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trichy Tourism and Travel Guide

History of The City

Woraiyur, a part of present day Tiruchirappalli, was the capital city of Cholas from 300 B.C. onwards. This is supported by archaeological evidences and ancient literatures. There are also literary sources which tell that Woraiyur continuedTrichy to be under the control of Cholas even during the days of Kalabhra interregnum (A.D. 300 - 575).

Later, Woraiyur along with the present day Tiruchirappalli and its neighbouring areas came under the control of Mahendra Varma Pallava I, who ascended the throne in A.D. 590. Till A.D. 880, according to the inscriptions, this region was under the hegemony of either the Pallvas or the Pandyas. It was in 880 AD, Aditya Chola brought a downfall to the Pallava dynasty. From that time onwards Tiruchirappalli and its region became a part of Greater Cholas. In 1225 A.D the area was occupied by the Hoysulas. Afterwards, it came under the rule of later Pandyas till the advent of Mughal Rule.

Tiruchirappalli was for some time under the Mughal rule, which was put to an end by the Vijayanagar rulers. The Nayaks, the Governors of Vijayanagar empire, ruled this area till A.D. 1736. It was Viswanatha Nayaka who built the present day Teppakulam and the Fort. The Nayak dynasty came to an end during the days of Meenakshi.

The Muslims ruled this region again with the aid of either the French or the English armies. For some years, Tiruchirappalli was under the rule of Chanda Sahib and Mohamed Ali. Finally the English brought Tiruchirappalli and other areas under their control. The district was then under the hegemony of British for about 150 years till the independence of India.

Situated on the banks of river Kaveri, Tiruchirappalli, the fourth largest city in the state was a citadel of the Early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. But the Pallavas never really managed to retain control of this strategic city and lost it to the Pandyas several times. This tug of war finally ended when the Cholas reasserted themselves in the 10th Trichycentury. Trichy continued to be in their possession until the decline of the empire after which it became a Vijayanagara stronghold.

When this empire collapsed in 1565, Trichy came to be occupied in turn by the Nayaks of Madurai, the Marathas, the Nawabs of Carnatic, the French and finally the British. But it was under the Nayaks of Madurai that Trichy flourished and prospered in its own right and grew to be the city that it is today. Trichy flourished and prospered in its own,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 Trichy will serve as a good base to see central Tamilnadu.

It was one of the main centers around which the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century during the British-French struggle for supremacy in India.

Monuments aside, the city offers a good range of hotels and an excellent local bus system which does not demand the strength of an Ox and the skin of an Elephant to use.

How to Reach

By Air: Trichy has an airport of its own. Major public and private domestic airlines operate regular flights to Trichy from different parts of the country. Trivandrum and Chennai are linked directly to the city by air. Some international airlines also link Trichy to countries like Sri Lanka, Kuwait.

By Road: Trichy is located at convenient distance from significant cities in south India. An extensive road network connects the town with Bangalore (345kms), Madurai (142kms), Chennai (320kms), Ooty (302kms).

By Rail: The Railway Stations in Trichy lies on in between Chennai and Madurai. Both these stations are in turnTrichy connected to the rest of the country by several important trains.

Shopping

Trichy is not a typical shopping destination. People travel to Trichy in attraction of its exquisitely carved temples, churches and historical monuments.

But if you are keen on shopping in Trichy, it may turn out to be a delightful experience. Traditional handicrafts of Tamil Nadu are available in abundance in Trichy.

In this part of Tamil Nadu woodcrafts and weaving is a rich tradition. Baskets, mats made out of bamboo, cane, grasses, reeds and fibers make for good shopping in Trichy.

The specialty crafts of Tamil Nadu include: jewelry, metalware, paintings, pottery and stone carvings. These items are available in Trichy in plenty. You may choose to pick up the same while shopping in Trichy. With Government run emporia and private shops are in galore, there are also many options for shopping in Trichy. A visit to the local bazaar is itself a feast to eyes.

Big Bazaar Road, Chinnar Bazaar are good places where you can hang around for shopping in Trichy. Colorful assortment of artifacts and utilities loaded in shops and streets, lit up and packed with people may leave you utterly amused.

