structure over the Sanctum Sanctorum, depicting various incarnations of the goddess Mariamman. All the four sides, various scenes showing the destroying of monster by the goddess are seen. On the eastern side over the Amman Sannidhi is a temple for Vinayaka, and on western side a temple for Madurai Veeran. On the front side of Sannidhithe Navagraha idols are installed. On the back side of the temple, there is an idol of Kaalhi & another one for Dhurga. The temple is situated in such a large are a as 2 acres. The golden shield will adorn the deity on every day between 5 PM to 9 PM. The temple is run by a board of Trustees.

Dindigul - Abirami amman Temple

This is located in the centre of the city. During Navarathri Goddess Abirami will be on Kolu. There will be One Lakh Archana to the Goddess Gnamambikal.  During the Fridays of Adi month there will be a Procession of Goddess Abirami on a flower Pallak.

Dindigul - St.Joseph Church (100 years old)

This Church was Constructed Since 1866 to 1872 by British. This is the Head Church of all other Roman Catholic Churches in Dindigul District. 

Nadupatti - Anjaneyar Temple

This is located in Nilakottai Taluk. 35 Kms from Dindigul. This can be reached from Madurai also. This Temple is near river side. Most of the time the statue will be in water.

HISTORY OF PALANI

Palani Hill Temple and the Idol "Lord Murugan" is the deity of the Tamil Land. Palani (Tiru Avinankudi) is the third Padai Veedu. The temple at Palani is an ancient one, situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. It is a charming campus from where one can take a look at the Idumban Hill, the Kodaikanal Hills, the Western Ghats, the greenery of the paddy fields, rivers, tanks, Palani town and the colleges. On a lovely, clear and mist-free day, the Kurinci Andavar Temple is visible from here against the bright Sun. In daytime, Palani is Hill Beautiful; at night, it is Hill Resplendent.
The deity of Palani is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashana. The deity is in a standing position with a baton in his hand. He has the look of a person who has renounced all worldly pomp. He has just a loincloth besides the baton. He is a mute messenger of the great precept 'Renounce all to reach Me'. The icon is unique in the whole world. It was made by siddha Bhogar by combining nine poisonous substances (navabashana). Murugan signifies beauty and Lord Murugan of Kurinji land is the god of Beauty and Youth.
Palani has been mentioned in the Tamil Sangam Literature as "Podhini", which came to be called as "Palani" later, according to the historions. In "Thirumurukatruppadai" ( a Sangam Literature ) Palani has been mentioned as the 3rd "PadaiVeedu". This was the southern end of the Kongu Nadu and edicts refer to this place as "Vaiyapuri Nadu" , which was ruled by king "Vaiyapuri Kopperumbaegan". Many "Siddhas" are said to have lived in this region. The idol of Palani Andavar is said to have been made of "Navapashanam" ( a combination of Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsingh, Silasat), by a siddhar called Bhogar. It is also claimed by many that the materials of abhishegam like milk, sandalpaste, etc., attain medicinal properties on being poured over Lord Palaniandavar’s idol and they have cured many diseases, when taken by the patients. It is a speciality of Palani.

Height of the Hill Temple         : 150 M
Total no. of Steps                    : 693
Direction the Temple                                : Towards WEST 
Pragaram around the Hill (Giriveethi) :        2.4 KM

FESTIVALS

Every year, there are many minor festivals and a few major festivals are conducted at Palani. Agni Nakshatram, Kandhar Shasti, Thirukkarthigai, Thai Poosam and Panguni Uthiram are the major festivals, which are attended by pilgrims from Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and other states. This attendance of devotees indicates the National integration of the country.

CHITRA POURNAMI

On this day, a ten-day festival is conducted at Arulmigu Lakshminarayana perumal temple. At the Periyanayakiamman Temple also, Lord Muthukumara Swamy, along with Valli and Deivanai, rides in the silver car along the streets around the Temple.

