Aragalur


Aragalur

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Aragalur | type = city | latd = 11.564462 | longd = 78.791113
locator_position = right | state_name = Tamil Nadu
district = Salem
leader_title =
leader_name =
altitude = 500
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 3478| population_density =
area_magnitude= km²
area_total =
area_telephone = 04282
postal_code = 636 101
vehicle_code_range = TN 27 & TN 30
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =

Aragalur (six moat place) (ஆறகழூர் : ஆறு அகழி ஊர்) is a village in Salem district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is about 6 km from Thalaivasal and 70 km from Salem.

Etymology

Aragalur literally means "six moat place" or the village having six moats. One of the recent records suggest that the moats could have been in concentric circles [ [http://nganesan.thamizamuthu.com/wp/?page_id=90 SS Pandian] ] . Most of the moats have been filled and flattened to keep up the population growth.

History

Aragalur (Arakalur / Aragaloor / Aragazhur) was the capital of Magadai mandalam ruled by the well known Bana Chieftains around 1190-1260 CE. Aragalurudaiya Ponparappinan Rajarajadevan alias Magadesan was the greatest in this dynasty. Pallava [http://www.whatisindia.com/ inscriptions] say, Chief Vanakovaraiyan Rajarajadevan Vannenjan alias Vannenja, a subordinate of Kopperunjingadeva - Kadava dynasty, lived in Aragalur around 1254 CE. The chief at Aragalur also has a family title of 'Ponparappinan'- referring to the gilding of the central shrine of the Arunachaleswara Temple [http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_12/stones_226_to_250.html] at Tiruvannamalai and 'Bana' the clan / family title. This dynasty ruled at the same period as Kulothunga Chola III, and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I. Pandian won over Magadesan in 1251 CE but returned the kingdom back. Magadesan ruled Aragalur with out being subordinate and hence was captured and kept at Sankagiri fort. The ponparappinan had the rishabha and the garuda as his insignia. The 'ponparappinan's have donated generously to various temples. This donations are found in the inscriptions of Elavanasur and Jambai of Tirukkoyilur Taluk, Viluppuram district District, and Tiruppalappandal, Cuddalore Taluk, South Arcot District. This kingdom ruler was raided by the Hoysalas more than six times and the Hoysala king titled him self as ‘Magararajyadisapatta’ and ‘Magararajya Nirmulana’. (Magadai Mandalam in Tamil is translated in Kanada as Magara Rajya). The Hoysalas captured around 1000 elephants and lots of wealth and women after the defeat. Tirumalai Nayak, governor of Vijayanagara Empire had to intervene on the right to worship at the Sri Kamanada Eswar temple and he had to get support of the local heads and the larger public. The village was once ruled by a prince named Ekambara Mudaliyar (Ekambara Vaanan)?) [http://www.travelmasti.com/domestic/tamilnadu/yercaud.htm] . Buddhist temple in the outskirts of Aragalur indicate the possibility of Kalabhras flourishing in this region between 3rd and 6th century. Historically, the villagers cultivated ragi ("Eleusine coracana"), cholam and cambu ("Pennisetum glaucum").

Epigraphs regarding the Aragalur (also known as Aarai & Aarai Nagar in ancient times) rulers are found at Narattampundi, Aragandanallur, Tiruvellari, Kudimiyanmalai, Tiruparankundram, Tiruvannamalai & Tiruvanaikkaval. An old milestone mentioned the distance to Kanchipuram that was found at Aragalur is now displayed in Salem Museum.

Government

In 2007 Village Panchayat President Election Mrs.K. Sumathi was selected.

Politics

Aragalur is part of the Thalaivasal (SC) State Assembly seat and Rasipuram (SC) Parliament seat. It is interesting to note that there are more Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes constituencies near Aragalur. State ST: Yercaud, Sendamangalam & Uppiliapuram. State SC: Thalaivasal, Perambalur, Varahur , Mangalore & Ulundurpettai. Parliament SC seats: Rasipuram, Perambalur & Chidambaram.

Geography

Vasishta Nadi carries the drainage of Kalrayan Hills and flows through Attur, Thalaivasal and Cuddalore district with check dam at Pakkampadi and Periyeri / Aragalur border. This river flows in Tiruchirapalli and joins Sweta Nadi before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Vasishta Nadi flows on the north and east part of the village. The Eri (argiriculture resorviour - diverted from river) feeds many parts of the wet lands. Other areas are feed by and deep open wells or borewells tapping the aquifer. There is also a concern that the ground water table is going down in this region due to excessive exploitation of ground water for agriculture.

Borders

Chiththeri, Periyeari, Thiyakanuor, Aaraththi Akrahaaram, Veppampuundi & Kaamakkaapaliyam

Neighborhoods

Agraharam, Market Street, Raja Vedi, Valayalkara theru, Kottai (Fort?) Street, Vannara Street, Cheri, Kaattukotaai(s), etc. As an elder put, this village is very well organized based on the labour skills that they provided. It can also be seen as segregation based on caste system.

Economy

Aragalur is primarily an agriculture village. Cattle (Cow, Buffalo, Goat, and Chicken) are grown for the milk, meat, leather and as working animal. Also as a hub for the neighboring villages, the village Sandy (Farmers' market) is held on the Wednesday. There, you can get the fresh farm produce sold mostly by the farmers themselves. The market street has small businesses that cater to the daily needs of the population. There are private medical practitioners and a veterinarian to take care of the people and the large cattle population.

