The district’s most important pilgrim centre is located in an island just 7 kms from Tiruchi. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of river Cauveri on one side and its tributary kollidam on the other, is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sriranganathaswami Temple. 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 rulers from Vijayanagar. The largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987, and now measures 73m.
The main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Even muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the gold – topped sanctum, but they are allowed into the sixth wall. The whole place is fascinating. Bazaars and Brahmins’ houses fill the space between the outer four walls, and you don’t have to take your shoes off or deposit your bicycle until you get to the fourth wall. Just past the shoe deposit is an information centre, where you buy the ticket to climb the wall for a panoramic view of the entire complex. A temple guide will unlock the gates and tell you what’s what. It’s worth engaging one of these guides as there is much to see and you could easily spend all day wandering around the complex. There’s also a small museum containing sculptures.
An annual Car Festival is held here in January during which a decorated wooden chariot is pulled through the streets between various walls. In mid-December, the Vaikunda Ekadasi, or Paradise Festival will be celebrated in the Vishnu Temple. Ivory sculptures of Lord Vishnu in various poses and the images of Nayak Kings with consorts donated by Nayak kings who ruled Madurai during the 17th century are available here. Pavai lamps of Marati period who ruled Thanjavur, the rest of the period, made the Nataraja image in a pearl made screen. Coins of British, Dutch, Tiruvanquor, Hyderabad, Gowalior, princely states are available. Firm leaves inscriptions, stone sculptures, very big temple lamps, copper plates of Vijayanagara Kings are available .
Pooja Time: 7:30 AM – 9:15 AM, 12 Noon – 1:15 PM, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM
Service Time (Darshan) : 6:15 AM – 7:30 AM ; 9:15 AM – 12 Noon, 1:15 PM – 5:45PM, 6:45 PM – 9 PM
Srirangam is located 10 Km from Trichy Central Bus stand and 2 Km from Chatiram Bus Stand. 8.3 Km from Mani Home Stay
Thiruvanaikaval is one of the most revered temples to Shiva. It is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). The primordial element water, is represented by an undying natural spring in the sanctum. There is said to have been a forest of Jambu trees near the Chandrateertha tank (filled with the water of the Kaveri) here and Shiva is said to have appeared under one of the trees as a Shiva Lingam. Legend has it that two devotees of Shiva were born under the influence of a curse as a white elephant and a spider. The elephant worshipped Shiva with flowers and water brought in its trunk (hence the name Tiru Aanaikka). The spider worshipped the Lingam by spinning a web on top, to protect it from falling leaves. The elephants worship would destroy the spiders web, and the spiders web amounted to desecration in the eyes of the elephant leading to animosity between the two, of such proportion that a fight between them resulted in the death of both.
The spider was born again in the royal Chola family (in Uraiyur – during the Sangam period). An interesting tale is associated with his birth. His parents Subhadeva and Kamalavati prayed to Nataraja of Chidambaram for a male successor. The royal astrologer is said to have predicted an auspicious time for the birth of a successor who would be a ruler of great fame.
The hour of birth approached sooner though and the royal queen bade her attendants to tie her legs and hang her upside down, with the aim of delaying the birth of the child. She achieved her objective although the royal offspring was born with reddened eyes, earning for himself the name ‘Chenkannan’ – the red eyed one. In his life time Ko Chenkannan is said to have been built several elevated temples – out of reach of elephants, keeping with the legend of his animosity with an elephant in his previous birth.
The stala vriksham is said to have grown out of a munivar, who offered his worship to Shiva.Akhilandeswari (Parvati) is said to have meditated upon Shiva here, and her shrine here, is considered to be of great significance. It is believed that Akhilandeswari was originally an Ugra Devata of great fury, and Adi Sankaracharyar is said to have converted the fiery energy of the deity into a manifestation of peace.
Shrines to Vinayaka and Subramanya face Akhilandeswari. This temple has records of patronage from the Chola Pandya, Hoysala and the Madurai Naik kings.
The temple is said to have been built by the Chola King Ko Chenkannan and it was of special significance to the Chola kings. Ko Chenkannan is praised by tamil literature for having built more than seventy temples – and he is historically placed in the Sangam period (the very early years of the Christian era). Inscriptions from the tenth century AD testify to later Chola patronage.
