Dharmapuri is a town and the administrative headquarters of Dharmapuri district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Dharmapuri district, which came into existence from 02.10.1965 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 12 33’ and longitudes E 77 02’ and 78 40’. The total geographical area of Dharmapuri District is 4497.77 km2, i.e. 3.46% of Tamil Nadu.
The earliest known chieftain who ruled Tagadur (present Dharmapuri) during the Sangam era, is Adhiyaman Naduman Anji, whose patronage sustained the famous poetess Avvaiyar. The next we hear in the 2nd and 3rd century when the northern parts of Salem District were 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.
The present Dharmapuri district was then a part of the Salem district. During the British rule in the country and even till 1947 Dharmapuri was one of the Taluks of Salem District. The Dharmapuri district was formed as a separate district on 02/10/1965 with its headquarters at Dharmapuri. Later on Dharmapuri was further divided into two districts, Dharmapuri and krishnagiri on 09/02/2004.
Dharmapuri is situated in the northwestern corner of Tamil Nadu and is bounded by Tiruvannamalai and Viluppuram districts on the east, Salem district on the South, Krishnagiri district on the north and the river Kaveri on the west. It is located between latitudes N 11 47’ and 12 33’ and longitudes E 77 02’ and 78 40’. The total geographical area of Dharmapuri district is 4497.77 km² which is 3.46% of Tamil Nadu. Dharmapuri was called Thahadoor when King Adhiyaman ruled the Kongu Nadu.
The climate is generally normal and warm condition . The summer period of March, April, May, May and June reaching a maximum temperature of up to 38 °C . The temperatures drop in December and the low temperatures continue up to February, touching a minimum of 12 °C in January. The district has an average annual rainfall of 895.56 mm. The tropical forests here generally have short shrubs and thorned-plants.
Dharmapuri is well connected by the major National Highway - NH 7. It has two bus stands - one for rural/urban places of Dharmapuri district and another for all major parts of Tamil Nadu. Dharmapuri is connected with South Western railways. Station code is DPJ. In recent Railway Budget 2011, Railway minister announced new DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train service between Dharmapuri - Bangalore. The nearest International Airport is Bangalore International Airport. The nearest airport is Salem airport ( approx 45 km ).
Major income is from agriculture and dependent businesses with mango cultivation forming a major part of it.
According to 2011 census, Dharmapuri had a population of 68,619 with a sex-ratio of 1,013 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 6,759 were under the age of six, constituting 3,470 males and 3,289 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 6.92% and .14% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the city was 77.08%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The city had a total of 17136 households. There were a total of 26,943 workers, comprising 606 cultivators, 427 main agricultural labourers, 1,052 in house hold industries, 22,566 other workers, 2,292 marginal workers, 54 marginal cultivators, 77 marginal agricultural labourers, 213 marginal workers in household industries and 1,948 other marginal workers.
Places of Interest
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. Hogenakkal Falls is also called "Indian Nayagara". The place is very famous for Film shooting.
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.
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".
The capital of Adhiyamans, ancient rulers of Thahadoor, was Adhiyamankottai 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.
Subramanya Siva Memorial Papparapatti
Subramanya Siva was born on 19 September 1884 in Vathalagundu, Dindugal district. 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.
Tntj Pallivasal, Thowheeth mosque, Ahle hadees Pallivasal and Jumma Mosque are some of the mosques in Dharmapuri.
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. The Sacred Heart cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dharmapuri.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Census Info 2011 Final population totals - Dharmapuri". Office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.