The historic town on the banks of river Kaveri was ruled by Chola, Pandya, and Pallava kings – changing hands from time to time. It was also under the reigns of Vijayanagar kings, the Nayaks of Madurai, Marathas, Nawabs of Carnatic, the French, and finally came under the rule of the British. The city is studded with temples, churches, mosques, and fine monuments.
Rock Fort Temple: This icon of Tiruchchirappalli is set on an abruptly rising 83 m. high rocky outcrop. It was originally built by the Nayaks and later on, by the Vijayanagar kings in the 14th century. The Rock Fort played an important role during the Carnatic wars. which laid the foundation of the British Empire in India. Today, most of the structure lies in ruins, except the Main Guard Gate of the rampart, The formed when Vibhishana hit Ganesha for his disobedience. A panoramic view of the city can be enjoyed from the temple. Halfway up is Sri Thayumanaswamy or Mathrubutheswarar Temple of Lord Shiva. It has a 100-pillar hall and a gold plated Vimana. On the southern face of the Rock are rock-cut cave temples built during the Pallava regime. Other attractions of Trichy are – Lourdes Church, Nadhirsha Dargah, Govt. Museum and Anna Science Centre/Planetarium.
Srirangam (7 kms.)
Sacred Srirangam, one of the most important Vaishnavite pilgrim centers are located on an island surrounded by the waters of Kaveri and Kollidam. The entire town is enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami Temple, which covers an area of 600 acres and is the largest temple of India. The temple complex was built between the 11th and 17th century and several additions were made to it by the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara rulers, and the Nayakas of Madurai. The 13 storeyed Rajagopuram at the first wall on the southern side was built in 1987. It rises to a height of 72 meters and is perhaps the tallest in India. Besides Rajagopuram, there are 20, beautifully decorated gopurams in the temple complex. The main sanctum crowned with a golden Ranga Vinana is set at the center of the innermost prakaram and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha. A large number of devotees assemble here for the Vaikunta Ekadasi (Dec. – Jan.) or the Paradise Festival.
TiruvanaikkavalTemple (5 kms.)
The sacred shrine of Lord Shiva lies 2 kms. east of Srirangam and named Tiru- Aanaikka, as an elephant is believed to worship the Shivalingam. It is also called as Jambukeswarar, after the Jambu tree, under which the lingam is established. Lord Shiva is believed to manifest here in form of water linga, hence it is always half-submerged in water and fully submerged during the monsoon. TIRUNELVELI The ancient town on the banks of river Tamarabarani was of considerable importance