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Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore
Dharmapuri
Thanjavur
Dindigul
Sivaganga

Erode






 
Erode District
     
Introducion

Erode District lies on the extreme north of Tamil Nadu.  It is bounded mostly by Karnataka State and also River Palar covers pretty long distance.  To the East lies Namakkal and Karur Districts.  Dindigal District is its immediate neighbour to the South and on the West, it has Coimbatore and Nilgiri Districts, as its boundaries.  Thus Erode District is essentially a land-locked area having no sea-cost of its own.   Erode District situated at between 10 36” and 11 58”  North Latitude and   between 76 49” and 77 58”  East  Longitude.
The region comprised in the district can be portrayed as a long undulating plain gently sloping towards the river Cauvery in the south-east.  The three major tributaries of river Cauvery viz. Bhavani, Noyyal and Amaravathy drain the long stretch of mountains in the north.  A part of the eastern boundary of the district is formed by river Cauvery, entering the district from Salem and flowing in a southernly direction. 

Brief History of the District and its formation:

            

Erode District was a part of Coimbatore has its history intervened with that of Coimbatore and because of its close linkage with the erstwhile Coimbatore district.  It is very difficult to separately deal with the history of Erode region.  Together with the area comprised in the Coimbatore district, it formed part of the ancient Kongu country known as "Kongu Nadu" history of which dates back to the Sangam era.  It is found that in the early days, this area was occupied by tribes, most prominent among them being the "Kosars" reportedly having their headquarters at 'Kosamputhur' which is believed to have in due course become Coimbatore.  These tribes were overpowered by the Rashtrakutas from whom the region fell into the hands of the Cholas who ruled supreme during the time of Raja Chola.  On the decline of Cholas, the Kongunadu came to be occupied by the Chalukyas and later by the Pandyas and Hoysalas.  Due to internal dissension in the Pandian Kingdom, the Muslim rulers from Delhi interfered and thus the area fell into the hands of Madurai Sultanate. This region was later wrested by         Vijaya Nagar rulers after over throwing the Madurai Sultanate.  For a few years, the area remained under Vijaya Nagar rule and later under the independent control of Madurai Nayakas.  The rule of Muthu Veerappa Nayak and later that of Tirumalai Nayak were marked by internal strife and intermittent wars which ruined the Kingdom.  As a result of this, the Kongu region in which the present Erode District is situated, fell into the hands of the Mysore rulers from whom Hyder Ali took over the area.  Later, consequent of the fall of Tippu Sultlan of Mysore in 1799, the Kongu region came to be coded  to the East India Company by the Maharaja of Mysore who was restored to power by the company after defeating Tippu Sulltan.  From then, till 1947 when India attained independence, the area remained under British control who initiated systematic revenue administration in the area. 

  

Jurisdictional Changes:   

               

Erode District came into being as a result of the bifurcation of Coimbatore District, through the G.O.Ms.No.1917, Revenue dated 31.08.1979.  Bhavani, Dharapuram, Erode and Sathyamangalam taluks were included in Coimbatore district which had a composite  character, at the beginning of the century.  Of these, Sathyamangalam Taluk was renamed as Gobichettipalayam taluk retaining Sathyamangalam as a sub-taluk.  In 1975, Sathyamangalam sub-taluk was upgraded into a taluk.  In 1979 Perundurai Sub Taluk was upgraded into taluk and 1981 Kangayam  Sub Taluk was upgraded in;to taluk. These seven taluks were grouped together to constitute the new district of Erode.
Now Erode District consists of 7 taluks viz., Sathyamangalam, Bhavani, Gobichettipalayam, Perundurai, Erode, Kangayam and Dharapuram.  There are 5 Municipalities in the district viz., Sathyamangalam, Bhavani, Gobichettipalayam, Erode and Dharapuram.  There are 59 Town Panchayats and  3 Village Panchayats  declared as Census Town as per Census2001 and 539 Revenue  Villages.  There are 20 Community Development Blocks in the district.
 

