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The Nambalakod Temple is an ancient shrine complex in southern India. The temple is situated in Gudalur Taluk, Nilgiri District in the northwestern Tamil Nadu, where the tribal deity is the Betarayasvami or "Lord of the Hunt". The Nambalakotta Temple is significant to the cultural ethos, religious life, and rituals of the Mandadan Chettis.
The temple is situated almost a mile west from Srimadurai. Though Avvai Duraisamy Pillai (1968:99) seemed to have correctly identified (as early as 1957) this place as Umbarkadu of the Sangam period (Padirruppattu texts). The seriousness of the suggestion seems to have been ignored by several later authors on the subject). The tendency to identify Umbarkadu with Anamalai in the Coinmbatore region (mainly basing on the words meaning "elephants" and "hills") is not quite sustainable. There is little evidence to show that Anamalai would have been populous place during Sangam period.
On the other hand, Wynad region wherein is situated Nambalakod (the present day form of Umbarkadu) appeared to have been a very active zone. The brahmadeya of 500 villages endowed by Imayavaramban Neduncheraladan in Umbarkadu to poet Kannanar is a pointer in this regard (cf. Notes on preamble to II Decd. Of Padirruppattu). Avvai Duraisamy Pillai further suggests that the present day Cannanore on the western coast was probably named after poer Kannanar. If this were so, the brahmadeya limits probably extended from Cannanore to Nambalakod. A significant link in this connection is that the Nilgiri –Wynad even during the British revenue settlement in the 19th Century had formed part of the jurisdiction of the Raja of Kottayam – a principality in the vicinity of Cannanore (Logan 1891: Index xii).
The Badaga name for Nambalakod or Numbelahcotah is "Kottebetta". It makes reference to the famous fort in Umbarkadu overrun by Palyanai Selkely Kuttuvan (Preamble to III Dec. of Padirruppattu). In what was the original site of the fort, even to the present day, exists a hoary shrine complex called the Beteraasami Koyil (shrine of the "Lord of Hunt") sacred both to the Todas and Mandadan settis. The shrine is maintained by the Janmi or Nilambur in Kerala. The priest at the shrine complex claimed that according to astronomical deductions based on documents at Nilambur, the shrine complex is 1700 years old whatever be the credibility of this claim, the significant view commanded by the site is very telling. Situated at 3513, above mean sea level, the military importance of this place in the olden days cannot be overlooked. With the Nilgiri hills at the backdrop including a view of river Paikara and the vast expanse of territory running west towards the coast, the place must have indeed been a strategic one.
Historically, the temple had been the property of principal indigenous community residing in the vicinity of the temple area, who are the Mandadan Chettis. The Nilambur Kovilagam had filed a Writ Petition alleging that they were the owners of the Nambalakotta Temple. The Writ had been filed without impleading the true owners viz. the Mandadan Chetti community.
On 27 July 1936, the President of the Nambalakotta Kudiyan Samajam, Gudalur Wynad, a Mandadan Chetti Samajam had inter alia sent a communication to the Commissioner of the Hindu Religious Endowment Board wherein the following details regarding the history of temple were narrated wherein they complained that the inspector of the Hindu Religious Endowment was not discharging his duty impartially and was being the guest of the Manager of the Nilamboor Raja and that they had no faith in him. Another communication was also sent wherein the history of the temple and the community was narrated. The said narration is similar and is a corroboration in most parts to the version recorded in the Nilgiris Gazetteer. The Namballakotta Pagoda is a public temple and that it had been managed by trustees selected by the Public, and that the lands attached to the temple are the property of the idol and not the Private property of the Nilambur Raja and that the repairs and the Utsavams had been conducted by themselves and not by the Raja. An order was passed on December 21, 1936 by the Hindu Religions Endowments Board in Original Application 229 of 1932 that the Namballakotta pagoda and eight other temples are public temples and not private temples. Subsequently, it is understood that some official of the Board visited the place and made inquiries which were not informed to any of residents of the area. He stayed only with the Agent to the Raja of Nilambur at Gudalur and had been to Nilambur, and returned without inquiring with the residents. Inquiring only the authorities of the Rajah of Nilambur who were enjoying the properties illegally and without any authority and justification will turn only a false information in their own interests. A public inquiry only will turn a justified real fact. The visit of the official was not notified to anybody. The residents were the tenants interested in the temples and temple properties and were prepared to furnish necessary information regarding the illegal enjoyment of the Raja of Nilambur. Hence, two communications dated May 24, 1937 were sent to the Commissioner, Hindu Religion Endowment Board and The President, Hindu Religion Endowment Board pertaining to Original Application 229 of 1932 wherein an order had already been passed on December 21, 1936 that the Nambalakod Temple and eight others Temples and their Properties were public ones, i.e. belonging to the principal indigenous people residing in the vicinity of the pagoda and copies of the said communications were submitted to the Collector of the Nilgiris and Dy Tahsildar Gudalur. An adjudicating authority has to be neutral and cannot be the host of one side viz. the Nilambur Kovilagam to the detriment of the other side. He has to have an open mind at the time of the commencement of the inquiry. But it is obvious that he had already made up his mind for extraneous reasons best known to him. After the said to communication dated May 24, 1937, within a short period of two months it appears that an ex parte order allegedly was passed by the Board of Commissioner for Hindu Religious Endowment, Madras on 12 July 1937 in M.P.No 24 of 1937 that the temple is a private Temple owned by the Nilambur Kovilagam. The said order dated 12, July 1937 is not a speaking order and does not assign any reason for the giving a finding that the Nambalakotta Temple is allegedly a private temple belonging to the Nilambur Kovilagam inter alia. It can be presumed that the Original order pertaining to Original Application 229 of 1932 wherein an order had been passed on 21/12/1936 that the Nambalakod Temple  and 8 others Temples and their Properties were public ones, was a speaking order.