The Hoysalas who had a base near Samayapuram (near Tiruchi) built four temples in Northern Tiruvanaikkaval (Vallaleeswaram, Padmaleswaram, Narasimheswaram and Somaleswaram). The Pandyas and the Hoysalas contributed to the Eastern tower. Adi Sankara is said to have visited the Akhilandeswari shrine. He is said to have adorned her with ear-rings bearing the symbol of the chakram. There is a shrine to Adi Sankara in this temple. This is a vast temple (18 acres) with lofty gopurams, 5 prakarams and ornate mandapams. The second and third prakarams date back to the 13th century. The dwajasthampa mandapam has grand sculptural work. There is an image of Ekapada Trimurthy representing the unity of Bhrama Vishnu and Shiva in this temple. The Akhilandeswari shrine is located in the fourth prakaram. The Eastern tower with seven levels has fine sculptural specimen of musical scenes, while the Western tower has nine levels. The first prakaram has been renovated in this century.
The Annual festivals here include the Pankuni Bhrammotsavam, Vasanta Utsavam, the float festival in Thai (Capricorn) , Aadi Pooram (Cancer) and the Pancha Prakara festival. For more information please see the Templenet Special Feature on Tiruvanaikkaval.
5 AM – 11 PM
8.3 Km from Mani Home Stay, 1.3 Km from Srirangam Renganatha Swamy Temple. 5 Km from Chatram Bus Stand, Trichy
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple is situated on Tiruchirappalli Chennai NH 45, just 20 kms north of Tiruchirappalli town.The Mariamman Temple here, is one of the well visited shrines in Tamilnadu, dedicated to Maariamman, a manifestation of the primeval energy Shakti as the mother Goddess all sundays, tuesdays and fridays hundreds of devotees throng the temple and perform Poojas. The offerings are in various forms.The most common offering is the Mavilakku Mavu made of jagery, riceflour,dhal and ghee. Mariamman is a form of Shakti worshipped in Tamilnadu, and is associated with prosperity and health. Local beliefs associate this deity with cures for diseases such as small pox and chicken pox.
Legend has it that Shiva created Kali, out of the poison that he had swallowed, and decreed that he kill Daarukaasuran. Having originated from the Kaalakoota poison, she assumed the name Kaali. Mariamman is believed to be a form of Kaali, and is also known as Mahamaayi or Seethala Gowri.Dasaratha, father of Rama is said to have worshipped here. It is believed that the processional image of Mariamman was in the possession of the Vijayanagar monarchs and that as their empire neared destruction, this image was brought down to Tamilnadu in an ivory palanquin. It is believed that the palanquin bearers placed image on the ground and paused for rest, and then found themselves to be unable to lift it off the ground. A temple was then established in the vicinity of Tiruchirappalli, which was later expanded by Vijayaranga Chokkanatha Nayak of Madurai of the 18th century.
Samayapuram was the local capital of Vijayanagar rulers and was known as Vikramapuram. This temple has separate shrines for the processional image of Mariamman and the moolavar in the sanctum. There is also a shrine to Karuppannasaami a local deity. Annual festivals are celebrated during Thai Poosam, and in the tamil months of Pankuni and Chittirai. The last Sunday of Pankuni marks the commencement of the festival, while the chariot festival is celebrated on the first Tuesday in the month of Chittirai, and the float festival is celebrated a week later.
6 AM – 1 PM, 5 PM – 8 PM
10 Kms from Mani Home Stay, Trichy
Thirupattur – Brahmapureeswarar Temple
A new destiny awaits the visitor of Sri Brahmapureeswara Temple at Siruganur, Tirupattur. Though a Shiva temple, there is a six feet tall idol for Lord Brahmma sitting on a lotus flower in Padmasana. When devotees touch the Nandhi (the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva), a feeling of touching a real and live bull is experienced by them.
This is a temple which is believed to change the destiny of the worshipper. The destiny of Lord Brahma is believed to have changed by Lord Shiva. The Shotasalinga (with 16 stripes) worshipped by Lord Brahmma is placed in a separate hall in the temple. This is the place Lord Shiva relieved Brahmma of a curse. Another very important feature of this temple is the Jeeva samadhis of Saints Padhanjali and Vyakrapadha
7 AM – 8 PM
Tirupattur is located 30 kms from Trichy enroute to Chennai on National Highway 45. It is 10 Kms from Samayapuram towards Chennai. After you cross Siruganur towards Chennai, take a detour on the left towards Tirupattur. The temple is 4 Kms from the detour on the highway.
Brihadeeswarar Temple is located at Thanjavur 60 Km from Trichy.It is one of the holliest place of Lord Shiva. The special feature of the temple is its height and architecture. It is 216 feet or 66 meters high. Entire structure of temple is made of granite. There is one statue of a sacred bull or Nandi at entrance of this temple measuring about thirteen feet high and sixteen feet long.
