South India Wonders

Tiruchirappalli – Rockfort City

Introduction
Situated on the banks of River Kaveri, Tiruchirappalli , the fourth largest city in the state was a citadel of the many dynasties like early Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar dynasty Nayakas, Marathas including French, Nawabs and British colonial rulers.

Tiruchi flourished and prospered in its own right and grew to be the city. Tiruchi is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the fort there are several churches. colleges and missions dating back to the 1760s. With its excellent infrastructural facilities Tiruchi will serve as a good base to see central Tamil nadu.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Area . 4403.83 Sq. km
Attitude . 75m above the sea level
Population 24,18,366 (As per 2001 census)
Temperature Summer Max 37. I C Min 26.4 C Winter Max 31.3 C Min 20.6 C
Average Rainfall 43.4 cms
Season Throughout the year
Clothing Tropical
Languages Tamil, English, Hindi Interpretation Center at Main Guard Gate (By ASI)

HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Tiruchirappalli has an airport (7 km) Indian Airlines connects Tiruchi with Chennai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Colombo and Singapore/Ma laysio. Rail: Railway connectsallimportantcitieswithinthestateandotherstates. Road: Good network of road link all cities and towns.

Local Transport: City Bus service to all places of tourist interest from Central Bus Stand and from Chinthamani – Main Guard Gate Bus Stand. Tourist Taxis, Autos, Rickshaws are available.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Rock Fort (5Kms)

Tiruchi’s most famed landmark is an 83-mte tall rock fort which is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city The most amazing fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world – approximately 3,800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. The sheer abruptness of its rise is an attention grabber in itself but the actual centre of attraction is not the fort itself, of which very little remains, but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where there are inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Hardly anything remains of the ramparts but the Main Guard Gate is still intact. The fort played an important role during the Carnatic Wars and according to an inscription, mainly contributed to lay the foundations of the British empire in India.

A top of the rock is the Uchipillaiyar Koil, a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Tiruchi. A flight of steps leads to the Thayumanavarswami Temple, dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself. Below the Siva temple there are two Pallava cave temples that have beautiful sculptures of the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. At the foot of the Rock Fort is a tank and a pavilion which are used during the float festival of the temples. Near the tank is the house where Robert Clive lived when he was in Tiruchi and an 18th century Christ Church built by Reverend Schwartz of Denmark, The house is now part of Tiruchi’s famous St. Joseph’s College. Ph: 2704621

Srirangam 

The District’s most important pilgrim centre is located in an island just 7 km from Tiruchi. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of River Kaveri on one side and its tributary Kollidam on the other side is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Lord Ranganathaswami Temple. There are 21 gopurams, among which the Rajagopuram is the largest in South India. The 72mtr. high 13-tiered Raja gopuram was built in 1987 and dominates the landscape for miles around, while the remaining 20 gopurams were-built between the 14th and 17th centuries. Originally, there was just a small shrine where the temple is today, but it was added on to and expanded by the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Kings and Nayaks of Madurai. and today Srirangam stands as the biggest temple complex in the country.

Tiruvanaikkaval

Situated 2 km east of Srirangam, this beautiful Siva temple steals the show from the larger Ranganathaswami temple due to its excellent architectural design. The temple is named after the elephant which is believed to have worshipped Lord Siva here and installed under an ancient Jambu tree. The Lingam is partially submerged by water and is meant-to represent Water, one ofthe five elements

St. Lourdes Church (5 km)

The church located near the RockFort Teppakulam based on the French architecture is the oldest one of its kind. Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is the replica of the Basillica of Lourdes, the world famous place of pilgrimage in south France.

Nadhirsha Dharga (5 km)

The Dharga built 1000 years ago, was stood as a holy place for musilms. The festival of’urs’ is celebrated in this mosque every year with a great boom. Many devotees from various parts of Tamilnadu visit this mosque during the festival rituals.

Samayapuram (18 kms)

This is a very famous pilgrimage centre dedicated to the Goddess Manamman. It is one among the abodes of Shakti in India. Pancha prakaram, Poochoriyal Vizha and Brahmotsavam are some ofthe festivals that attract many devotees. Ph: 2670460, 2670807.

Vayaloor (8km)

A very fine picnic spot located on the out skirts of Tiruchirappalli having a temple dedicated to Lord Murugan in the midst of lush green vegetation. Ph: 2607344.

Thiruvellarai (25 km)

A Vaishnava Temple known as Pundareekasha Perumal Temple is situated here. This Temple is one among the 108 Divya desams sanctifed by the songs rendered by Azhwars. It has the pride of Mangalasasanam made to the shrine by Periazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar. This is also a noted Archaeological site having cave temple and swastika tank. Ph 2562246.

