Located in the central part of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Trichy is often referred to one of the oldest cities of India. A centre of rich cultural and architectural heritage, Trichy is a busy city that is bustling with temples and markets. The city is believed to have been the capital of the Cholas in the 3rd century and the ancient rock on which the famous rock fort temple (Ucchi Pillayar Koil) of the city is situated dates back to this period. While the city is also called the ‘Rock city’ referring to this famous temple, the soul of Trichy is unarguably the magnificent Sri Rangam temple.
The temple which is spread across a whopping 156 acres consists of a massive 81 shrines, 21 towers, 39 pavilions and multiple water tanks making it one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is in the form of Sri Ranganatha reclined on a five headed snake, a visit to this temple is indeed an awe inspiring experience.
Teeming with devotees, vendors, tourists and locals, the approach to the temple offers a kaleidoscope of sights with people busy selling everything from coffee and hot breakfast to flowers, items of worship, vessels and knick kancks.
The little shops themselves are a riot of colour and the activity is a great way to soak in the cultural vibe of the city.
One passes as many as 7 main gopurams before reaching the main temple which is replete with ancient inscriptions, carved pillars, shrines of Gods and Goddesses and ornately crafted hallways.
Apart from the Sri Rangam temple, Trichy is also home to Our Lady of Lourdes Church which is built in the Gallo-Catholic design. Swathed in antiquity, the main tower of the church is 220 feet in height and is visible from a radius of 8 km.
If you have just a day in Trichy do not miss the city’s Rail museum which boasts of an engaging display of heritage rail equipment, engines, railway clocks, lamps, furniture and the like.