Hero stones were erected for those whose lost their lives in pursuit of adventure. There was a tradition of erecting memorial stones for people who sacrifice their lives for the sake of their kings since ‘Sangam Age’. These memorial stones were called ‘Navagandam’. Plenty of memorial stones available in this district speak volumes about the valour and virtues of the people. Part of Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Mysore were together named as “Thagadur Nadu” in Sangam Age. “Adhiayaman”, the noble king offered ‘Karunelli’ (GooseBerry) to the great poetess “Avvaiyar” who adorned his court for her long life. Krishnagiri was once ruled by Adhiyaman and hence also known as ‘Adhiayaman Nadu’. This region was ruled by Pallavas, Gangas, Nulambas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijaya Nagar Emperors, Bijapur Sultans, Wudayars of Mysore and Nayaks of Madurai. This region of Krishnagiri served as gateway of Tamil Nadu and the protective barrier for Southern region defending onslaughts from barriers with motives of imperialism and exploitation. Twelve Forts in this region were popularly known as ‘Bara Mahal’ Forts. These forts have borne the funs of many attacks by Mysore and Andhra rulers. Krishnagiri Fort became the first and forth most defensive place. The majestic fortress built on Krishnagiri hill by the Vijaya Nagar Emperors, stands as testimony still now. ‘ “Kundani” a place in Krishnagiri District was once the HeadQuarters of the Hoysala king ‘Veera Ramanathan’ in 13th Centuty AD. ‘Jagadevarayan’, Hoysala king made Jagadevi’ (one of the ‘Bara Mahal’ forts) as his capital.
During Mysore war I the British troops passed through Krishnagiri to attack Hyder Ali’s Forces at ‘Kaveripattinam’. British army was defeated here. In Mysore war II entire region of Salem and Karnataka came under Hyder Ali’s control. Hyder Ali fought bravely against the English at Krishnagiri.
In Mysore war II after the “Treaty of Srirangapattinam” entire region of Salem and Barah Mahal were surrendered to the British. In 1792 AD, Captain Alexander Reed became the first District Collector of this region. Under the diplomacy of Robert Clive, the then Governor of Madras Presidency, Krishnagiri became the headquarters of Bara Mahal.
courtesy: government district website