During Sangam age, Hosur was called as ‘Murasu Naadu’. Stone art found in stones reads that the area of Hosur was cultured even during the stone age. The area was also called as Thagadoor during ancient Tamil Sangam age and also as Athiyamaan Naadu as Hosur was under the rule of Athiyamaan, the king who gave ‘Karu-Nellikkaai’ to prolong the life of Tamil poet Av-vai-yaar. During ancient Tamil sangam age, Hosur, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Mysore, Bangalore and Salem were ruled by Tamil kings and were very much a part of Tamil Nadu.
Hosur comes under Krishnagiri District. Krishnam in north Indian language means black and Giri means hill (Granite hills). Hosur and its surroundings are very rich in Granite. So Krishnagiri means – place rich in Granite rocks. The other reason for the name ‘Krishnagiri’ may be that – the hill in the town of Krishnagiri looks so similar to the rocky hills of Gingee, where one of the hill is named as Krishangiri and the fort built by Cholas during 13th centuary on that hill was later used as ruling throne by foreign invaders like Marathas, Nayaks and Mughals who also ruled this part of the country. Mughal Emporer Aurangazeb leased Gingee to ‘Swarup Singh’ one of the Bundela (a Rajput race which ruled central India) Chieftain and even today we can see a hamlet of Rajputs at Venkatesh Puram near Bagalur (10 kms from Hosur), whom might have migrated along with Swarup Singh or his son Dev Singh (in French De Sing – Desing-gu Raja). Few others claim that the hills (located in Krishnagiri and Ginjee) were named after Krishna Deva Raya – so Krishna – Giri (Hill)
This is the image of Hosur during British rule – Photo courtesy – Archeological Survey of India
Photographed (later colored) by Thomas Daniell during 1804 AD who accompanied Lord Cornwallis and depicts Hosur – Photo courtesy – Archeological Survey of India
Photographed by A Soosai Prakash of HosurOnline on 1st May 2010 after the car festival.
A small temple was built for ‘Kaali-kaambaal – Kaamadeswarar’ on the Hill (now, can be seen while climbing to the hill top) at Hosur by a Bundela named Batta Kur-rappa Nayaka who got settled at Bagalur. Either he should belong to the family of Swarup Sing who ruled Gingee or might have come along with Tippu Sultan as Bundelas are known for fighting Mugals and at the same time few of them joining hands with Muslim invaders and get the right to rule countries encroached by them. Till today the festival for the temple coincides with the north Indian festival Holi, while most of the people of this area do not know what ”Holi Festival” mean! The tower of the temple also does not resemble to that of Tamil temple architecture adding evidence to the claim of being built by a north Indian. The temple is considered to be built during 1207 AD and hence establishment of modern Hosur can be considered from that year i.e. 1207 AD. Chandira Choodeswarar Temple located on the 250ft high hill top, was built by the Hoysala dynasty king, Thirupuvanamalla Barvatharaja Anthiyazhvar, during the year 1218 AD to 1296 AD. The temple was renovated by Azhakiya Perumal Aathimoolam. He also belonged to Hoysala Dynasty. It was Hoysala King Ramanatha (Rama Nayakkan) who had his head quarters at Veppanapalli and Kolar, built the lake ‘Ramanayakkan Eari’ to store water for irrigation purposes and till today the lake is called by his name. Ramanatha was the king who developed Hosur and a small market was setup near the present day’s Gandhi Statue area.
Photo image of Ramanayakkan Eari. Photographed by A Soosai Prakash on 20th May 2010
After Ramanathan, his son Vishwanathan took the throne but he was toppled by his cousin Palla-raayan III. Pallaraaya III, established his kingdom up to Kerala’s Cannanoor. The rule of Hoysala dynasty came to an end after Pallaraaya III died during a war with Maaravarman Sundarapandiyan of Madurai’s Pandiyan dynasty. Pallaraaya’s son married one of the sister of King Harihara, who established Vijayanagar kingdom.
During late 13th and early 14th century AD Hosur was under the rule of Kolar. Stone scriptures says that the king was called as ‘Azahgiya Perumaal Aththi-mallan Kaaruvaan-arachan’. He brought the Bagalur landlords (Bandelas) under his control. He established the villages Aththi-palli, Aththi-mugam, Aththi-chandiram and Aththi-naththam and all the names relate to his name and even today it is called by his name. From Pandiyans, Hosur came under the rule of Vijayanagar and then went into the control of Hyder Ali. After Hyder Ali, Hosur came under the rule of Tippu Sultan and a mosque was built by Sultan in Hosur and the mosque is located in Ram Nagar area.
Mosque built by Tippu Sultan. Photographed by A Soosai Prakash on 1st May 2010
During Sultan’s rule, the Hill Top temple was renovated and maintained well and documents speak about the same. The renovation work was carried out by a British architect named ‘Hamilton’ whom Sultan captured during a war with British force. As per the agreement made at Mangalore between British’s East India Company and Sultan, towns of Hosur, Denkanikottai and Krishnagiri came under the rule of East India Company. Mr. Cornwallis took charge for ruling this part of the country. Cornwallis appointed Captain Kaspy as the collector for Hosur. Bret took charge from Kaspy and as per the wish of Bret’s wife, Bret constructed a fort which looked similar to that of London’s ‘Kenilworth Fort’ at a cost less than Rs 10,000/-. Bret was dismissed for constructing this Fort as Cornwallis felt that Bret has mishandled/misused the company’s money for constructing the fort. The fort was located near the present day Kottai Mariyamman temple. The name ‘Kottai’ speaks about the Fort and there are very few remains of the fort today. It is said that few selfish people of Hosur, after independence, looted the bricks/stones/pillars of the fort and made it to disappear. Even during 1980s a small swimming pool opposite the Maariyamman temple had been witnessed by people who settled at Hosur during that period.
This photo image of Kenilworth Fort, constructed by Bret in Ram Nagar area of Hosur was taken during 1880 by Photographer Henry Dixon – Photo Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India Collections: India Office Series (volume 21, ‘a’ numbers)
This photo image of Kenilworth Fort was taken during early 1980s but the date and exact year is not known
Built by collector Mr Brett (1859-62) Photographed by Mr Henry Dixon in 1860 – Hosur Ram Nagar
The remain of the above seen fort as on 16th January 2011 – Photo by A Soosai Prakash for HosurOnline
A Panorama – Video of the location as seen on 16th January 2011. The bridge shown is the original bridge that remains even today
Even during 18th centaury AD, it was Denkanikottai, Bagalur and Soolagiri considered to be towns and for Madurai – Mysore war, movement of forces were in the route via Javalagiri and Denkanikottai and there was no symptom of further developments in Hosur area. During British rule, Salem collector Walton Elliot Lockhart, made Hosur the head quarters for Salem district. Present day Sub-collector’s office at Hosur opposite Ramanayakkan Eari was then the district collector’s office.
Hosur Sub Collector Office – Photographed for HosurOnline on 29th June 2010 by A Soosai Prakash. The stone with date is provided in the photograph separately