The fort was built by the Madurai Nayaks during the 17th century.It may have been built by Ramachandra Naik, the poligar of Sendamangalam, although it has also been attributed to Lakshmi Narasayya, an officer under Mysore Kingdom.The fort was captured by the British during in 1768, to be lost to Hyder Ali.In modern times, an 18 ft image of Hanuman is installed in the city, facing the Narasimha image on the top of the fort.
Namakkal Fort is a historic fort present in Namakkal in Namakkal district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The fort is located on the top of a hillock made of a single rock, 75 m (246 ft) tall. There is a temple and a mosque that are located within the fort, both of which are popular tourist attractions of the town.
According to Hindu legend, the hillock on which the fort is located was carried by Hanuman, the monkey lieutenant of King Rama from the epic Ramayana. The hillock is known as Namagiri and also as Saligramam, the image of Vishnu in a divine stone. Hanuman was flying with the Sanjeevi Paravatha, the sacred mountain from North India to Sri Lanka. On his way, he saw the Kamalalayam tank and descended there to perform his morning worship. He placed the saligramam he brought from Himalayas and when he opened his eyes after the worship, he saw the stone grown to its current size. A divine voice asked him to leave the stone in the place itself.As per another legend, Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu, after destroying demon Hiranyakasipu, was still in ferocious mood. Hanuman, brought him to the place where Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu was doing penance.
Namakkal is famous for a life size Hanuman Statue(Anjaneynar) carved out of a single stone. The city lies at the foot of a huge rock, upon which there is a fort. The name Namakkal immediately brings to mind ‘Namakkal Anjaneyar’ – the temple of Hanuman at Namakkal. The idol of Hanuman is 18 feet or so in height, and stands under open sky. Opposite to the Hanuman is a temple of Narasimha.
Sri Hanuman played a vital role in Lord Sri Rama’s kingdom. He had served Lord Sri Ram in all the ways, as a servant in personal life, as a Minister in political operations, as a knight in his military and etc., Hence, he decorated himself with silk cloths, gold and diamond ornaments and short sword suitable to all his roles and responsibilities. With the same dresses, jewels and decorations, Sri Hanuman came to Namakkal and serving the Lord Sri Narashima.
You could realize this by having Dharsan of Sri Hanuman in this temple. Sri Hanuman is decorated with golden Crown; big diamond Earrings, lengthy gold Garlands and Chains; Fingers decorated with rings; wrists decorated ornaments; Hip covered with golden belt; a short curved sword in right hand side of hip; ankles clubbed with gold rings; such a nice huge and beautiful deity of Sri Hanuman, we couldn’t see anywhere in this world.
One more specialty of this temple is as follows: Lord Sri Hanuman don’t like roof over him, would like to stay in open sky. In past centuries, many people tried many times to build roof for Sri Hanuman, but Lord Hanuman didn’t accept it. For one of the devotees, in dream, Sri Hanuman declared as follows: “My supreme master Lord Sri Narashimha stays inside cave. There is no roof for him as Hill is the natural roof by itself. Since, my master doesn’t have the roof, I don’t want to stay under the roof. Let me live in open sky and do the service for Lord Narashimha for ever”.
Pallava kingdom built many halls, compound walls and numerous stone sculptures in this temple, but couldn’t build a roof for Sri Hanuman. This is the proof that Lord Sri Hanuman didn’t allow to build a roof for him. Even ten years before, temple renovation completed with huge budget, but the square portion of where Sri Hanuman stands, left for open sky.
Devotees comes day and night and do worship to Sri Hanuman in all aspects. With the great Anugraham of Lord Hanuman, they get relief for all the problems. Devotees surrender to Sri Hanuman, who always takes care of his devotees with special attachment.
Devotees are coming from all over the World to have Dharsan of this temple. Devotees offer sacred tulasi garlands, sweet-scented betel garlands and flower garlands for decorating Sri Hanuman. Devotees offer milk, ghee, honey, sugar and nuts with full of devotion.
The other part of saligramam is Lord Lakshmi Narasimha which is inside the same cave temple. The lion faced swami is holding the dying demon Hiranyakasibu. The posture is called veerasana and he faces west. There is fire in his eyes. It is an expression of anger, bravery, victory and annihilation. He holds conch and chakra. He has a punishing wand on his hand for the evil doers. Lord Siva, Brahma and other rishis are there witnessing the annihilation. On the prayers of Sri Lakshmi his rage subdued and he became cool and calm. So he has been called Sri Lakshmi Narasimha.
Sankaranarayana- right half Lord Siva and left half Lord Vishnu. This is a very rare sculpture expressing the oneness of the great philosophies of Saivam and Vaishnavam.
Cultivation of Jack Fruit, Guvava, Hill Banana, Pineapple, Pepper, Coffee, Cardamom,topioca, honey and rice are the main agricultural activities.
The Kolli Hills are featured in several works of classical Tamil literature such as Silappathigaram, Manimekalai, Purananuru and Ainkurnuru. Mahavidwan R. Raghava Iyengar in the research monograph Araichi Katturaigal has given exhaustive references to Kolli Pavai from early Sangam literature, concluding that the image is in Kolli Hills.
The region was ruled by Valvil Ori around 200 A.D., who is praised as one of the seven great philanthropists of ancient Tamil Nadu. His valor and marksmanship are sung by several poets, and his exploits are a popular part of folklore. Ori is said to have killed a lion, bear, deer and a boar with a single arrow. The hills are said to be guarded by Kollipavai also called as “Ettukkai Amman”, the local deity. According to legend, the sages chose Kolli hills when they were looking for a peaceful place to do their penance. However, the demons invaded the hills to disrupt the penance when the sages began their rituals.
The sages prayed to Kollipavai, who according to the myth, chased away the demons with her enchanting smile. The KolliPavai hills is still worshipped by the people here and her smile is revered. The mountains have several mythological legends associated with them, and often come across as an eerie place in contemporary tales due to the unexplored and less
traveled terrain. even at some places one can hear the presence of saptha kannigal. This mountain is full of herbs which retains health and vigour.It is also believed that Chanakya, the author of Arthashastra was born in this area before he had migrated to the North India to pursue education at Takshashila.
WATER FALLS (AKASA GANGAI)
Akasa Gangai is an enchanting 300 feet waterfall of river Aiyaru, located near Arappaleeshwarar temple. Thousands of steps lead down to the falls. It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the mountains at all sides. Enroute, the natural beauty of the valley and the vegetation-covered peaks . The location is ideal for trekking and the breeze is pleasant, the cascade of silvery water touching and brushing the innumerable herbs which are abound in Kollihills keeps everyone spell bound and fresh with its herbal qualities.