Namakkal or Namagiri is a city and a municipality in Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of Namakkal district. It is the first ISO 14001-2004 certified municipality in Asia for environmental management, specifically the provision and maintenance of water supply, solid waste and sewage management, town planning, lighting and other social services. As of 2011, the town had a population of 55,145.
Distance from Bengaluru to Namakkal, Tamil Nadu is 252.5 km and travel time is around 4 h 3 min via Kodambakkam - Mumbai Highwayy and NH7. Distance from Bengaluru to Ambur, Tamil Nadu is 161.5 km and travel time is around 2 h 33 min via Kodambakkam - Mumbai Highwayy and NH 46. Distance from Ambur, Tamil Nadu to Namakkal, Tamil Nadu is 230.8 km and travel time is around 3 h 14 min via NH 46 and NH7.
It is a part of Kongu Nadu (Kongu Desam) region of Tamil Nadu which was hotly contested and coveted by both the ancient Pallavas and the Pandyas. Namakkal was in the hands of Atiakula King called Gunasila who has marriage with Pallava King. Later the taluk was overrun by the Cholas in the Kongu Mandalam .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 AD. Then the Madurai Nayakas came to power in 1623 AD. 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 AD, the area came successively under the rule of Muslim Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda Mysore kings and then the Marathas, when about the year 1750 AD. 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 held by Killdhar (Caption) on Hyder Ali until it was captured by British in 1768. For a brief period during late 18th and early 19th century Namakkal was under Tiruchirappalli district of British Rule. Later Namakkal was transferred back to Salem District.
Namakkal is a historic town with reference back to at least 7th century. The name Namakkal derives from Namagiri, which is the name of the single rock formation at the center of the town.Two cave temples at Namakkal were called as Adiyendra Visnugrha (Ranganatha swamy Temple) and Adiyanavaya Visnugrha (Narasimha swamy Temple).These Rock cut shrines were built by King Gunaseela of Adhiyaman clan descendant. Because of his marriage relations with Pallavas the temples were built of Pallava Architectural style during 7th century. Generally, Namakkal is considered to be a Vaishnava Kshetram, and there is no Shiva temple in the town until a few years ago. The rock is enormous - 65 meters high and more than a kilometre in circumference. Over this massive rock, is a fort. The fort over the rock were built by Ramachandra Nayakar, a small king who ruled Namakkal during 16th century. It is believed that Tippu Sultan hide himself in this fort for some time to escape the British. The fort was not built by Tippu Sultan but he occupied it for a brief period of time.Later the fort was captured by British. The front side of the hill is called Thiru. Vi. Ka. Paarai and used by taxis as their stand. Mahatma Gandhi held a public meeting in 1933 in Namakkal under the slope of the Namakkal rock. It is one of the few places in Tamil Nadu, that has not been seriously affected by famine and war.