153 Dharmapuri District Dharmapuri district, which came into existence from 2.10.1965 is situated in the North western Corner of Tamil Nadu and is bounded by Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram Districts on the east, Salem District on the South, Krishnagiri District on the north and Kaveri river on the west. It is located between latitudes N 11 47‟ and 11 57‟ and longitudes E 78 02‟ and 78 40‟. The total geographical area of Dharmapuri District is 4497.77 Sq Kms, i.e. 3.46% of Tamil Nadu. National Child Labour Protection (NCLP) is undertaken in this district. HISTORY 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 over ran 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 154 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 Talikota 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 incharge 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 incharge 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 155 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 shortlived 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 156 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. The present Dharmapuri District was then the part of the Salem District. The British on their victory over Tippu had control over this area since 1792 A.D. During the British rule in the country and even till 1947 there was no separate district except Dharmapuri as one of the taluks of Salem District. This was formed as a separate district in 1965 with it headquarters at Dharmapuri. Eminent Personalities C. Rajagopalachari (10.12.1878 to 25.12.1972) A leader gifted with amazing intellectual brilliance, a multifaceted personality, popularly known as „Rajaji‟ was born in Thorapalli, an interior village near Hosur in Dharmapuri district. He held the position of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the pre and post Independent periods. He had the distinction of being the first Indian to occupy the position of Viceroy and he was also the last Governor General of India. An eloquent speaker and a great writer his works are cherished even today. From the presidentship of Salem town municipality to the Governor General of India, he bestowed luster on the positions he held. Subramanya Siva (04.10.1884 to 23.07.1925) The relentless freedom fighter and heroic patriot Subramanya Siva chose Papparapatti village in Pennagaram taluk as the center of 157 activities during his last years of life. He came to Papparapatti in 1921. Though his efforts to establish a Bharatashram at Papparapatti did not materialize, the land donated to him for this purpose is still used for public purposes and has in it the samadhi of Subramanya Siva. Despite his illness and the severe restrictions imposed on him by the British government, he did a lot in enlightening the people in political matters and introducing order in their public life. Through his dramas and bhajans, he sought to bring about consciousness among the people of their rich tradition and culture. He was the author of the journal Jnanabhanu. The books Ramanuja Vijayam and Madhya vijayam were written by him. Language and Culture The inhabitants of the district speak different languages. The Balaghat area consisting of Hosur and North Western portion of Krishnagiri taluk is a multi-lingual area where Tamil, Kanarese, Telugu and Hindi speaking people are living. The predominant communities found in this area are the Kapus, Lingayaths, Okkaligas, Baliya Chetties, Oddars and Scheduled Castes like Holeyas and Madigas. The weavers of this area mostly belong to Sali Chetties. The Baramahal area comprising eastern part of the Krishnagiri, Hosur and Dharmapuri taluks constitutes Telugu and Tamil speaking communities majority of whom belong to Vanniars, Kongu Vellalas and Gollas. Telugu Chettiars Okkaligas and Senaikudyars. The Malayali tribe is inhabited in the Chitheri Hills areas. Among the Scheduled Caste population Adi-Dravidars 158 and Arunthathiars form major share who scattered throughout the district. Monuments and Memorials Adhiyamankottam The capital of Adhiyamans, ancient rulers of Tagadur, was Adhiyamankottam which is situated on the Salem-Dharmapuri road at a distance of 7 Km from Dharmapuri. The ruins of the roughly oval shaped fort is still there. The Chenraya Perumal temple is the biggest of the lot which is held as a protected monument which is believed to have been constructed both by the King Krishna Deva Raya and Hoysala Kings. There is a mandapam which leads to the sanctum sanctorium. There are paintings in the ceiling depicting scenes from the Mahabaratham, Viswarupa dharshan of Lord Krishna and some scenes from Ramayana and is still pleasing to the eye. All the paintings are belonging to 13 century. Rajaji Memorial -Thorapalli In memory of the great leader Rajaji, the Tamil Nadu Government has converted the house in Thorapalli where Rajaji was born, as a memorial. It is located 10 Km from Hosur near Onnalvadi. Some of his belongings and a photo gallery depicting his various walks of life are displayed here. Subramanya Siva Memorial –Papparapatti A monument built in memory of the great patriot Subramanya Siva in his samadhi near Papparapatti, Pennagaram Taluk. Rayakottah Rayakottah, a hill fort, situated at a distance of 30 Km from Hosur marks the border of the Palghat plateau. Even after the Mysore wars, for the British it was a strategic place where their troops were 159 stationed till 1861. The ramparts and the bastions of the fort are more or less intact. The fort is a protected monument. Tourist Places Hogenakal Falls Hogenakal is situated at the borders of Karnataka at 46 kms from Dharmapuri. In Hogenakal the river Cauvery enters into