February 19, 2011

Namakkal - A wonderful city

Namakkal - is this an historical city? I find a big fort on the hill.

Nope! Namakkal must be a city with architectural marvel. It has cave temples with splendid sculptures.

Not exactly! It's a religious city. Namakkal Hanuman is powerful.

What kind of city is Namakkal? It's a religious city with rich historical and cultural background having artistically beautiful cave temples. If you happen to go to the cave temples of Namakkal, you won't believe that these temples are around 1500 years old. We should be ashamed as we are not competent enough today to construct such artistically beautiful cave temples. It is beyond our imagination to know how these temples were constructed in the hill in those days when the science and technology were not improved.

Namakkal, which was called as Namagiri in the olden days, has four important temples. Hanuman temple even though is very small, is the most popular temple nowadays. People call this temple as Namakkal Hanuman temple and most of the devotees to Namakkal are mainly the visitors of Hanuman temple. Although the Hanuman temple has become very popular today, the original landmark of Namakkal is the 1500 years old cave temple of Narasimha and Namagiri Thayar. There is also another cave temple for Ranganath. Both the temples have a lot of intrinsically carved idols. Even if you don't believe in God, you should visit these temples to merely enjoy the artistic beauty of these temples.

One unfortunate thing that I have noticed in Namakkal is that the local people of Namakkal are not knowledgeable enough to provide details about Ranganath temple or even the famous Narasimha temple. If you ask them for direction, most of them would direct you only to Hanuman temple. Few people know about Narasimha temple. Unfortunately, even the shop keepers near the Ranganath cave temple are not aware of this temple. The temple is also kept open for a short duration. No wonder why noone knows about the hilltop Varadar temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Namakkal
Site Type: A city in Tamil Nadu state of India
Highlight: 1500 years old rock-cut temples
Location: 50 kms from Salem city, Tamil Nadu state, India; around 364 kms from Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Nearest Railway Station: Salem
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Salem
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Salem; Only few options are available within Namakkal
Restaurants: Only few good restaurants are available in Namakkal; You need to travel either to Salem or Erode for good restaurants

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1 comment:

  1. Good info. Pallavas and in particularduring Mahendravarmans time, the artisans had the expertise to carve out solid rocks to make out temples and sculptures. There are many more like this.