: Trichy in Tamil Nadu
Popular For : A Pilgrimage Centre
As the name suggests, the Rock Fort Temple is situated on 83 m high outcrops.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.
The Rock Fort Temple complex in Tiruchirappalli or Trichy is a fine combination of three temples, the Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanavar Koyil Shivastalam on the hill. Shivastalam is a rock cut temple on a hill and the most noticeable landmark in Tiruchirappalli, reached by a flight of steps on the way to the famous Ucchi Pillayar temple.
There is a rock cut Pallava temple called Lalitankura Pallaveswaram in this hill temple complex, with several inscriptions here attributed to Mahendravarma Pallavan. In addition the Cholas, the Vijayanagar rulers and the Nayaks of Madurai have made extensive contributions here. The two storeyed Taayumaanava temples, built on a hill is a masterpiece of construction.
Six worship services are offered each day here. This well equipped temple celebrates the annual Brahmotsavam in Chithirai. Aadi Pooram and the float festival in Panguni are also of significance here. Built by the Nayaks of Madurai, it holds two temples dedicated to Shiva and Ganesha.
This rock also contains excavated cave temples dating to the 7th century A.D, famous for the fine sculptures.
Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit and at the bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Siva, halfway up. The monument is open daily from 6 am to 8 pm. Shoes have to be left at the entrance near the temple elephant which passes each monotonous day blessing devotees in exchange for money.
Reaching the Rock Fort Temple
Air : Trichy has an airport (5-km) from the city. Various airlines connect Tiruchi with Chennai, Sharjah, Kuwait and Colombo.
Rail : Trichy or Tiruchi is an important junction on the Southern Railway. It connects Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai, Tirupati, Tuticorin and Rameshwaram on the metre gauge, and Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kochi , Kannyakumarai and Mangalore on the broad gauge.
Road : Trichy is well connected by road with important places of South India. City bus service, tourist taxis, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available for local transportation.