Skip to main content

Theerthamalai, TN: Rock Formations and Heritage temples


Overview: March-April are the months which are the driest in India, and water levels in dams and rivers are at the lowest. But a few places are there where perennial water pours out all through the year. One of those places is Theerthamalai. Blessed with multiple sources of water which flows down through the rocks, these sources of water are named as Ram Teertham, Agasthya Theertham and Hanuman Theertham (this one is located around 20kms from Theerthamalai.
Legend says that the water has been pouring down since ages when Lord Rama shot at the rock to get water to perform puja. Hanumanteertham was created when Hanuman threw a pot of water from Theerthamalai. Theerthamalai hilltop can be reached through a flight of steps, which are quite steep ate places, but very safe for climbing. The top of the hill has some unique rock formations, and water pouring out at a few places. At the top is the 7th century Theerthagirishwarar temple, built by the Cholas. Inscriptions in Tamil and Kannada can be found at the temple, indicating the use of Kannada language in these parts around the 14th century. Another temple built around the same period is found at the foothills, also dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Around 70 kms from Theerthamalai is the town of Dharmapuri, which also has a few ancient temples. We visited the Chennaraya Perumal temple at Adhiyaman Kottai, which was built by the Hoysalas and later was decorated with ceiling paintings by the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya.
Next attraction in Dharmapuri is the Mallikarjunaswamy temple, also called as Kottai Kovil. This temple was built by the Cholas and contains typical pillar carvings with stories from the Indian epics.
IMG_20170304_084717 IMG_20170304_093210 IMG_20170304_100816 IMG_20170304_103320  IMG_20170304_100930 IMG_20170304_102424 IMG_20170304_102320  IMG_20170304_103725 IMG_20170304_110125 IMG_20170304_130316 IMG_20170304_133510 IMG_20170304_133450
How to reach: Theerthamalai is around 150km from Bengaluru and can be reached via Hosur and Krishnagiri. Take the Thiruvannamalai road from Krishnagiri to reach Hanumantheertham and turn right and continue for 20kms to reach Theerthamalai. From Theerthamalai, take the Harur road and continue on to Harur-Dharmapuri road to reach Adhiyamankottai. Kottai Kovil is in Dharmapuri town towards north of the town centre.
Food: Need to plan the pit stop very carefully as post Krishnagiri there are very few places for food. Best option is to stop at Krishnagiri for breakfast and be at Dharmapuri for lunch..


  1. Thanks for sharing, quite interesting place. Those Kannada inscriptions are quite intriguing.


Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

The forgotten story of a migration: Nacharamma of South India

This is a story of Nacharamma (fictionised by me to some extent), which is not documented in any inscriptions or ancient texts, but has been told by the ancestors of the community, and also been researched by some historians like M Keshavaiah, Dr Pranarthiharan and a few others.

Overview: Around the early 17th century, the Pilgrims set to sail across the Atlantic to become the first settlers of America. Much before this, a small but no less interesting migration took place in the Southern India of a community called the 'Sankethis'.
It was the summer of 1420 CE, in a place called Sengottai, in Tamil Nadu, along the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. The place was flourishing with knowledge of the Vedas where Agraharams were set up. One of the prominent communities of learned people was the Sankethi Iyer community, also known as Sangeethi, derived from the name of the place- Sengottai or Shankotta. Another theory says that they were  The group followed Adi Shankara…

Clock Towers of Bangalore

Overview: In the middle of the 18th century, when home clocks and watches were not so common, there was the practice of having huge clocks on top of iconic buildings or religious places having visibility from all the corners. Clock towers were in fashion all across the globe in the 18th to 20th centuries, and some of them had bells as well, which used to ring at every hour. Bangalore too, has had its share of clock towers, though the city has never been known for its clock towers. The iconic Clock tower once stood at the Russell Market in Shivajinagar, which no longer stands today as it was brought down sometime during the middle of the 20th century.
A few standing clock towers can be seen at the City Market, Baldwin Boys school, Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Central College, Police training grounds, St John's Church, Corporation office and the newly constructed towers at South End circle and Omkar Hills. Most of these clocks have been provided by HMT.

Know your neighbourhood-3: Madivala, Agara, Koramangala, Bellandur

Overview: Now famous for high rises, branded showrooms and startups, the villages of Madivala, Agara, Koramangala and Domlur are the villages which have seen an ancient past.

Madivala village was a flourishing agrahara under the Cholas and Hoysalas. There is an ancient Chola era temple, which was later expanded by the Hoysalas behind the road opposite to the Silk Board. This Someshwara temple is of high historical importance, with Tamil inscriptions all along the outer walls of the temple. The most important being the 1247 CE inscription which talks about the grants of some lands near the big tank of Vengalur (2nd inscription of the city name after the one in Begur). This inscription is by an official Pemmataiyar of Veppur (Begur) for the deity Sembeshwaram (Someshwara) at Tamaraikkirai (Tavarekere).

Agara is situated at the junction of the ORR and Sarjapura Road, and is in existance since the Gangas. A 870 CE Ganga inscription mentions about the fixing of sluices to 2 tanks (Agara Lake…