AGNI NAKSHATRAM

This is one of the important festivals at Palani. During the last 7 days of Chitrai and the first 7 days of the following month(i.e.Vaikasi) the devotees of Lord Muruga go around the Hill by foot, early in the mornings. As per the Palani mythology, it is considered holy to worship the Hill temple from afar or from near or go around it. It is also called Girivalam. It is an age old practice. In ancient days the siddhas, rishis, saints and other noble persons followed this practice. Girivalam gives mental peace, the medicinal herbs around the hillock cure many physical diseases. Nowadays people go around the temple by wearing Kadamba Flower

VAIKASI FESTIVAL (VISAKAM)

This is celebrated for ten days. At the Perianayaki amman temple, it is celebrated for 10 days with procession every day. There is car festival on the 10th day(i.e Visakam). Visakam is Lord Muruga’s birthday star. This is celebrated at all Murugan Temples. At Thiruchendur also this is observed in a grand manner.

AANI-ANNABHISHEKAM

During the Tamil month of Aani(3rd month of the Tamil year) Annabhishekam (abhishekam with fragrant cooked rice) is conducted at Thiruvavinankudi Temple, Hill Temple, Periyanayagi Amman temple and Periyavudaiyar Temple. On Aani Uthiram Day, abhisekam is performed to Lord Nataraja and a procession is conducted with the Lord in the Company of the icons of the four Tamil Saints.

FESTIVALS IN AADI

1. Aadi Perukku: From Perianayaki amman Temple, Lord Kailasanathar and Amman go to Periyavudaiyar Koil and after performing "Kannimar Pooja" return in a procession .

2. Aadi Krithigai: This is celebrated in a grand way at Palani. Devotees carry flower-Kavadi to Lord Muruga and Worship.

3. Aadi Amavasai: On this day many devotees offer ‘tonsure’ on the banks of Shanmuga River and climb the Hill for worship. In the book of Palani mythology this has been mentioned in the chapter on ‘Shanmuga Nadi’. Devotees consider that they get cleansed of their sins once they bathe in the Shanmuga River.

4. Aadi Laksharchana: At Periyanayaki Amman Temple, this is conducted well , and Amman (Goddess Periyanayaki) is given special abhishekam and decoration . On the last day of the function, Amman is adorned with the "Golden Kavacham".


KANDHAR SHASTI (SOORA SAMHARAM)

This is a very important festival at Palani, during the 6 days in the month of Aippasi (7th Tamil month). This is based on the mythological story of Lord Muruga Killing the demons. On this day only (once in a year) the Lord comes down the Hill, and after vanquishing the demons, ascends the Hill again. This is associated with Kandhar Shasti. The four demons (Gajamugan, Tharagan, Singamugan and Surapadman) are won by the Lord. It is a grand sight to see the dramatic representation of this. On this day devotees observe total fasting as they consider that this will offset all their sins.

THIRUKKARTHIGAI

From Thirugnanasambandar’s statement "Ancient Karthigai day", we known about the age-old practice of this festival. It falls on Karthigai Day in the Tamil month of Karthigai. It is celebrated for 10 days and daily "Chinna Kumarar" goes in procession in the small golden carriage. On Karthigai day, he goes in the Golden Car. On the 10th day, woman devotees light lamps and worship Murugan. This is done in Thiruvavinankudi, Periyanayagi Amman Temple and the Hill Temple.This is a very important day for devotees. Every month also, an Karthigai day, devotees visit Palani.

MARKAZHI POOJA

During the Tamil month of Markazhi (9th month) the Hill Temple opens at 3 A.M, and recital of Thiruvembavai is done. The early morning Pooja is done in all the main Temples in Palani. The recital of Thiruppavai is done at Perumal temple.



THAI POOSAM


This is a very important festival , associated with pilgrimage to Palani. Devotees from Tamil Nadu reach Palani by foot (Pada Yathra) and worship. Begining with flag-hosting at Perianayagiamman Temple, this festival runs on for 10 days. Kavadi of various types (with holy water, sugar, flowers, tender co-conuts, etc., ) are offered to Murugan at Palani.
On the 6th day, there is procession of Lord Muruga with Valli and Deivanai in the Silver Car. During this, Kavadi dance and rural musical-dance are performed. On the 7 th day there is "Thai Thaer" (wooden Car) and thousands of devotees participate in this. On the 7th day "Chinna Kumarar" goes round in His Golden Car.



