Once part of Salem district in Tamil Nadu, Namakkal is named after Namagiri, the single rock formation in the heart of the town. The 65 metre high rock, more than a kilometre in circumference, has a massive fort on the top called Tippu Sultan’s fort. The Hindu sculptures in front of the gate and the Hindu temple inside lead to the main controversy as to whether it was actually built by Tippu Sultan.
Namakkal’s history is a blend of both enchanting and educative elements. The Fort of Namakkal is believed to be guarded by the giant Anjaneya – Namakkal Hanuman. There is also another Anjaneya on the banks of the tank, Kamalalaya. The difference between both the idols lies in their structural quality – while the former is massive, the latter is a wonderful piece of art. Namakkal is the birthplace of renowned personalities like Kavingnar Ramalingam Pillai, the poet and enthusiastic devotee of Namagiriamman, Sri Narahari Aachar, and the mathematics wizard Ramanujam. The “Narishmma temple” here is said to have been a source of inspiration for Ramanujam
Namakkal has made a name for itself as the first ISO 14001-2004 certified municipality in Asia for environmental management, in particular, the provision and maintenance of water supply, solid waste and sewage management, town planning, lighting, and other social services.
There are a lot of interesting places around Namakkal. Kolli Hills, covering approximately 400 square miles, is a spectacular sight from the plains of Namakkal. The mountain, regarded to have been inhabited from the Prehistoric times found much celebration in the literature of the Sangam period. It is accessible by road and bus. Agaya Gangai Waterfalls and Arapaleeswarar Temple are nearby attractions. The area also offers opportunities for various scenic drives and hikes. Picnic spots are also found in Mohanur about 20 km south of Namakkal, Velur, Musiri, Thottiyam, and Puliancholai
Government reserve forests are found in the places like Ariyur, Puliyan Solai, Selur, and Vazhavandhi Nadu. Pottery and sculpture are some of the traditional skills that find their market in the local festival and temple celebrations.
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