Temples & Other interesting Places
ROCK FORT AT TRICHY:
The 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The rock 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 a thrill 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 part 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 Tiruchirappalli.A flight of steps leads to the Mathrubutheswarar of Thayumanaswami temple, dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself. Below the Siva temple are two Pallava cave temples that have beautiful sculptures of the 6th and 7th centuries. At the foot of the Rock Fort are 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 Tiruchirappalli and an 18th century Church built by Reverend Schwartz of Denmark
SRIRANGAM – Sri RanganathaSwamy Temple: This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three kms from the Rock Fort is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 Gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of them date back to the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. The largest Gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987, and now measures 73m
TIRUVANAIKKOIL JAMBUKESWARAR TEMPLE AT TRICHY (45Km):
This temple is situated 2kms 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. Installed under an ancient Jambu tree, the lingam is partially submerged by water and is meant to represent God-incarnate as water
ST.JOHN’S CHURCH AT TRICHY (45Km):
This Chruch built in 1821 has louvred doors, which open to convert it into an air pavilion, and is located near the Teppakulam
SAINT LOURDLS CHURCH AT TRICHY (45Km):
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdl, a hundred years old, is a case in point. Built within the St.Joseph’s College complex, in gothic architectural style (it is said that a maistry from Tirunelveli, one Savarimuthu, was given intensive training in such construction by the missionaries so that he could supervise the building), the Church’s 200 ft tall spire is visible from a radius of 8 kms around it. The Church has not been a repainted outside as the administrators wish to preserve its antiquity. The stained glass panels depicting stories from the Bible are truly beautiful. Some 6000 people attend mass at the church on Sundays.
Tourists of every faith visit the church right through the year. Local citizens, of all faiths, never fail to pause and fold their hands in prayer when they pass the gates of the church.
SRI KOKANESWARAR TEMPLE :
The rock-cut cave temple of Sri Kokaneswarar Brahadambal at Thirukokarnam is of Mahendravarma Pallava’s period
It is situated at Thirukokarnam, the museum is at a distance of 5km. from Pudukkottai station. The rare collections in the sections of Geology, Zoology, Paintings, Anthropology, Epigraphy Historical Records, etc. are very interesting. The fine sculptures and bronzes of various periods are the attractive items of the Museum.
Open on all days except Mondays and Government Holidays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
MURUGAN TEMPLE AT VIRALIMALAI (15 KM)