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Tiruchirappalli Sightseeing

Rock Fort Temple

The temple tops an 83 m high outcrop. This smooth rock was first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the southern face, but it was the Nayakas who made use of its naturally fortified position. It's a stiff climb up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth it for the views. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit nor the bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Siva, halfway up. Occasionally temple priest waive this regulation.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy TempleThis superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagars. The largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987 and now measures an astounding 73m.  The temple complex is very well preserved, with excellent carvings throughout and numerous shrines to various gods, though the main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Even the muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall of Vijayanagar Empire.


St. John's Church

Trichy also has some interesting Raj-era monuments. Built in1812, St. John's Church has louved side doors which can be opened to turn the church into an airy pavilion. Rouse the doorkeeper to let you in. The surrounding cemetery is also interesting.