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Tourist Places To Visit In Trichy (Tiruchirappalli)
The ancient region of Trichy traces its history back to the 2nd millennium BC and finds reference in the historic works of Ptolemy. Trichy was ruled by the Pallavas, Medieval Cholas, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, Nayaks, the Carnatic State and finally by the British before Independence. Influences in the culture, art and architectural forms of all these kingdoms make up the heritage of Trichy.
About 16 km on the western side of Trichy is the Cauvery Delta that splits into the Kaveri and Kollidam (Coleroon) rivers that flow on either side of the temple island of Srirangam, near Trichy. Trichy is renowned for its ancient rock cut cave shrines, gigantic temples and forts, monuments and museums. There are so many temples and monuments you can visit in Trichy and we have compiled a list of some tourist places you might be interested in visiting.
Nadir Shah Mosque
Nadir Shah Mosque is believed to hold the tombs of Nawab Muhammed Ali of the Carnatic Rulers and General Chanda Sahib who is said to have been killed by a Maratha General of Thanjavur. The Mosque also contains the tomb of a Muslim Cleric called Babayya Nadir Shah, a saint who moved into Tamil Nadu from the Middle East in the 11th century and lived in Trichy till his end.
The entrance to the Mosque is a temple and Chanda Sahib who is said to have built the dome has his tomb close to the building, while Nawab Muhammed Ali who died in 1795, was buried inside the mosque. Nadir Shah Mosque is about 4 km from the Trichy Railway Station. Located on the western side of the city, the Mosque lies much closer to the Trichy Fort Railway Station.
Ranganatha Swami Temple
Srirangam Ranganatha Swami Temple is one of the foremost 108 Divyadeshas of Vishnu. Having withstood looting and partial destruction in the 14th century raids by the Delhi Sultanate, the Ranganatha Swami temple was fortified and reconstructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, to emerge as one of the biggest and most glorious functioning temples in the world.
The temple stands most magnificent with seven prakaras (enclosures), 21 towers, 50 shrines and 9 sacred tanks. Check out the beautiful Garuda Mandapa in the third prakara and the Hall of Thousand Pillars opposite the fourth prakara, built during Vijayanagara period.
An 83 m high rocky hillock, which is about 3.8 billion years old rises up from the plains. At the top of the hillock is the Ucchi Pillayar or Karpaga (Ganesha) temple. At the foot of the hillock is Manikka Vinayakar temple also, for Ganesha.
Other temples include the 6th century Thayumanavaswamy Temple for Shiva, built by Pallava King Mahendra Varma I. On the way to the top, check out the rock cut cave temples for Ganesha that were built by the Pallavas with a secret passage, said to lead all the way to Thanjavur. Explore the fort that was built by the Nayak rulers that has been a mute witness to many a historic battles, and the ancient clock tower. Midway on the hillock is a telescope that gives a good view of the countryside. The Rockfort temples are about 1.7 km from Chatram Bus Stand.
Basilica of the Holy Redeemer
Basilica of the Holy Redeemer is a Roman Catholic minor Basilica that was built in the Indo-Gothic architectural style dating back to the 17th century. Check out the amazing Big Bell that was donated to the Church by British Judge Woodroofe in 1881. The inner walls of the Basilica are filled with paintings from the Old and New Testaments. There is an exquisite portrayal of Sahayamatha-Mother of Perpetual Help Basilica, which is believed to have been drawn by evangelist St. Luke. The church was awarded the status of a Basilica in 2006.
The Basilica of the Holy Redeemer is about 3 km from the Trichy Railway Station.
The Jambukeshwara Temple to Shiva was built by Kochengat Chola about 1,800 years ago. Of the five Pancha Bhuta Stalas of Shiva, the Jambukeshwara temple has the water element and you find the sanctum immersed in water that streams out of an underground river. The temple is one among the important places where hymns in praise of Shiva were sung by all the Saivite Nayanmar saints. The idols of Jambukeshwara and goddess Akilandeshwari face each other, making the temple a Upadesha Sthala where Shiva is a guru (teacher) to the Goddess.
Temple timings are from 6.00am-12.00pm and from 5.00pm-9.00pm. The Jambukeshwara Temple is at Srirangam and about 3 km from Trichy’s Chatram Bus Stand.
Malayadipatti Rock Cut Temples
The Malayadipatti rock cut temples have aesthetically carved monuments hewn out of the rocks on either side of the same hillock. The temples are said to have been constructed by the Pallavas during the 8th century on the Mamalla architectural style. Apart from a Shiva and Vishnu temple, there are more caves dating back to the 3rd century that is said to have been used by Jain monks. The Vishnu temple that might probably belong to the 17th-18th centuries has a 15 ft sculpture of Vishnu in the reclining form, along with a host of other Gods and the demons Madhu and Kaidabha.
There are paintings on the ceiling, and the pillars on the hall have panels with scriptures on the Dashavatar of Vishnu. The Malayadipatti temple is open from 7.00am-11.am and from 5.00pm-6.30pm. The Rock cut temples are at Mayadipatti village, about 45 km from Trichy.
The Government Museum functions from Rani Mangamma Mahal, a heritage building also known as the Durbar Hall of the Madurai Nayaks. The Mahal was built by Chokkanatha Nayak, who was the ruler of Madurai, in the 17th century.
The Museum exhibits megalithic artefacts, fossils, taxidermied birds and animals, palm leaf manuscripts, stuff used by the tribals of Kolli and Pachamalai Hills, ancient coins, paintings and rare sculptures and documents.
The Museum is open from 10.00am-5.00pm on all days, except Fridays. The Government Museum is about 1.4 km from the Chatram Bus Stand.
Tropical Butterfly Conservatory
The Butterfly Park that is spread over an area of 35 acres, is said to be one of the biggest butterfly parks in Asia. The Park has everything to attract butterflies, birds, bees and tourists. There is a large glasshouse for the butterflies, a tropical garden to invite more butterflies, fountains, waterfalls, suspended bridges and a rest house for the visitors. The Rasi Vana or Zodiac garden has 27 species of trees that correspond to the stars in the Hindu almanac. You are permitted to plant a sapling related to your star.
The Butterfly Park is at Srirangam island, about 16 km from Trichy.
According to legends, Brahma the God of creation went on a pilgrimage to Shiva Temples to forego his pride as a creator and redeem himself from the curse of Shiva. Brahma installed 12 Shiv Lingas in the Brahmapureeshwara temple and did a penance. Pleased with him, Shiva revoked Brahma’s curse, promising Brahma a shrine all for himself, in the temple. It’s believed that pilgrims who visit the Brahmapureeshwara temple will have their destiny rewritten, just as Brahma had his done!
Shiva is Brahmapureeshwara and his consort is Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri. Brahma sits in Padmasana posture in his shrine. You can visit the Samadhi of Patanjali Rishi, the creator of Yoga sutras. The temple is open from 7.00am-12.00pm and from 4.00pm-8.00pm. The Brahmapureeshwara temple is at Thirupattur, about 34 km from Trichy.
The Shiva Linga of Erumbeeshwara is in the form of a mud anthill, said to have been a tiny portion that had dropped down from Mt. Meru. Legends say that when the Devas were terrorised by the demon Tarakasura, they took the form of erumbu (ants) and tried to clamber up the anthill to pray to Shiva to obliterate the Asura. When the ants found it hard to climb up the anthill, Shiva, it’s said, bent down a little to oblige them and ended up fighting the demon for the Devas.
The temple is open from 6.30am-12.00pm and from 4.30pm-8.30pm. Erumbeeshwara Temple is at Thiruverumbur, about 13 km from Trichy.