Tamil Nadu as a big river with gushing water presentably as a natural falls. The name Hogenakal is derived from Kannada means 'Smoky Rocks'. The river when falls on the rock below, the gushing force of water resembles like smoke emanating from the rocks. At Hogenakal the water spreads for miles around and on these waters cruising on country made dinghies (PARISAL) is possible. Parisal ride will give an enthralling experience. Surrounding by hills at various heights Hogenakal offers the visitors a different ambience and refreshing relaxations. One could also take bath in the falls. Oil massaging by local people is a different experience. As the river flows throughout the year Hogenakal can be visited all days through the year. There are enough transport facility available from Dharmapuri & Krishnagiri. Krishnagiri Dam (KRP Dam) Krishnagiri dam is situated at a distance of 7 Kms from Krishnagiri. It is in between Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Thousands of acres of land around Krishnagiri is irrigated with the help of this dam. This is a famous tourist spot too. This dam is flooded with tourists during the week ends. Theerthamalai Theerthamalai is an important scacred place in Harur taluk of Dharmapuri District. Shri Theerthagirishwarar Temple is located at the top of a hillock. Chola and Vijayanagara Kings donated liberally to this temple. A lot of devotees throng the temple during 160 the Mahashivarathiri. The Department of Tourism has a Guest Houses for the benefit of the devotees. Theerthamalai is declared as an important tourist spot in Dharmapuri District. Thally This is 25 Kms from Hosur situated near the Karnataka state. The area is covered by a number of hills. The climate is chill round the year. It is called Little England. The taluk headquarters is Denkanikottai. The fort at Denkanikottai is built by Palayakarar in 1530 AD. The fort is destroyed during war with Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan. There is a temple for Venugopala Swami. Car festival is held during the month of May every year. Thousands of devotees visit during this festival. 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 who was instructed by Lord Rama to get the water from the Ganges for his penance at Tirtamalai which he could not do it in time. So Rama was said to have done Asthrapryogam and got it. Disapponted at this, 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 „Hanumantirtham‟. The water is considered sacred and during the Tamil month of Aadi (July-August) people frequent this spot. Horticulture Dharmapuri district forms a major horticultural belt in the state. As the area is drought – prone it has become essential to switch over to cultivation of drought tolerant perennial fruit crops in this district. Mango is the main horticulture crop of this District. It has the highest area under the fruit crops . The district accounts for nearly one-third 161 area under mango and nearly one-half of the mango yield in the state. Almost all types of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in Dharmapuri District. Dharmapuri District is very famous for mango. Nearly 80% of the products are of Thottapuri variety (Banglora) commonly referred as Kilimukku. The district has the 2nd highest area under tomato and accounts for 22% of the area in the state. Palacode is the main area where tomato is cultivated. Chilli is cultivated mainly at Pennagaram. Fisheries Dharmapuri being an inland district , fishing is restricted to inland only here. Main varieties of fish available are katla, rogu, mirgal, common and corp. Mineral Resources Dharmapuri district is endowed with sizeable reserves of granite. High quality black granite is available in Pennagaram, Harur and Palacode blocks. Quartz is available at Kendiganapalli Village of Pennagaram Taluk, A.Velampatti of Harur taluk and Pethathampatti of Pappireddipatti Taluk. Another High value mineral available here is Molybdenum, which is identified as a good conductor. It is available in Harur. 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 162 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 throughout the district. 163 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. 164 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. 165 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 166 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 167 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. 168 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 169 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. 170 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. 171 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 172 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. 173 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. 174 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 175 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. 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 seacost of its own. Erode District situated at between 10 36” and 11 58” North Latitude and between 76 49” and 77 58” East Longitude. 176 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 177 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. 178 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, oilpressing, 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 179 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, 180 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. 181 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. 182 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 183 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 184 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.