Uthamar Koil (12 km)

Here one can worship Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Vishnu (the protector) the Lord Shiva (the destroyer) with in the same temple complex. So this place is called Trimurthi Shektram or Kadambavanam. Uthamarkoil in Karumbanur is one of the most famous shrines denoted in 108 VaishnavaDiviyadesam’s Paadal Sthalam, Ph: 2591 4 461 2541.

Gunaseelam (24 km)

Gunaseelam located on the northern bank of River Cauvery in between Tiruchirapalli-Musin Road. A Vaishnava Temple dedicated to Lord PrasannaVenkateshwarar attracts many devotees to this place. Ph: 2275216.

Planetorium (6 km)

Planetorium / Anna Science center is located on Pudukottai Road near Airport. Programmes in Tamil and English versions are shown daily Tamil Version : 10.30 am, I .00 pm, 3.30 pm, 4.45 pm

English Version: 1 1.45 am, 2.15 pm
Entry Fee Adult : Rs. [ 2/- Child Rs. 6/- (below 12yrs)
Environmental Gallery Entry Fee Adult : Rs.5/- Child Rs. 2/-(below 12yrs) Science Park Entry Fee : Rs. I /
Phone:0431 233 1921/2332190
Timing: 10.00A.M. to 5.45 PM. (all days except Three National Holidays)

Government Museum (5km)

Government Museum is located in Rani Mangammal Chaultry near Town Hall. This museum contains bronze and granite statues. The art and architecture, the heritage of Truchy District, History, Culture and Civilization are gracefully depicted here.

Entrance Fee Adult : Rs.5/-, Students : Rs.2/-, Foreigners : Rs. 100/¬Phone:0431-2708809.

EXCURSIONS :

Puliancholai (72 km)

A beautiful picnic spot located at the foot of the kolli hills is in the forest region. At the top of kolli hills, there is a water falls known as Dakshina Ganga, the water of this cataract carrying the medicinal properties has reached Puliancholai and joins the kollidam, the tributary of Cauvery. It is a perennial stream.

Mukkombu (Upper Anaicut) (18 km)

A place located on the Truchi-Karur Road with a significance of bifurcation of Cauvery into two branches named River Cauvery and kollidam. This is a beautiful picnic spot with lush green trees, meadows and parks.

Kallanai (Grand Anaicut) (20 km)

The Grand Anaicut, built by Karikal Cholan in the 2`° Century A.D. to harness the waters of the Cauvery is the greatest engineering marvels of India. The dam is 329m long and 20m wide made up of stone is still very much in use.

Pachamaiai (80 km)

A lush green vegetative hill range near Thurayur is known as Pachamabi. It is very fine picture spot to enjoy the nature. The title people have been residing there. Their habits and way of life lure many foreign touristtothe spot

Viralimalai (28 km)

A small hillock, having a temple dedicated to Lord Su bramanya.lt is said to be existed before 15 century A. D, is situated here. There is a very fine peacock sanctuary having different kinds of peacocks. The presiding deity of this temple, Lord Subramanya seated on a peacock with his two consorts on eitherside.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram (100 km)

A gigantic temple, known as Brahadeeswarar temple was built by Rajendra Chola during 1012-1044 A.D. is similar to the temple at Thanjavur. This place had been named after his victory over the kingdoms bordering the River Ganga. The most noteworthy feature of this temple is there are life size beautiful sculptural panels on the outer walls of the scactum sanctorum. Apart from the huge Nandi, there are some beautiful sculptures including a dancing Ganesa, a lion-headed well and depicting Rajendra being crowned by Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi.

Pudukottai (52 km)

Once a princely state, the area, which comprises the district is of absorbing interest to historians, anthropologists, archeologists and lovers ofart. The numerous dolmns, stone circles and otherforms of megalithic burials in the district indicate the antiquity of this region dating back to pre-historic and protohistoric times, this tract is mentioned in the Sangam classics. The archaeological and cultural remains at Kodumbalur, Narthamalai, Kudumianmalai, Sittannavasal, Thirumayam and Avudaiyarkoil are proofs of its rich cultural heritage.

Manora (120 km)

The eight storey Victory Tower here was built by the Maratha King Serfoji in the year 18 14 A.D. to commemorate the victory of the British over Napolean Bonaparte at Waterloo. The name ‘Manors’ is derived from the word minaret (small minar).

Karur (72 km)

Once the capital of early cheras, Karur was otherwise called Vanji during the Sangam age. This city played a significant role in the glorious history and culture of Tamil people. The evidences of Tamil Epic Silapathikaram, the travel note of Greek scholar Ptolemy and the recent excavations made in this area reveals that Karur has been flourishing a trading center even from the earlys Sangam age.

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