I do not know how many of you had heard about this town, located in the valleys of the Kolli Hills but am sure you would fall in love with this place if you do not wish the buzz of cities and hesitate to step down, too rural. The charming town has the fresh atmosphere, affectionate inmates and everything about the goodness of a village parallely sophisticated for a town living person.
I know it is just putting all the good things together, though a fact should admit that I enjoy every single moment being here!
Today marks the 100th day of my stay in this cute town. To celebrate this, I planned to visit the major spots of the town.
Honestly, I was awed to learn about the historic importance of the town only while preparing this post. If only the government took some measures to encourage the tourism in this place!
Namakkal is one of its kind!
You can never miss this majestic fort if you happen to be in Namakkal.
The historical Malaikkottai or the Rock Fort is in the middle of the town. The small town has expanded around this fort, over the years.
More about the history of the fort is here.
A close up shot of the entrance up the fort.
The maximum my lens could zoom with me stuck to the same position as the previous image.
Your Namakkal visit is incomplete without the darshan of the18 feet tall Anjaneyar.The 'alangaram' is done on festivals, which I couldn't witness during my stay. This picture is from here.
Very near to the Hanuman temple is the Sri Namagiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple built in the 8th century, that is, 1300 years ago!
Entrance to the shrine
I presume this Garuda, on the temple wall.
Vetrilai Maalai or the betel leaves garland for the deity.
Ney Vilakku or diyas filled with ghee are said to be an important offering to the Temple Goddess.
The board in front of a temple side shop which sells more offerings for the deities!
Ganesha temple at one end of the street facing the temples at the other end
and located in the middle of the street is Sree Aadhi Parashakthi Thirumanamandapam, the age old marraige hall that has witnessed thousands of weddings.
The golden roasted puffed rice are the speciality of the town!
The sweetened and coloured rice puff balls are a delicacy.
*though we would dare to sample ;)*
Namakkal Selamba Kounder Poonga is a well organised park in the middle of the town.
Its location at the foot of the castles makes the park all the more, attractive!
The well organised park is madly crowded in the evenings and I was surprised to see the park maintained well and clean in the morning when I shot this!
Twenty feet aside the park is the Uzhavar Santhai or the farmer's market.
The market was about to get packed up when I entered around 8.45 in the morning. Ponnamma was seriously counting her day's sales when got a bit distracted looking up at me.
The banana section was at full swing, though.
The girl who was selling brooms and coriander leaves vanished, packing her goodies.
But Shivakami got lucky. All in a minute!
Muniamma at stall no:14 still has a few bundles of her drumsticks and bottle gourds to be sold while Nadesan at stall 15 had sold off the last scrap!
....and we are DONE!!
I wanted to buy 1/2 kg of country tomatoes, which I got for Rs 5 ( it was 3 kg per kilo; I refused to take the change) He was so honest a farmer and insisted me to take his specially grown brinjals.
A bundle of 3 drumsticks cost Rs 3 and a bunch of country cilantro (nattu malli), Rs 4 (which the lady buyer beside me was arguing at the top of her voice for selling in an exhorbitant price ;))....
..a few green chillies, a bottle gourd, ladies finger and bananas..my whole week's vegetable and fruit purchase was thus rounded off at Rs 20 from Uzhavar Santhai !!
This old lady caught my attention! She was sitting under the tree near the entrance selling small packets of jasmine buds, but I noticed her only while hurrying out. The camera was almost running out of charge when Pappamma spoke to me so pleasantly and refused to smile totally complaining her shabby hair when the lens kissed the pretty wrinkled face before blacking out!
Bought a couple of her jasmine packets and exit the market. Couldn't help smiling loving her sweet stubbornness :)
The town has countless fast food and drinks on wheels . I was awed to see ladies selling hot breakfast on such small mobile vehicles in the mornings
The Manikoondu or the bell tower is the major land mark, located right amidst the town, is a memorial for freedom fighters, built in 1945 by Sri.Pethanna.
Kathiyindri rathamindri Yudhamondru varukuthu
Sathiyathin nithiyathai nambum yarum seruveer
Namakkal Kavingar Ramalingam Pillai's patriotic songs were the 'blood boilers' for the young freedom fighters of those days!
The town is proud of the great poet. The Tamilnadu Govt. Secretariat at Chennai, shortly known as "Kottai", is named after him.
Back in the mid town, turn 180 deg of the bell tower, to capture the busiest junction of the town! The over bridges are said to be recent constructions to favour the pedestrians
If you ever visit the town, don't miss to peep into the road side shops in the evenings..
Namakkal parottas are quite famous.
I was offered a hot parotta right from the griddle and I fell in love with the crispy outsides and the soft insides! It was one of the most delicious parathas I've honestly ever had!!
One of my cousins in the town had been telling about the love affair of Namakkal inmates with these parottas. They love to have them even for breakfast!
I don't know how far it is true but am eager to hear the comment of a 'Namakkalian' who would probably read this post :)
I'm lucky enough to be in the town, hardly for another 10 days and am planning to visit the Saturday market and poultry farms which are again something special about the town, this weekend for shopping and shots.
Will do a 'part-2 post' about it soon!
Thanks to Gopal anna, my brother-in-law, who hails from Namakkal, for the information and support.