[Travel Series] Temples of Tiruchirappalli
Thiruchirappalli, also known as Trichy or Tiruchi is one of the prominent cities of Tamil Nadu. The ancient city is almost at the centre of the state and is surrounded by various temples that carry great religious, historical and architectural value.
Located along River Kaveri, Thiruchirappalli district is home to many popular pilgrimage sites. With some of the must visit destinations, Trichy is no stranger to tourists. The busy city is well-connected to historical temples such as Srirangam Ranganathaswami Temple, Samayapuram Mariamman Temple and others.
When to visit?
Trichy can be visited throughout the year. The city has cool winters from November to February – the best time to visit. Samayapuram houses a very grand festival in July; pay a visit during the festival if you can.
Approximate expense (For a day): Rs 500
What to eat?
From the roadside dosa for breakfast to XL sized chapatis and parotas for dinner, Trichy is packed with street food stalls and restaurants that serve delicious and authentic Tamil Nadu cuisine. Being a crowded city, there is a wide variety of option for food. However, most of the restaurants are found in bulk near the main bus stand and railway station.
What to visit?
Thiruchirappali and its surrounding regions are rich with religious treasures and historical temples. Thiruchirappali is a prominent city of Tamil Nadu and reflects the land’s culture in every way possible.
The Rock Fort Ganapathi Temple
The 7th century temple is the most popular and most visited destination in Trichy. The mythological and historically rich temple receives visitors from in and around the state and all over the world. The temple is built on a 273-foot high rock and the deities worshipped here are Shiva in the form of Thayumanavar and Parvati as Mattuvar Kuzhalammai along with their son Ganesha. According to mythology, the temple is also related to another temple in the Thiruchirappally district – Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple. The fort is supposed to be the place where Ganesha hid from King Vibhishan. The temple can be visited at all times of the day and is located at the centre of the city.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam is one of the ancient and most popular temples of Tamil Nadu. The temple holds mythological, historical, religious, and also architectural significance. The ancient temple is considered as one of the most important Vishnu temple as per the Vaishnava religion and it has been glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature. The temple is also known by many names such as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, and Bhogamandabam. This temple is a must visit destination in Trichy.
Sri Jambukeshwara Temple, Tiruvanakoil
Jambukeswarar Temple is located in Thiruvanaikaval of Trichy district. It is one of the five Shiva elemental temples of Tamil Nadu. Here, lord Shiva is worshipped as the medium of water. The temple complex comprises of five concentric walls and seven gopurams. The legend also speaks of the two disciples of Shiva who continuously quarrelled with each other and ended up being cursed to be an elephant and a spider. The duo travelled to Jumbukeshwara to worship lord Shiva and Parvathi (in the form of Akilandeswari). The central shrine is closed for non- Hindus and photography is prohibited inside the temple.
Sri Uthamar Kovil
Uthamar Kovil is surprisingly one of the least popular temples in Tiruchirapalli or even Tamil Nadu. The temple is the only place where shrines of the three prominent gods and goddesses of Hindu Mythology are worshipped in the same complex.
Along with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the temple also consists of idols of their consorts Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi (worshipped in the form of Vadivudaiamman). However, the shrine is chiefly dedicated to lord Vishnu and comes under the list of the most important 108 temples of Vishnu. The destination is mostly visited by locals and is sadly not well maintained. The temple is also known as Bikshandar koil.
Maariamman Temple, Samayapuram
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple is the perfect destination to explore the unique culture and traditional practices, and festivals of the region. A festival that’s organized in the month of July attracts many groups of devotees from all over the state; many of them even come by foot. The main deity – Mariamman is made of sand and clay and painted red. The goddess is well known for relieving people of cruses and curing the misfortunes caused by Black magic and other such practices. The goddess is also believed to cure illness and for this purpose, small metal replicas of various body parts that need to be cured are presented to the goddess as per the ritual.
Where to stay?
Thiruchirappalli is a well-developed city with good transportation and accommodation facilities. However, finding a hotel that provides accommodation for a low budget could be a difficult task. There are many hotels in the area that provide decent and luxurious accommodation for a price range above Rs 700.
Hostels: Unfortunately, there are no hostels in the region.
Plan your commute:
Train: Tiruchirappalli Junction railway station (TPJ) is very well connected to most parts of the country.
Road: As a prominent city, Trichy has many buses to almost all parts of Tamil Nadu and also to many other main cities of the country.
Air: Tiruchirappalli International Airport has flights leaving to and arriving from various parts of the world.
Local Transport: Local transport in Trichy is extremely convenient. Local buses are very well connected to almost all parts of the city. Autos and share autos can also be easily found.
A note to the backpacker:
Visiting Trichy is a wonderful experience. The ancient city not only provides an opportunity to explore the religious destinations of the state and learn about the historical importance of the region but it also gives a chance to look closely into the land’s culture and traditional practices. Travelling to and around Trichy is easy and convenient, the city also has a good connectivity with many other parts of the state and the country. Trichy is close to popular tourist destinations of the state such as Tanjavur, Velankanni, Kumbakonam and others.
This travel post is a part of Aao hostels fellowship travel series.