Chamarajanagar is a district in southern Karnataka, India, bordering Erode District of Tamil Nadu and Wayanad District of Kerala. The district was created after the larger Mysore district was split into the new Mysore district and the current Chamrajnagar district.
The District capital is the city of Chamarajanagar. The administrative units of districts in south India are known as taluks. The taluks of Chamarajanagar include Chamarajanagar taluk, Yelandur taluk, Kollegal taluk, and Gundalpet taluk. Many languages are spoken within the district. Kannada being the state language of Karnataka, is the main language in Chamarajanagar district. Tamil is a minor language within the district but of great importance in many areas within the district. Kollegal taluk has a great deal of Tamils, and was originally part of the Tamil Nadu state, in the Salem District.
Chamarajanagar is known for a good extent of forest land within its boundaries. Hence, it has a very high population of forest-dwelling tribals - Soligas, Jenu Kurubas, Betta Kurubas. Most of these tribes inhabit the forest of B R Hills, Malai-Mahadeswara Hills, and Bandipur National Park. All of these are protected areas. These tribals all have their own dialect, usually with a strong Tamil influence.
Chamarajanagar is rich with religious sites of many religions. The temple in the MM Hills (Malemahadeshwara Betta) is probably the most famous one. The yearly car festival (jatre) at the MM Hills brings many devotees. It is situated within the MM Hills Reserve Forest, not very far from where the river Cauvery flows into Tamil Nadu.
The district has its share of natural beauty. Local people and devotees revel in the beauty of the temples of the BR Hills, a wildlife sanctuary and the MM Hills. Since, much of the southern area of the district is dense forest, it provided good refuge to the notorious brigand Veerappan, responsible for the death of over a hundred policemen. He was shot dead in an encounter with the specially formed Special Task Force (STF) in mid 2004, at Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu. He had been on the run for several years.
There are many quarries
in the district, all mining for the valuable black stone. Unfortunately,
many of these quarries are today mining very close to or within the
sanctuaries/protected areas and are posing a threat to the rich flora
and fauna of this area.