History of ChamrajnagarIt was formerly known as Arikottara before the birth of King Chamraja Wodeyar IX, after which it was renamed to pay tribute to the king. Chamrajnagar does not have a profound history but whatever history it holds shows why the district is rich in diversity.
The Ganga Dynasty (1117 A.D.) were the first rulers of this area, and they were followed by the Chalukyas. A few noteworthy rulers of this area include the Cholas, Hoysala, Vijayanagar Kings, Mysore Wodeyars and Ummathur Nandayal Kalale chiefs, who ruled from the 8th to the 20th century (till 1950).
Geography of ChamrajnagarThe district of Chamrajnagar lies along the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, specifically bordering the district of Mysore to the west and the north, the districts of Mandya and Ramanagra to the north-east, the district of Dharmapuri to the east, the districts of Salem and Erode to the south-east, the district of Nilgiris to the South, and the district of Wayanad to the south-west. A majority part of the district lies in the downwind region of the Nilgiris and contains semi-arid and rain-dependent flatlands along with densely forested hills.
Art and Culture of Chamrajnagar
Local Dances and Festivals of ChamrajnagarChamarajanagar is well-known for its rich traditions when it comes to performing arts. It is home to some inherited arts like Goravara Kunitha, Puja Kunitha and many more dance forms. Goravara Kunitha is a traditional dance of Kuruba Gowdas of Karnataka and carries a religious implication. The people of the tribe of Kuruba Gowdas dedicate their lives to Lord Mailara Linga and this particular dance form as well. It is perforemed at local fairs, festivals, housewarming ceremonies and other auspicious occasions.
Majority of the dance forms performed here are ritualistic dances and are presented by various tribes like Soligas, Jenu Kurubas, Betta Kurubas and many more. They have special instruments, ornaments and visually-pleasing outfits that complement these dance arts.
The Harihareshwara car festival, which is called Jatre locally, is celebrated every year. It is celebrated on a full moon day where Lord Harihareshwara is carried on a cart which is approximately 50 feet tall and is pulled by hundreds of people. The festival is celebrated wit a lot of enthusiasm, and love. Devotees from all over the state join the religious festival and showcase their devotion and respect to gods and goddesses through traditional dance forms.
Handicrafts of ChamrajnagarAs the town is quite close to Mysore, it has been very well influenced by Brocade weaving. It is distinguished handicraft which is found in and around this district and has gained a lot of fame in this region. While the craftsmen of this handicraft can be located all over this region, the wood inlay work is still practiced in Mysore. There also some areas of the town that are involved in silk weaving, cotton weaving power looms and handlooms.
Sandal wood carving is another creative and extensive handicraft found in this area. Sandal wood is found in abundant quantity in the district and artisans carve articles of all shapes and sizes, from the sandal wood with precision. These handicrafts are mostly of elephants, gods and goddesses, and other traditional designs. These delicate articles made from sandalwood are a great favourite among the tourists.
Tourist Attractions in and around ChamrajnagarIf you are planning on heading to Chamrajnagar, do not forget to visit the following places:
- Biligiriranga Hills (BR Hills)
- Male Mahadeshwara Hills (MM Hills)
- Shivasamudra Falls (45 Kms from Chamrajnagar)
- Bandipur National Park (113 kms from Chamrajnagar)