   

Rivers:

                  

Bhavani, Cauvery, Amaravathy and Noyyal are the main rivers of the district.  Other significant rivers are Palar in the North, Vatamalaikarai odai and Uppar rivers in the south. Palar constitutes the boundary between Erode district and Karnataka State in the North.  The Bhavanisagar main canal along with the above mentioned rivers provide proper drainage and facilities for assured irrigation in the district.  Bhavani rises in the silent valley in Palghat ranges in the neighbouring State of Kerala after receiving Siruvani, a perennial stream of Coimbatore District and gets reinforced by the Kundah river before entering Erode District in Gobichettipalayam.
Bhavani is more or less a perennial river fed mostly by the South-West monsoon.  North-East monsoon also supplements its water resources.  This river runs for over hundred miles through Erode District traversing through Bhavani and Gobichettipalayam taluks.  It feeds the Bhavanisagar reservoir which takes an easterly course flowing through Gobichettipalayam,  Sathyamangalam and Bhavani taluks before it ultimately joins river Cauvery on the Salem borders.
Cauvery rising in the Coorg, is joined by many small tributaries.  It turns through Karnataka and at Hogenakal fall takes a sharp turn, east to south.  Before reaching this point, its main tributary, viz., river Kabini joins it.  From here it takes a south-easterly direction forming the boundary between Bhavani taluk of Erode District and Tiruchengode taluk of the neighbouring Namakkal District.  After river Bhavani flows into it, the south-easterly course is continued forming the boundary between Erode taluk of Erode District  and Tiruchengode taluk of Namakkal taluk.
Noyyal river is noted for its capricious nature.  This is fed mostly by the  South-West monsoon but the North-East monsoon brings freshes and this very often results in floods.  Inspite of its unpredictable character, the river helps to irrigate considerable areas in Palladam taluk of Coimbatore Distrtict and Dharapuram taluk of Erode District.   It has been recently in the news for the pollution of the river
River Amaravathy which rises in the Travancore region of Kerala enters Erode District from Udumalaippettai taluk in Coimbatore District.  The river flows through Dharapuram before it joins Cauvery in Karur District. The Amaravathy Bridge has been in the current news 

Industries and Trade: 

       

In the Industrial map of Tamil Nadu, Erode district has a place of unique importance with   40.32  percent of population depending on non-agricultural sector.  Industries and trade naturally occupy a place of prominence in the economy of the district.  Industries that flourished in early days in the area were handloom weaving, carpet manufacturing, cart manufacturing, oil-pressing, brass vessel manufacturing etc.  Though these industries flourished well in the early days, the advent of modern times changed the fate of some of these well established ancient industries.  Dharapuram which was noted for the manufacture of load carrying and passenger carts lost its importance due to the advent of modern means of transport of two wheelers viz. cycle, scooter, moped etc.  However, the industry still survives here and load carrying carts are still manufactured.  Similarly, Bhavani which was noted the world over for its very beautiful carpets, has shrunk into insignificance and the industry is almost non-existent now.  Bhavani, Erode and Gobichettipalayam contribute to occupy important place in the field of oil-pressing.  The industry which has been able to totally withstand the on slaught of modernisation has been the handloom weaving.  Erode, Chennimalai etc. still hold their way and the district is noted for its handloom products, which include cotton sarees, bed-spreads, towels, furnishing fabrics etc.  Two other important production centers are Bhavani and Jambai.
It is reported that more than 39212 power looms are functioning in Erode District.  There are 15 co-operative societies covering 3649   power looms.
The cotton textile industry in Coimbatore and handloom industry in Erode district have encouraged the growth of various ancillary industries to meet the needs of the textile mills.  Chennimalai, Erode, Gobichettipalayam etc., are important centres where cotton ginning is carried on a large scale.  There are also important dying works in Erode, Chennimalai and Bhavani.  A number of factories engaged in cotton fabric printing are functioning in Erode.
Rice milling is yet another industry which has been able to hold its own.  Erode, Bhavani ,Perundurai, Kangayam and Dharapuram are centers where a number of rice mills are flourishing.  These mills carry on lucrative  trade in the west coast.  A number of lorries carrying boiled rice ply between the centers and the delivery point in Kerala.  There are a number of leather tanneries in Erode and Dharapuram area.  Large quantities of leather are brought here for tanning and later exported to foreign countries.
The Government has also come forward to provide incentives to small enterprenuers.  Industrial estates have been set up at Erode and other places where full facilities are offered to small industrialists.  Small units have been set up here for the manufacture of steel furniture, nuller screen, etc.  There is also a unit at Erode for the manufacture of bolts and nuts and screws.
Both manufactured items as well as agriculture commodities are included in the trade items.  Major items of export from the District are handloom products, dairy products, raw cotton, rice etc.  While the items brought are mostly oil-seeds, coal etc.  A large number of lorries, carrying various items into and from the district ply day in and day out and no detailed statistics are available regarding the flow of trade from and to the district. 
 



