Dindigul is one of the historical cities in Tamilnadu. It plays a significant role in promotion of trade, as a vital trade centre to cater the needs of nearby villages. A Fort over a small hill, the three hundred and sixty year old monument stands gallantly in the west, and this fort stands as a land mark.
Dindigul was famous during the seventh century itself. "Appar" the great poet had visited the city. Thus the city had been noted in "Thevaram". Dindigul was mentioned in the book "Padmagiri Nadhar Thenral Vidu thudhu" written by the poet "Palupatai sokkanathar" as Padmagiri. This was later stated by OO.Ve Saminatha Iyer in his foreward to the above book. He also added that Dindigul was called as Dindeecharam.
Dindigul region was the border of the three great Kingdoms of South India, the Pandiyas,the cheras and the Cholas. Hence Dindigul has its set back in its growth by successive wars among the three. In the ancient time the cheran king Dharmabalan has built temples for Abirami ambigai and Padmagirinathar. After that in the book Silapthigaram it is mentioned as the Northern border of the Pandaya Kingdom whose capital was Madurai. Historian "Strabo" hadalso written in 20 A.D. The Roman Emperor "Augustus Ceaser" has sent a team to the pandya kingdom in 73 A.D., Pillni the great historian of the time has described about the Pandya king in his works we have more proofs that Pandya kingdom was established before the Christian era.
In the first century of the Christian era the Chola king named Karikal Cholan had captured the Pandya kingdom hence Dindigul has been ruled by both Cholas and Pandyan with the change of time. In the sixth century the pallava's took over Southern India, they were in the power until twelth century. Dindugul has been under the rule of Pallavas untill Cholas regained the state in the Thirteenth century. In the fourteenth century Southern India was invaded by the Moguls. The Vijaya Nagar rulers restricted their entry into the part for the time being. Dindigul was safe in the hands of VijayaNagara before cheras take over the Pandya kingdom Chandrakumara Pandyanwon the war against cheras with the assistance provided the Vijaya Nagar Kingdom. The commander of the vijaya Nagar army Kambanna udayar played an important role in the war.
Every historical city in India have a good number of temples, reflecting culture and prosperity of the people. In the fourteenth century KalahastheeswaraGnanambika temple was built. The seenivasaperumal temple built in the bottom of the hill was eroded by time. By the 16th century Pandyan acquired the whole chera kingdom with the support of Vijayanagar king Sachudevarayer. Sachudevarayer, on his visit in 1538 A.D. ordered for the repair works and Garnish the temple of Abirami amman & Padmagirinathar. This is inferred from the script written over stone in the Fort temple.
In 1559 Nayakkars became powerful, their territory ended with Dindigul in the north. The ruler, Viswanatha Nayakkar wanted to secure the borders of the pandya kingdom. Unfortunated he died in 1563. After his death Muthukrisna Nayakka became the king of pandaya kingdom in 1602 A.D. He built the strong hill tort in 1605 A.D. secure Dindigul from invasion. He also built a fort at the bottom of the hill. This was later called "Pettaiwall" .The East gate of the fort was near the American mission compound.The North gate was at the junction of palani & vedasenthur roads. The south gate was adjacent to the Begampoor Mosque.
Muthuveerappa Nayakkar and Thirumalai Nayakkar followed Muthukrishna Nayakkar. Dindigul got its significance during Nayakkars rule of Madurai. Thirumalai Nayakkar redressed the Hill tort. He built the Front hall of the Kalahastheeswaraswamy temple. Sowndaraja Perumal temple in Phadikombu was erected. During his Nayakkars stay in Dindigul, he fell into sickness, he prayed Sree Rangaperumal but his sickness remained with him. Madurai Meenakshiamman came in his dream and ordered him to rule over with Madurai as his capital. He did so and got himself relived from his sickness. His successords did not farewell. They died soon. This made Rani Mangammal became the ruler of the region. She ruled ingenusly. She built the six hundred steps for the hill fort.
In 1736 Sanda Saheb Seized power from Vangaru Nayakkar. Hence, Dindigul came under his reign. In 1742 Mysore army under the leadership of Venkatarayer conquered Dindigul. He governed Dindigul as a representative of Maharaja of Mysore. He built the Chatram (a matching place for the civils) in the west car street. By then the street is called as chatram street. There were Eighteen Palayams (a small region consists of few villages) during his reign. They were 1. Kandamanayakkanur 2. Thevaram 3. Bodi Nayakkanur 4. Erasakka Nayakkanur 5. Pilliappa Nayakkanur 6. Nilakottai 7. Virupatchi 8. Kannivadi 9. Marunuthu 10. Thottaian Kottai 11. Emakalapuram 12. Ambathurai 13. Ammayanakkanur 14. Tharasimadai 15. Edayakottai 16. Sholavandan 17.Kombai 18. Sandhaiyur. Now these palayams present under Dindigul taluk, Periyakulam taluk, Palani taluk, Nilakottai taluk & Thirumangalam taluk. At old times all these palayams were under Dindigul Semai with Dindiguls capital. These palayams refused to pay respect to venkatarayer. So in 1748 A.D. Venkatappa was made governor of the region after the dismissal of Venkatarayer. Even this leadership failed.
In 1755 Mysore Maharaja sent Haider Ali to Dindigul. He handled the Situation in an adept manner and captured Sholavandan also. Later Haider Ali became the Maharaja of Mysore. In 1765 Haider Ali went back to Mysore. In 1777 he appointed Purshana Mirsaheb as governor of Dindigul. He strengthened the fort and made few changes. One among them is the construction of present gate and he ordered to close the East Gate. His wife Ameer-um-Nisha-Begam died during delivery. Her tomb is now called Begambur.
In 1783 British army, lead by captain long Dindigul. In 1784 after an agreement between the Mysore province and British army. Dindigul was restored by Mysore province. In 1788 Thippusultan, Son of Haider Ali was crowned as King of Dindigul. He ordered to brought docon the statues of padmagirinathar & Abiramiambigai from the hill temples to the Kalahastheeswara Swamy temple.
In 1790 Tames stewart gained control over Dindigul by invading it in the second war of Mysore. In a pact made on 1792 Thippusulthan give back Dindigul to the English. Dindigul is the first region to come under English rule in the Madurai District. In 1798 the British army Strengthened the hill fort with cannons, and by building sentinal rooms in every corner.
The British army, under statten stayed at Dindigul fort from 1798 to 1859. After that Madurai was made head quarters of the British army and Dindigul was attached to it as a taluk, In 1866, 11th November Dindigul became a Municipality. The city got its railway station in 1875 when rail line for Trichy to Tuticorin was constructed. Dindigul given to British in 1792 was under the rule of the British. Untill we got our Independence on 15th August 1947.
The Great sri Ramanamaharishi who born in Dindigul and studied in Nehruji memorial school upto 7th std before he moves to thiruvannamalai.