Namakkal Malakkottai: a fort with a temple, mosque and natural water springs

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Some sources say this hill fort was built by Tipu Sultan. But the Lion of Mysore never had direct influence in this region. And more tellingly, the Hindu sculptures in front of the gate and the temple inside suggests it was the work of a Hindu king. Along with Sangagiri and Kumarapalayam, it was under the influence of Theeran Chinnamalai during Tipu's period in the late 18th century.

The fort has worship places for Hindus and Muslims that are visited by people of both faiths even today. It contains the ruins of a Vishnu temple dedicated to Ethirili (Peerless) Perumal. The fort is spread over one-and-a-half acres and is accessible by a flight of narrow steps.

Two rock-cut cave temples dedicated to Ananthasayi and Narasimha Swamy, are on the eastern and western sides of the rock. The temples and the images of gods within the temples were hewn out of the living rock, and so these shrines are esteemed higher than other temples.

The rock also contains eight holy water springs, the biggest of which is the Kamalayam (Home of the Lotus) sacred to goddess Namagiri Amman. It was the chief source of water supply for the town until water from the river Kaveri was brought in.

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