Most of the government run shops and renowned private one offer authentic articles and good prices. You may also buy from the local vendors erecting roadside stalls usually close to the important sightseeing points in the evening. You may get a wide variety and cheap prices if you are comfortable with a little bargain while shopping in Trichy.

Monuments

Rock Fort: The Rock Fort Temple tops on a 83m high outcrop. This temple was built by the Pallavas as a small cave temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified Position. It is a stiff climb, up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth the view. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit and at Trichythe bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Siva, halfway up.

The monument is open daily from 6 am to 8 pm.

Ranganathar: 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 it dates from 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.

The main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Even muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the gold - topped sanctum, but they are allowed into the sixth wall. The whole place is fascinating. Bazaars and Brahmins' houses fill the space between the outer four walls, and you don't have to take your shoes off or deposit your bicycle until you get to the fourth wall. Just past the shoe deposit is an information centre, where you buy the ticket to climb the wall for a panoramic view of the entire complex. A temple guide will unlock the gates and tell you what's what. It's worth engaging one of these guides as there is much to see and you could easily spend all day wandering around the complex. There's also a small museum containing sculptures.

An annual Car Festival is held here in January during which a decorated wooden chariot is pulled through the streets between various walls. In mid-December, the Vaikunda Ekadasi, or Paradise Festival will be celebrated in the Vishnu Temple.

Other Temples: Athmanathaswamy temple (44 km from Pudukkottai) here contains graceful life-size sculptures and isTrichy noted for its zephyr (granite roof) work. This temple was built in the 10th century A.D.

Avudaiyar kovil (94 km): This ancient Athmanathaswamy temple (44 km from Pudukkottai) here contains graceful life-size sculptures and is noted for its zephyr (granite roof) work. This temple was built in the 10th centruy A.D.

Avur (30 km): There is an old church which was constructed by Father John Venantius Bouchet situated here.

Elakurichi (65 km): This place is famous for its temple for Vishnu, known as Prasanna Venkateswarar.

Kodumbalur (42 km): This place is also known as Moovarkoil (36 km from Pudukkottai). Out of the three shrines here, only two exist now. It was formerly the seat of the Irukkuvelar. These temples were built by Boodhi Vikramakesari in the 10th century A.D. with sculptures of Kalarimurthi, Gajasamharamurthi, Ardhanariswara and Gangadaramurthi which are masterpieces of art. Nearby is the Muchukumdeswarar temple of the Early Chola period.

Viralimalai (30 km): The temple of Lord Subramanya is situated on a hillock. There is also peacock sanctuary here.

Vayalor (8km): Located on the outskirts or Tiruchi. There is a small Lord Muruga Temple set in the midst of lush green vegetation.

Samayapuram (20 km): This is a very important place of pilgrimage, famous for its temple dedicated to the Goddess Mariamman.

Jumbo: The Sri Jambukeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and has five concentric walls and seven gopurams. It is built around a Siva lingam partly submerged in water that comes from a spring in the sanctum sanctorum. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. The complex was built at the same time when Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple was also built. It is open daily between 6 am and 1 pm and between 4pm to 9.30 pm.

Sri Kokarneswarar Temple: The rock-cut cave temple of Sri Lokarneswarar Brahadambal at Thirukokarnam is of TrichyMahendravarma Pallava's period.

Uthamar Koil: Uthamar Koil in Karumbanur is one of the most famous shrines in 108 Vaishnavik Padalshtalam. This temple is situated eight kilometres north of Trichy Fort Station, 4 km north of Srirangam railway station. Here is the temple where the Lord Creator - Brahma, the lord for the well being of the universe - Vishnu and the destroyer of universe - Siva take their abode. This place is also known as "Kadambavanam" or "Trimurthishektram".

Church: Christ Church, St. Paul's Church, St. John's Church, All Saint's Church, Fatima Church.

Hotels in Trichy

Hotel Sangam
Jennys Residency
Femina Hotel
Hotel Royal Southern
Guru Hotel
Hotel Arun
Hotel Gajapriya
Hotel Mayas
Hotel Mathura
Hotel Rajasugam
Hotel Vijay Lodge