|Travel And Leisure - Tiruchirapalli (Trichy)|
| By : Ajit Hari Sahu||Previous | Next|
| Posted on : 29 Aug, 2005 ||Total Views : 1262|
Close to the center of Tamil Nadu on the River Cauvery is Tiruchirapalli, known better as Trichy. An ideal base from which to explore the temple towns of South India, Trichy boasts two extraordinary temples of its own. The town is well connected with daily flights to and from Madras and there are less frequent services to Madurai and Colombo. Trichy is on the main Madras-Madurai railway line, with connections to Chidambaram and Tanjore.
Historically, Trichy's prosperity was linked to the fortunes of South India's ruling dynasties. Although the city is generally associated with the Cholas and the Pallavas. Pandyas and Nayaks have also left their imprint. During the Carnatic Wars of the 18th century Trichy was often in the forefront of events. A massive outcrop of rock, 83 meters (273 feet) high, rears abruptly out of the plains, as if to guard the city. On the summit is the Rock Fort Temple, dedicated to Ganesh, the Remover of Obstacles. Pilgrims making the ascent pass two cave temples dating from the seventh-century Pallava era and a temple dedicated to Ganesh's father, Shiva.
North of the city, between the Cauvery River and its tributary the Kollodam, is an island where Trichy's two great temples are located. The largest, the remarkable Srirangam Temple, and the surrounding secular buildings are enclosed by seven great walls. One of the largest temples in South India, Srirangam was originally built by the Cholas in the 13th and 14th centuries. Later kings added to it to honour the god Vishnu and to display their own wealth and power. In the Horse Court each pillar is carved with a great rearing horse and intricate gatherings of men and gods are sculpted around the base.
Two kilometers (just over a mile) east of Srirangam, there was once a simple shrine under a jambu tree where, so the legend goes, an elephant used to worship Shiva. This shrine is now the splendid temple of Tituvanaikkval - also called Jambukeswarwaram, after the jambu tree.