PANGUNI UTHIRAM

This also is a very important festival here, and is celebrated for 10 days, devotees carry Kavadies with holy water (from sacred rivers), sugar, tender co-conut etc. During these 10 days, we can see various rural dances like "Oyilattam, Thappattam, Dhidumattam,Velanattam, Samiyattam"etc., along with rural songs. The rural music is an important part of Paunguni uthiram festival.
The main feature of Panguni Uthiram is the offering of "Theertham" (Posts of Holy water) from Kodumudi. Lord Palaniandavar is given abhishekam with this holy water. The devotees carrying Kavadi to Palani sing Kavadi - songs throughout their ‘Padayathra’ and these songs are ancient oral songs.
On the 1st day, there is flag hoisting at Thiruvavinankugi Temple and on all the 10 days Lord Muthukumara Swamy with Sri Valli and Sri Deivanai goes in procession around the Palani Hill. On the 7th day there is "Car Festival" and this is attended by thousands of devotees. During these days the Lord also is given special reception and pooja at many ‘mandapams’ in the Palani Adivaram area. It is a grand sight to see Lord Muruga with his concerts during these processions.


Other Festivals

Other festivals of importance are the 10-day Vaikaci Vicâkam, with the car festival on the Vicâkam day, the Tiru Kârttikai, Thai Âmâvasai, Tamil New Year's day and festival of the Cauvery on 18th Âdi. Throughout the Tamil month of Margazhi (mid December to mid January) the Tiruppalli Ezhuchi is celebrated with temples opening at 4 a.m. for special services.
The Devasthânam issues a festival calendar every year and a separate programme folder for each festival


Aarupadai Veedu

The poet Nakeerar of the Sangam Age sang many songs in praise of the Lord, among them the well known composition Tirumurugartrupadai which describes the six most important abodes of Lord Muruga (Aarupadai Veedu). They are:
   1. Tirupparunkunram
   2. Tiruchendur
   3. Palani
   4. Swamimalai
   5. Tiruttani and
   6. Palamuthircholai.

 

KODAIKKANAL - A Beautiful Hill Resort

With its temperate,  climate and an average of 12 hours sun every day, Kodaikkanal  is one of the most popular hill resorts in India.   The splendor of the summer day is never so gorgeous as in Kodaikkanal.   It is a lovely hill resort on the Palani hills in the Dindigul district of TamilNadu.    With its rocks,  woods and woodland ways, lovely lake and bracing air,  Kodaikkanal is an ideal hill resort for the tourists. The Kodaikkanal Observatory, surmounting  the hill  is one of the most important and the only one of its kind institutions in India for the study of meteorology, solar physics and allied subjects.
Area  21 . 45 Sq. Kms
Population  32,931 ( 2001Censes)
Altitude 2133 meters above sea  level
Heavy rain  Season between October and  December.
Clothing  Light  woolens  in  the  evening during Summer  and  heavy  woolens  during  winter.
Language  Spoken  Tamil  and  English.
Season  April  to  June  and  September  to  October.
But   visited  throughout   the  year.
Summer  Festival  Celebrated  in  the month of May every  year.  Flower  show  also  held during the  Summer  Festival.

IMPORTANT  PLACES OF  INTEREST

1.    LAKE 

The  24  -  hectare  lake  skirted  by  a 5km  long  block for  road,  is  the  focal  point  of  Kodai. This lake was  created  in 1863  by  Sir  Vere  Henry  Levinge   (1819 - 1885) who  was   previously  the  Collector  of  Madurai,  who  retired  and  settled  in  Kodai.  He  constructed  the  bund  to  form  a  lake  and  stocked  the  lake  with  fish.  He  brought  the  first  boat  from  Tuticorin.  In  1890,  a  boat  club  was  formed  and  members  of  the  club  set sail.  In  1910  a  new  boat  house  was   constructed.  The boat  service  was  opened  to  the  public  and  tourists  as  well  in  1932.


2.   BRYANT  PARK

This  park  is  situate d on the  eastern  side  of  the lake.   It  is  noted  for  its  flowers,  hybrids   and  grafts.    Cut flowers   are  exported  from here.  A  glass house  which shelters  fine  varieties   of  flowers  can be seen here.   The  Flower  Show is conducted  every year  during  May,  as  part  of  the Summer  Festival, should be  seen everyone.


