09th October 2016.
Even though there were a lot of changes in my planned schedule (a new event of attending a family function at Erode was added in the planned schedule about a week before, which leads to cancelling of tickets, booking & cancelling in the bus and trains etc., ), finally I was able to join with the Salem District history searchers group, for the Heritage Walk scheduled on 9th October 2016. The Heritage walk started around 11.30 Hrs, after a meeting held at the Boys High School. In addition to the heritage enthusiasts and Scholars, the Govt Higher Secondary School Students and the College students from Aringnar Anna Arts and Science College, also joined in this Heritage walk. We could see lot of eagerness on the faces of the students to learn our history. It was interesting to note that the students had taken notes and details then and there for their future reference.
The fort is on the north bank of river Vashista river. The river divides this place as Attur ( ஆறு+ ஊர் = ஆற்றூர் latter called as ஆத்தூர்) and Puthupettai. As per 10 the century Paranthaka Chozha’s inscription the place was called as Artrur kootram ( ஆற்றூர் கூற்றம்). During Vanakovaraiyars period it was a part of Makathai mandalam. This was also the east geographical limit of Ketti Mudali’s kingdom. Salem Chinna Bhupalan’s one of the six sons Lakshmana Naikar also ruled this area.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ATTUR FORT
There are two statements, who constructed this fort. The first one is the fort was built by the predessors of Ketti Mudali of Taramangalam. The another statement is Lakshmana Naikar, one of the six sons of Salem Chinnama Naikar, had build the fort, which is contradicting to the first statement.
During 1689, Mysore war, the captain Hambaiyah took the direct control of Ketti Mudali’s Chamballi Fort, Omalur and Anantha Giri’s fort ( Attur fort). Since then the fort was under the control of Mysore for about 100 years. From the year 1760 it was one of the 17 divisions of Paramahal. Then in 1792 it became one of the nine division of Salem South. From 1796, the place changed it’s name to Attur from Anantha Giri. The fort was used as a war center during Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan period. It became part of the British rule during 1768. In four years time the Fort’s control was changed between British and Hyder Ali. Finally after the 3rd Mysore war, when Hyder Ali was defeated, the Fort’s control came to Britishers ( 1792). The British troops are housed in this fort, for which some of the structures are added. The Attur Fort lost its importance when the British troops moved to Sangagiri Fort in the year 1799. Till 1824 the fort was used as a place to keep the arms and ammunition.
The main entrance to the fort is from east, in addition to a small & narrow entrance from south after crossing the river. The small entrance might have been used for human passage. The fort walls are constructed with shaped granite stones of width more than 10 feet and the wall stones are shaped in the form of wedge and interlocked with each other. Crocodiles with water around the fort ( No crocs now with water ). The rectangular fort of 1 km circumference was constructed in a 62 acres of land. The stones are brought from the Kalladithan Kunru. The fort has a narrow entrance from south with watch tower/ mandapam and a platform to position the canon. There is also a secret passage and it is believed that it goes up to Thalaivasal and no body ventured through it so far.
STRUCTURES AND TEMPLES
The fort has two big Palaces, leisure mandapas, Storage structures for grains and a store for arms and ammunitions. There is a tomb for John Murray and a Cenotaph for Jon Goyal. In addition to this, there are 4 temples ( Vinayagar temple, Sri Kayanirmaleswarar Temple, Sri Prasanna venkatesa Perumal Temple and a Muniappan temple ) constructed during various periods and the details are posted separately.
LOCATION OF THE FORT:CLICK HERE
FOR MORE PHOTOS ON GOOGLE:CLICK HERE
A view from Attur Bus stand
The watch Tower/ mandapam
The South Side entrance – might be for human passage
A Mandapa on the east side entrance
A Mandapa on the east side entrance
The Arms and ammunition store
The Place to position the cannon
This Cenotoaph was built by Henry Goyal, a British Captain of this Attur Fort, in memory of Jon Goyal during 1828, who died after falling from the horse in front of Salem collectors office.
... to be Continued ( Sri Kaya Nirmaleswarar Temple )