6 AM – 8:30 PM
6 Divya Desams
6 Divya Desams (Vishnu Temple) are located in and around Trichy. They are
- Nachiyar Kovil
- Uttamar Koil
Rock Fort and Temple
The 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3.8 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. The sheer abruptness of its rise is a thrill in itself, but the actual centre of attraction is not the fort itself, of which very little remains, but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where there are inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century.B.C. Hardly anything remains of the ramparts but the Main Guard Gate is still intact. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic wars and according to an inscription, mainly contributed to lay the foundations of the British Empire in India.
At the top of the rock is the Uchipillaiyar Koil, a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Tiruchirappalli. A flight of steps leads to the Mathrubutheswarar of Thayumanaswami temple, dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself. Below the Siva temple are the two Pallava cave temples that have beautiful sculptures of the 6th and 7th centuries. At the foot of the Rock Fort are a tank and a pavilion which are used during the float festival of the temples. Near the tank is the house where Robert Clive lived when he was in Tiruchirappalli and there is an 18th century Church built by Reverend Schwartz of Denmark. The Rock fort Hillock is said to be 230 crore years old. The materials like Quartz used in glass making and felspar used in ceramic are found in this Rock formation.
Uchipillayar/ Manikka vinayagar Koil: 6 AM – 8 PM
Thayumanavar Koil: 6 AM – 12 PM ; 4 PM – 8 PM
Rockfort is located 5 km north of Trichy Central Bus Stand, 5 Kms from Mani Home Stay
Mukkombu is a beautiful excursion centre, just 18 kms from Tiruchirappalli on the river banks of Cauvery and Kollidam. This place is called upper dam. It is an attraction for the tourists and also for the people of all ages by its park, greenish garden science park, toy train, merry go round, fishing facility, and boating facility.
10 AM – 5 PM
Buses are available to Mukkombu (from Trichy Chatram Bus Stand-16 Kms) on the way Mani Home Stay-13 Kms, Kambarasampettai Agragharam
Kallanai Dam (Grand Anaicut)
Not far from the island is one of the greatest engineering marvels of India. The Grand Anaicut built by Karikalan Chola in the 2nd century A.D. to harness the waters of the Kaveri. Made of stone, the dam is 329 m long and 20m wide and still very much in use. Additions have been made in the form of a road bridge on top of the dam. This is a good picnic spot.
10 AM – 6 PM
Buses are available for Kallanai (from Trichy Chatram Bus Stand), Cab/Taxi can be arranged from Mani Home Stay – 19 Km
On the foot hills of kollimalai ,a place of scenic beauty is the puliyancholai ,72 kms away from Tiruchirappalli via Thuraiyur filled with full of greenish tree sand tamarind groves. This forest region is cool and green with added attraction of the stream.the stream is the natural bathing area for the tourists throughout the year. There is a water falls in the higher hills which is called Akaya Gangai,besides the water here has medicinal value. The 18th day of the tamil month Addi is the time for worshipping the river here and more people visit Puliyancholai that day.
Puliyancholai to Agazha Gangai Falls (Hill top) Five hours hard Trek: Trek will fetch you Fantastic views of Million years nature curved rocks- Dolmens- Pithukkuli Cave- Different shaped big stones- Forest produces on the way and at the Top plain – Honey, Guava, Orange, Mustard, Fenugreek, Garlic, Paddy, Maze, Millets, Jack fruits (more than 12 varieties) etc.
6 AM – 5 PM
Buses are available to Thuraiyur (from Trichy Chatram Bus Stand ) – 1.05 hour Travel. Buses are available to Puliyancholai (from Thuraiyur main bus stand), 30 mins Travel. Book CAB from Mani Home Stay to Puliyancholai, 1.30 Mins.
Kambarasampettai is located in the bank of River Cauvery. Kambarasampettai check dam has now turned into a picnic spot, next to Mukkombu in Trichy city
NSB Road – Nethaji – Lively street for everything you wish to buy
N S B Road is a locality in Trichy and is located in Tiruchirapalli.
This is Trichy’s main shopping district encompassing all the main shopping stores and restaurants. Big commercial centre with lots of shops for shopping lovers. You can buy clothes, jewels, house hold articles and almost everything from the shops present here and Burma bazaar for Chinese goods at reasonable rates.
4 Kms from Mani Home Stay, 1 Km from Chatram Bus Stand.