Health: 


                 

Medical facilities are provided by the District Headquarters Hospital at Erode and taluk hospitals at each taluk headquarters.  Public health activities are guided and supervised by the District Health Officers Erode/Dharapuram and Joint Director of Medicals at Erode.  There is a Medical College at Perundurai run by the Road Transport Corporation.  There are 34 Primary Health Centres under the control of District Health Officer at Erode and 32 Primary Health Centres under the control of District Health Officer at Dharapuram.  These institutions provide succor to the suffering people.  95 Bed facilities are available in  12 Primary Health Centres  of Erode District. Dispensaries are available in  12 villages. 221 Primary Health Sub-centres under the control of District Health Officer at Erode and191 Primary Health Sub Centres under the control of District Health Officer at Dharapuram. 

Places of Historical, Religious and Archaeological importance:

           

There are nearly 487 temples in Erode District.  They are situated in four taluks, Bhavani, Gobichettipalayam, Erode and Dharapuram.  Of the 207 places recognised as padal petra sthalam, there are two temples found in Erode District viz., Bhavani and Kodumudi.

Bhavani Sangameswarar temple is located at the junction of two rivers, Bhavani and Cauvery, some 12 kilometres from Erode.  It is known as South Prayag and is having a Pagoda of 120 inch in height.  It is believed that Bhavani and Amudha (not visible now) join Cauvery at this junction (Mukkoodal), like Jamuna and Saraswathi (not visible) join with Ganges at Allahabad, Prayag).  It is said to have existed even before the days of the first Kind Mahendravarma of Pallava dynasty.  Thirugnanasambandar one of the four Tamil saints has sung in praise of this temple.  Poet Vasudevan also gives the history of the temple in 'Bhavani Kudal Puranam' written in Sanskrit.

Bannari Mariamman Temple is about 15 kms. from Bhavani Sagar town on the road to Mysore. (75 kms away from Erode and 10 kms distance from  Sathyamangalam.)  It is a place of pilgrimage during the annual festival known as "Kundam" which takes place in the middle of March every year.  Pilgrims on that particular day can roughly be estimated 5 lakhs hailing from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka States.  Kundam or the fire spot where walking rakes place is 60 feet in length and nearly 25 cart loads of fire wood are piled and kindled.  About a lakh of persons including men, women and children participate in this walking.

Sri Aggnigunda Kali or Kodantha Kaliamman temple is another one important temple situated 40 kms. from Erode and 3 kms. from Gobichettipalayam.  Also it is famous for fire walking to be held in the month of January every year.  More than a lakh of people will attend this festival.
There is one Jain Temple at Vijayamangalam 25 kms. from Erode.  It was constructed by Jain King Konguvelir some 1,800 years back.

Chennimalali Sri Subramaniyaswamy Temple is situated on a hill about 1750 feet height and nearly 35 kms. from Erode.  Arunagirinathar and Kalamegapulavar have sung the Lord Subramania here.  There is a cave and it is believed that Pinnakku Siddhar one of the 18 Siddhars of South, Saravanamunivar and Sathiamuni lived and performed yoga in this cave.