Transportation

The mode to reach Aragalur is by taxi from Thaliavasal or Attur. Alternately, you can also reach it by a bus from Attur/Thalaivasal that runs approximately once every hour.

Nearest railway station: Thalaivasal (TVSL).

Aragalur is landlocked and depends on the Port of Chennai for most oceangoing freight.

Chennai International Airport handles cargo/passenger regional/international.

Communication

Indian Postal Service operates a post office (636 101) at Aragalur. There is a telephone exchange catering to the land line telephones. Recently the usage of mobile phones has increased in the village and shops selling them are available.

Education

Educational institutions include Bharathi Vidya Mandir Matriculation School, Annai Theresa Matriculation School, Panchayat Union Elementary School, Government Boys Higher Secondary School, and Government Girls High School.

Demographics

People of Aragalur are predominantly of Hindu faith speaking Tamil language. There is a significant number of Sengunthar community who are primarily weavers. This village has many temples including Sri Kamanada Eswar and Solesvara (Ashlar walls)- dedicated to Lord Shiva and Karivarada Raja Perumal dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is also a 6-foot tall Buddha idol in the village of Thiaganoor on the outskirts of the Aragalur.

Flora and fauna

Lake fed areas are cultivated with rice and cotton, while the dry lands are more suitable for peanuts (goundnuts) and casava. Coconut is one of the common tall trees. The eri is planted with trees to retain the soil and also retain water due to improved cover from hot sun. The wild animals in this area include lizards, crows, sparrows and rarely rabbits.

Tourism

Temples are primary attraction and few select days in the year are special for each of the big temples. Taking the god for a tour in the evening happens on auspicious occasions around the Raja Vedi. Aragalur celebrates many festivals like Pongal where the friends and relatives of near by villages are invited.

Shiva: Bhairavar puja is celebrated in a grand way at the Sri Kamanada Eswar temple on the 8th day after the new moon day (Ashtami) at midnight. This is probably the only temple having like this Bairavar pooja in Tamilnadu. Once a year, morning raising sun's ray directly falls on the Lingam and is worshiped at this time by small number of traditional local families. This temple has a Temple tank, though dry for most part of the year. Kameshwara temple stala Purana indicates that the Kamadeva woke up Siva at this place. There is a village named Kaamakkaapaliyam in this locality. Sri Kamanada Eswar temple was built prior to 1206 CE and hosts many Epigraphs of historic and Archaeological importance and it is maintained by Tamilnadu Government Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments ministry. The epigraphs were collected by the British Raj in 1931CE and numbered it 408 - 455. Bhirava pooja here is recent phenomena - since 2004 , and it is getting very popular and the village bustles with transient business.

Vishnu: Rajaraja Vanar Kovaraiyan built Karivaradha Perumal Kovil (Vishnu) in 12th century that is facing West. There are nice Dasavatara murals with the 9th avatar as Budha. This temple has a Temple tank having water. It's water is not used or minimally used for the ritualistic activity.

Solesvaran Temple: This temple gives the old name for the village as 'Thayinum nalla chozhiswaram'. The temple is constructed using Granite stones with no mortar. There is one inscription in the temple, Nandi in separate Mandapa. There is another small temple for the goddess adjacent to the Solesvaran temple and the construction is similar to the mail temple. Locals believe that this was constructed by/in honor of Kulothunga Chola III. In 2007, volunteers have cleared the vegetation over growth on the roof of this temple.

Temple cars: ( [http://www.mynet.in/salem2.htm Donated by Eramanchi Tulukanna Nayaka 1518] under Vijayanagara Empire ruler Krishnadevaraya) in ruins - not maintained. The art work is brilliant even in the current condition.

Buddha temple: The Budha temple and Buddha statues are found in the neighboring village Thiyakanuor is another attraction to visitors.

For the visitors who have extra time on their hand there is no shortage of temples, small and big, in this small village. There are more temples for the tiny population of this village.

Bronze Jain statues were present in this village. They are probably moved to Salem museum.

International tourists have visited Aragalur in 2007 as part of Agritourism due to promotion of Organic Farming by few enterprising farmers - using the Hospitality service.

There are couple of restaurants that provide basic food to the locals and tourists. For accommodation, Attur is the nearest desirable place.

Notes

References

* The Hoysaḷa Dynasty, By University of Mysore. Dept. of History
* Madras District Gazetteers, By Madras (India : State)
* Gadyakarṇāmr̥ta of Sakala-Vidyācakravarttin, S. S. Janaki, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute.

External links

* [http://www.salem.tn.nic.in/aprofile.htm official district web site]
* [http://tnmaps.tn.nic.in/pr_villages.php?dc=08&tlkname=Talavasal&region=10&lvl=block&size=1200 block map]
* [http://www.whatisindia.com/ What is India]
* [http://www.travelmasti.com/domestic/tamilnadu/yercaud.htm travelmasti]
* [http://www.mynet.in/salem2.htm Salem History]
* [http://www.freehomepages.com/tamil-arts/volume2/articles/somanatha%20temple.htm Somanatha temple, Kumbhakonam inscriptions]
* [http://tamil.sify.com/kalachuvadu/july04/fullstory.php?id=13519776 Thiyakanuor]
* [http://nganesan.thamizamuthu.com/wp/?page_id=90 Magadai and Pandian]
* [http://tamilartsacademy.com/tninscriptions/salem.xml Inscription 408-455 year 1913CE]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=898tAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA3-PA5&
]
* [http://nganesan.thamizamuthu.com/wp/?page_id=90 SS Pandian]
*


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