The Kottai Kovil (also called as Mallikarjuneswara temple) is an ancient temple and is located on the northern side of the district of Dharmapuri, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. This temple is about 67 km From Salem, 110 km from Thiruvannamalai and 150 km From Bengaluru. The Kottai Kovil is also called as Fort temple, as it resembles a Fort and does not have a Raja Gopuram (main Temple Tower)!
There is a popular belief that the Kottai Kovil existed even during the period of Treta Yuga, when Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Lord Rama! It is believed that Lord Vishnu in his various avatars as Yoga Narasimha, Hayagriva, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, had worshipped Lord Mallikarjuneswara in Kottai Kovil! Several Tamil poets like Avvaiyar, Paranar, Kabilar, Sambandar and Sundarar had sung the glory of Lord Mallikarjuneswara in Dharmapuri!
The Kottai Kovil was built between the 8th - 9th Century A.D. This temple is in Dharmapuri town, at a distance of just 1 km from Dharmapuri station. The specialty of this temple is its amazing architecture, rare sculptures and paintings. Lord Vinayaka is worshipped here as Selva Ganapati. One of the main features of the Kottai Kovil temple is the presence of two hanging pillars weighing 2.5 tons! These amazing pillars are located in the Ardha Mandapam, just next to the ‘Garbha Griha’ (Sanctum Sanctorum) of this temple. The devotees can clearly see a 2 cm space between the base and the pillar