Sri Magudeeswarar and Veeranarayana Perumal temple at Kodumudi is situated in the bank of Cauvery river and nearly 40 kms. from Erode is one of the three places sung about Erode.  Saints Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar and Sundarar visited this place and each one composed one Thevaram about this temple.  The special feature of this shrine is that Tirumurtis viz., Lord Brahama, Vishnu and Siva together in one and the same place.  The direct sun rays penetrate on the images of Swamy and Amman for four days during the months of  Avani and Panguni (September and April).  The Moolavar Sri Magudeeswararswamy is a Swayambu Lingam.  It is a very old temple (more than 1500 years old).  Pandiyan Kings made several renovations to this temple.  Adiperukku (July - August), Chithirai and Panguni Uthiram (April - May) are the main festivals of this temple.  At the time of Panguni Uthiram festival, devotees carry 'Kavadi' to Palani Temple from here.  They used to take bath in the sacred Cauvery river and carry the sacred water in a kalasam to Palani Murugan temple.  More than 5 lakhs of people come here for this festival every year and most of the devotees carry the Kalasam having the sacred Cauvery water, will walk the entire distance (nearly 120 kms.) to Palani.

The Sivanmalai Temple is about 45 kms. from Erode and the temple dedicated to Lord Subramanian the hillock.  In Aadi (July - August) and Thai (January - February) there are two important festivals celebrated here.  Thaipoosam, Panguni Uthiram and Skanda Shasti in the month of Aippasi (November) are the main festivals of this temple.  It is believed that God Sri Subramania, the presiding deity of this temple appears in dreams to a spiritual man or woman and demand some offerings such as bicycle, silver coins, gold chains movable and immovable things.  The devotees will bring them to the Temple and worship the God Subramania and till now this is going on.   Sri Arunagirinathar refers to Sivanmalai by its ancient name Pattiari in Tiruppugazh.

Sri Kadu Hanumanthaswami temple is situated at Dharapuram, 80 kms. from Erode.  The temple is mostly worshipped by people belonging to Madhwa community.  Hanuman is the son of Wind God (Vayu Baghavan).  To represent this,   an opening  is leflt above the Sanctum Sanctornm  enabling the presiding deity to enjoy wind, sun and rain alike.  It is rare to find any notable temple in South India without a Vimanam or Tower above the Sanctum.  During the ten Days festival (Vaikasi or May) there is a Car Festival also celebrated.

Natturayaswami Temple, Veerakumarasami Temple, Bhagavan Temple are the other famous temples in Erode Distsrict.  Though Lord Muruga is worshipped in the Veeramumaraswami temple, no woman is allowed to enter the temple and worship the God there.  The Bhagavan temple at Ponnivadi is said to cure epidemics like plague, smallpox and cholera.
Towards the construction of temples in Erode District popularly known as Kongunad, Cholas, Hoysalas and Pandyas have contributed their mite.

Hill Temples of Lord Murugan
i). Sivanmalai - is about 50 kms. from Erode and very near to Kangayam
ii). Chennimalai - is about 30 kms. from Erode and 12 kms from Perundurai
iii). Thindalmalai - is 5 kms from Erode
iv). Vattamalai   - is about 5 kms from Kangayam

Dams

1.     Bhavanisagar Dam is about 16 kms. from Sathyamangalam across the river Bhavani.
2.     Kodiveri Dam is about 10 kms from Gobichettipalayam and 55         kms from Erode.


Government Museum, Erode

The Museum was opened to the public in 1987. The important exhibits are inscription of Kongu Chola, hero stones from Bargur, Tanjore paintings, manuscripts, coins, geological objects, Kodumanal antiques and other pre-history items. It has both botanical and zoological specimens also. The Museum is known for its collection of palm-leaf manuscripts and coins.





 
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