Dharmapuri

Dharmapuri is a town and the administrative headquarters of Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu. It is located 65 km north of Salem. Dharmapuri is a part of the Kongu Nadu an ancient division of Tamilakam.

Hogenakkal water falls is in Dharmapuri district. Known for its mango farming, the district also has one of the best quality marble stone reserves in the world.

History of Dharmapuri
Dharampuri and the hilly region surrounding it were historically part of the ancient Chera and Kongu kingdoms.

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 overran 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 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 in charge 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 in charge 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 short-lived 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.

Climate
The climate is generally warm. The hottest period of the year is between the months of March to May, reaching a maximum temperature of up to 36C in April. The temperatures drop in December and the low temperatures continue up to February, touching a minimum of 12C in January. The district has an average annual rainfall of 895.56 mm.The tropical forests here generally have short shrubs and thorned-plants.

Hogenakkal Falls
Hogenakkal Falls is located at the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, around 46 km from Dharmapuri. In Hogenakal, the Kaveri River enters Tamil Nadu as a big river with gushing water. The name 'Hogenakal' is derived from Kannada means Smoky Rocks. When the river falls on the rock below, the gushing force of water causes a smoke-like mist, leading to the origin of the name. At Hogenakal, the water spreads for miles around and cruising on country-made dinghies (Parisal) is possible.

Hogenakal is considered the Grand Canyon of India in terms of the unique landscape and the wild Kaveri river flowing there for ages. It is also sometimes referred to as the Niagara Falls of India.

The river plays major role in making the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu prosper as it passes through. Kudagu in Karnataka is where the Cauveri originates as a small stream and gathers momentum and gets bigger on her way down. It is in Hogenakkal that the Cauveri enters Tamil Nadu as a big river with gushing waters presents a waterfall. At many places the falls descends as far as 20 mtrs. The water also makes a continuous thundering sound. This gives the area a different atmosphere. At Hogenakkal the water spreads for miles around. The locally made boats are called Parisal . A parisal ride will give you a rare experience.

Surrounded by hills at various heights, Hogenakkal offers the visitors a different ambience and is a refreshing place to relax. Fresh fish caught in the river is cooked and served. One can also take bath in the falls. Local people give oil massages. As the river flows throughout the year, Hogenakkal can be visited through the year. To add attraction the forest department maintains a mini zoo and a crocodile park here. The New Moon days in the months in January or Thai and in July or Adi are special for the pilgrims who arrive to take a dip in the river. However on Adi 18th, which is in August, a festival to the river goddess is celebrated.

Theerthamalai Temple
Theerthamalai is a sacred place in Harur taluk. The temple is located at the top of a hillock. Chola and Vijayanagara kings donated liberally to this temple. A lot of devotees attend the temple during the Maha Shivarathiri. It is believed that Lord Rama created the waterfall to do abhishek for Lord Shiva, after waiting for a long time for Hanuman to bring water. Every year during the Tamil month Masi Chariot festival is conducted called Masi Maha Ther(chariot) festival.The flag hoisting is done by the Agamudayar Tuluvelar Community and honoured.Annapachi Vahana is decorated and Lord Theerthagirieswar with his concert Vadiudayammal shall be steered by this Agamudayar Community.All other communities follow the festival for Ten days.The is managed by the Executive Officer of Tamil Nadu Govt.. Mr.A.Vimalan of Dharmapuri Mr.Surya Dhanapal of Harur and Mr.Jayaraman of Dharmapuri are the important guest of honours for this flag hoisting festival function every year.

Sir Thomas Munro Pillar
This pillar was erected by the British India's Government of Madras to mark the association of Dharmapuri with SIR THOMAS MUNRO who lived here from April 1792 to March 1799 as Assistant to the Superintendent of Revenue in the BARAMAHAL. His house and his favourite garden where few yards away from this place.near at vel milk depot.

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 was instructed by Lord Rama to bring water, but after waiting for a long time, Rama created a waterfalls, 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 "Hanumantatirtham".

Adhiyaman Kottai
The capital of Adhiyamans, ancient rulers of Thahadoor, was Adhiyamankottam which is situated on the Salem-Dharmapuri road, 7 km from Dharmapuri. The ruins of the roughly oval shaped fort is still there. The Chenraya Perumal temple there is a protected monument and is thought to have been constructed both by the King Krishna Devaraya and the Hoysala kings. There is a mandapam which leads to the sanctum sanctorum. There are paintings in the ceiling depicting scenes from the Mahabharata, Viswarupa darshan of Lord Krishna and some scenes from the Ramayana. All the paintings belong to the 13th century.

Kottai Kovil
This is one of the temples built for Lord Shiva. It is located on the northern side of Dharmapuri. It has been renovated and is maintained by the government and people of Dharmapuri. There a rare sculptures and paintings contained in it. The main speciality of this temple is the 'Hanging pillar'. There is also a legend that there was a secret passage that connects this temple to Adhiyamankottai.

Subramanya Siva Memorial
Subramanya Siva was born on 19 September 1884 in Vathalagundu, Madhurai. He was a revolutionary independence fighter who worked closely with other freedom fighters, such as V.O Chidambaram Pillai and Subramanya Bharathi, and inspired many young men to join the freedom movement. He was the first political prisoner of the Madras presidency and described his jail experiences in a book, Jail Life. He also published Gnana Bhanu, a collection of poems. He was an admirer of the philosopher, Swami Vivekanandha and his religious master Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Siva disagreed on many things with Gandhian Philosophy. He believed in using violent methods where constructional methods had failed. Siva died on 23 July 1925.

A monument has been built in memory of Siva in the government school name after him at Pauparapatti, Pennagaram Taluk.

C.S.I Zion Church
C.S.I(CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA) Zion Church the only 100 years old church & its one of the CSI Churches located in Dharmapuri district. It is governed by CSI COIMBATORE DIOCESE. The Members of this church involve themselves in many social activities including helping poor people, visiting leprosy affected people & providing them clothes, celebrating festivals with orphans, etc.Its one of the oldest churches in this district.At present Rev.Dr.Jayaseelan is the presbyter in-charge who has a unique talent of singing and composing music.In the near past the talents and interests of the church congregation has been tremendous in the spiritual aspects.

Sacred Heart Cathedral
The Sacred Heart cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dharmapuri.

Mount Carmel Church
Mount Carmel church is situated in B. Pallipatty, which is known for its Grotto festival. This is a three day feast celebrated on the second Friday after Easter and is attended by more than a lakh (c. 100,000) people seeking to receive the blessing of Our Lady of Lourdes.

How To Reach Dharmapuri
Dharmapuri is well connected by the major National Highway - NH 7 : (North-south Corridor National Highway System) Varanasi - Bangalore - Dharmapuri - Salem - Dindigul - Madurai - Tirunelveli - Kanyakumari. It is officially listed as running over 2,369 km (1,472 mi) and the longest national highway in India. Recently it was extended up to Kashmir.

By Bus: Dharmapuri has two bus stands - one for rural/urban places of dharmapuri district and another for all major parts of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Tirupattur, Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore, Erode, Bhavani, Namakkal, Kanyakumari and buses to other state destinations also operated.

By Rail: Dharmapuri is connected with South Western railways. Station code is DPJ. In recent Railway budget 2011, Railway minister Mamata announced new DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train service between Dharmapuri-Bangalore. Apart from this there is a long pending demand of the people of Dharmapuri to establish a new railway link of 27 km between Dharmapuri and Morapur.