10 km From Salem. A Suburban town on the eastern end of Salem City. It is supposed to have been named after Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama who is believed to have stayed here on his way from Sri Lanka at the end of the war with the demon king Ravana. Ayodhya was not only the birthplace of Lord Rama and therefore sacred to the Hindus, but was also sacred to the Jains and Buddhists. It was the birthplace of Rishaba, Ajitha, and other Jain theerthankarars. It was the place where the celebrated Toothbrush tree of the Buddha grew. The naming of this village may possibly have roots in the local Jain Buddhist traditions, not just the Hindu epic, Ramayana. It contains a beautiful Vishnu temple dedicated to Kothandaramar. The town includes the railway station, Masinayakkanpatti , on the Salem Atthur line. The weekly market, established by Taluka Board in 1895, meets on Thursdays.
“City of Utthamachozha”, a small town on the western bank of the Thirumanimuthu Aru. It was known variously as “ Karapuram”, “Kaveri Poompattinam,” and is still known as “Periyur.” During the Chozha period, the town flourished as one of the mahanagars of the Kongu Nadu. Utthama Cheeti, a local merchant built temple in this area is called Karpuranathar temple. The village also contains temples dedicated to Azhagiri Perumal and Mari Amman. In 1854, when the Perumal temple fell into ruins, the deities were removed to the Karapur Nathar Kovil. The deities returned home after the temple was rebuilt in 1865. The first zamindhari of the village was sold in 1802 to “Syde Ahmud” (Syed Ahmad).
It is 25 km away from Salem on the banks of river Vashistanadhi. There is a white rock north of Belur which is said to represent the ashes of the Yagam (Sacrificial fire) performed by Vashista.
Another hill station at an altitude of 1190 mts. The terrace type 70 hair pin-bend road leads you to this place. Fruit orchards abound in this place. Still the tribes here are unchanged and follow meticulously their traditional customs and practice astonishment to the modern men.
Formely a part of Salem District, it is now the headquarters of the newly formed district Namakkal. It lies at the foot of a rock 200 ft high and half a mile in circumference. The Hanuman statue that stands 20ft high is the centre of attraction. It is carved out of single piece of rock. There are two unique cave temples here. These temples were the works of ‘Adhia’ rulers containing relief sculptures of unrivalled beauty. The caves dedicated to Narasimha and Anantasayi (Vishnu on his snake hooded couch) are cut on the sides of the hill. Inscriptions reveal that it was built by Gunaseelan of the Adhiakula (Adhia clan) (784 A.D.). The Narasimha cave has an enormous rock with the image of Lord Narasimha tearing the entrails of Hiranya the demon – a splendid sculpture that chills the heart of the beholder. The mandapa of the side of the cave reveals three forms: Narasimha Avatar, Vamana Avatar, Varaha Avatar. The images of Vaikunta Narayanan, Bala Narasimha, Brahma, Chandra, all reveal the dexterity of master hands. The two Vamana Avatar idols in Narasimha cave and Anantasayee cave differ from each other in that the former has a parasol and a sacrificial horse which is absent with the latter. The hollows in the rock have become sacred pools, one of them is named Kamalalayam.
In the southwest of the district is an important shrine dedicated to Ardanariswarar (Siva and Uma in one form) situated at a height of 2000 feet. Flights of winding steps lead to the temple. Along the steps by the side is a huge hooded serpent-sculptured so real that it creates awe in our face. A huge Nandhi faces the hill presuming it to be Lord Siva. Mr. Davis, a former collector has renovated the partially damaged Canesa Mandapam of this temple and his relief portrait adorns a pillar. Climbing still further one can reach Maladi (a barren woman) hills, where a huge boulder is precariously perched on the tip of an edge of an abyss of 800 ft threatening each moment. Barren women crawl around it three times to blessed with pregnancy. The famous Gandhi Ashram founded by Rajaji is still functioning actively a Thiruchengodu.
This was once part of Salem district but now its headquarters. During the Sangam Age it was called Thagadur. It was the capital of Adiaman Neduman Anji. The 7ft. high Hanuman in the temple of Anna Sagaram is the main attraction here. The curious feature about Him is that He has no tail at all.
The main picnic spot in Dharmapuri is Hogenakkal, the place where the Cauvery enter Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most beautiful places in the state with picturesque scenes. The broad stream of the river Cauvery gets forked at this point, forming an island from where one stream continues and plunges into a deep chasm to create lovely waterfalls. As the spray of this waterfall raises clouds of droplets resembling smoke this place is known as Hogenakkal (Hoge means smoke, Kal – rock) – smoking rock. Earlier above, the river Cauvery flows in a particular narrow gorge so narrow that it could be easily leapt by a goat and hence the name of that place is Meka Dhattu (Goat’s leap). Since the water of Cauvery flows through an herbal forest before it reaches Hogenakkal, bathing in the falls here is considered good for health. A large number of people gather here daily to have bath in river. A bath after a malish with oil (smearing of oil) is very refreshing. One can find malish experts are busy here minting money. If one wants to taste the thrill of adventure one can hire a ‘parisal’ (round basket-like boats) to ply in the river. Hogenakkal offers a quiet holiday in comfort. The magnificent, rugged mountain scenery around the falls can be better enjoyed by long Walks and treks.
Thought this place located in the Krishnagiri district is very well known as a centre of industries, it does not lack the charms of being a tourist centre. Thali located nearby is known as ‘Little England’ to the British because of its beautiful green down and salubrious climate.