3.  SOLAR  PHYSICAL  OBSERVATORY

It is  situated  32  Kms  from  the  lake.   This  Observatory  was  founded  in  1989.  Located  at  on  elevation  of  2343  metres, this  observatory   is  the highest  point  in  Kodai.   Visitors  can  observe  the  stars and  the  planets.   Check   out  visiting  hours  and  make a  prior  appointment.


4.  COAKER'S   WALK

The  hill-edged  pathway  was  identified  by  Er. Cooker  in  1872.  About a Kilo metre  from  the  lake.  Coaker's walk runs  along a  steep  slope  on  the southern side  of  Kodai.   It  offers  some  of  the  best  views  of  the  plains.  Entry fee is Collected  here.


5.   THE  PILLAR  ROCKS

Three  boulders  stand  here,  shoulder to  shoulder,  vertically  measuring  122  meters ,  providing a  majestic  sight Pillar  Rocks  is  7.4 KMs  from the lake.  It  has  a  mini  garden  with  lovely  flowers.


6.  SILVER  CASCADE

It  is 8 KMs  Kodai  lake.   The   overflow  of  Kodai  lake  comes  down  here  as   a  180 feet  high  waterfall. Those  interested  can  have  a  bath   here.


7. KURINJI  POO (FLOWER) DETAILS


It   is  flowering   once  in  12  years.   Last  flowered  year  - 1992.   During that  period the honey of this place  is  more  and  good  for  health.


8.  KURINJI ANDAVAR TEMPLE

The temple, situated  3  Kms  from  the  lake, is  a  famous  shrine  dedicated  to  Lord  Murugan.  This  temple  is associated  with  the  Kurinji  flowers    which  blooms once  in  12  years.  Next Blooming year is 2006. Kurinji  also  means  hill  region  in Tamil  literature,  and  'Andavar'  means  God. Hence  Lord Muruga is  referred to as  the God of the Hill  here. From  this  temple  one  can have  a  pleasant    view   of  Palani  and Vaigai  dam.


9.  TELESCOPE  HOUSE


The  Telescope  house at  Coaker's  Walk  was  constructed  to enable  visitors  to  have  a   panoramic  view  of  the  valley   and  nearby  towns.   A   fee  is  collected  to use  the telescope .


10. GREEN  VALLEY  VIEW

It  is  about  5 .5 Kms  from  the  lake  and  very  near  the  Golf  Club.  This  point   commands  a  beautiful  view  of  the  entire  Vaigai  dam.  As  the  Valley  here  is  very   deep,  dense  and  dangerous.    This  place  was  once   known  as  "suicide  point".


11.  MOER  POINT

Moer  Point  provides  a  lovely  view  of  the  valley.  It is  just  3 KMs  from  the  Pillar Rock - Berijam  Lake  Road.


12.  SILENT  VALLEY  VIEW


Just a little  away from  the  Pillar  Rock  -   Berijam  Lake Road,  is  Silent Valley  View  which provides   a  breathtaking  view  of  Silent  Valley.  Children  are carefully.


13.  BERIJAM LAKE VIEW


This place provides  a  panoramic  landscape   view  of  Berijam  Lake  and   is  located  just  before  one  reaches  the lake .   This  viewpoint  is  19  KMs from  Kodaikkanal  Lake .


14.  FAIRY FALLS

A delightful picnic spot just 5 KMs away from the Kodaikkanal Lake. There is a wondrous waterfall here. 


15 .  CHETTIAR  PARK

Tucked  away  in the  northeastern  corner  of  the  town , on  the  way  to Kurinji  Andavar  Temple,  the  Chettiar  Park  is  a  charming  place  to stop  by .  


16.  SHENBAGANUR  MUSEUM

The  museum is  maintained  by the  Sacred  Heart  College - a  Theological   Seminary   founded  in  1895.  It  is  devoted  to  preserving  certain  archaeological remains  and  the  flora and  fauna  of  the  hills,  One  of  the  best  Orchidarinams  in the country,  over  300  species  of  exotic  orchids  are  housed  here.   It  is  about  5.6 KMs   from the  lake.  Father  Ugarthe,  a  Spaniard  contributed   his  many  private  collections  to  the  Museum.   Entrance  fee  is  Rs.1/- per  head  .   Visiting  hours - 10 am to  11.30  a.m  and  3 pm.  to  5  p.m.


 





 
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