Namakkal district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Namakkal town. The district got the name from its headquarters town, Namakkal. The place is named after the single rock formation called Namagiri, located at the heart of the town. When the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas were fighting amongst each other for power at that time the Hoysalas came into power and ruled over the region till the 14th century. Later the place, Namakkal became an integral part of the Vijayanagara Empire till 1565 AD. Namakkal was ruled by the Madurai Nayakas in 1623. On the other hand Ramachandra Nayaka and Gatti Mudaliars, the two Poligans of the Tirumalai Nayak were ruled the Salem area of the Namakkal region. It is believed that the Namakkal fort was constructed by Ram Chandra Nayaka. After 1635 AD the region was sequentially ruled by the Muslim Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda, then the Mysore kings and lastly the Marattas. Hyder Ali, a very brave ruler came to this place and ruled over it in 1750 AD. In the history some battles for the power were fought in this place and amongst them the battle between Hyder Ali with the British and Tippu Sultan with the British were the most interesting. Namakkal as a separate district came into existence on 1st January, 1997.
Venkatarama Ramalingam Pillai, a distinguished Tamil poet and freedom fighter was born on 19th October, 1888 at Namakkal town. The Government of India honoured him with the most prestigious Padma Bhushan Award in the year 1971.
Geographically, the district lies at 11°22'N latitude, 78°17'E longitude and 218 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 16.99% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,420 sq. km. and it is bounded by Salem district on the North, Karur district on the South, Salem district, Perambalur district and Tiruchirapalli district on the East and Erode district on the West. The climate of the district is characterised as a semi-arid tropical climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 967.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 taluks namely Namakkal, Rasipuram, Tiruchengode, Paramathi-Velur and Kolli Hills. Moreover, it comprises 34 towns and 389 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 17,26,601 out of which 8,69,280 are males and 8,57,321 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 986 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 15.61% including 14.45% were males and 16.82% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 96.93% of the total population. The population density in the district is 505 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 87.08%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 17,273 out of which 8,959 were males and 8,314 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 15,145 out of which 8,658 were males and 6,487 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, millets, cereals, pulses, sugarcane, groundnut, gingely, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is famous for its truck body building industries. Most of the people in the district are directly or indirectly engaged in these industries in order to earn their livelihood. It is also popularly known as Egg City since it produces highest number of eggs in India. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 19,47,433 lakhs at current price and Rs. 12,02,192 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 42,65,847 lakh at current price and Rs. 32,75,080 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 2,00,467 at current price and Rs. 1,65,851 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 74.63% out of which 82.64% are males and 66.57% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 11,76,131 including 6,53,312 are males and 5,22,819 are females.
S. Gandhiselvan, a veteran Indian politician and the Minister of state with Health and Family Welfare portfolio from May 2009 to March 2013 was born on 2nd June, 1963 at Namakkal town. He is a member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as the world. Namakkal Rock Fort, a rock fort located at the peak of the rock was built by the Cholas in the 9th century. From both the sides, the rock fort is bounded by two rock cut cave temples dedicated to Narasimhaswamy and Ranganathasamy. Tiruchengode, one of the seven Sivasthalams is located at a distance of 35 km. from the Namakkal town. The Arthanareeswarar Temple is the identity of this place. The unique deity of this temple depicts both Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati. Pilgrims from far off places come to this temple to offer their prayers. Kollimalai Hills, situated on the Eastern Ghats in the Namakkal district are famous for abundantly found medicinal herbs and plants on the hill slopes. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Kavinger Ramalingam Pillai’s House, Aiyaru River, Kailasanathar Temple, Agaya Gangai waterfalls, etc.