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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What can be a suitable itinerary for Tiruchirappalli?

Kirat S DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Tiruchirappalli resembles most small Indian cities until you reach the old quarter with its distinctive
Dravidian architecture. A small city but explore its interiors and a different century awaits you. With so much to immerse oneself in and experience, you would require some kind of plan to organize your trip time and make the most of it. But you haven’t been to the place yet so how can you possibly decide in advance you say. Well, solving your conundrum an itinerary is listed below that you can use as a rough guide to plan your trip:

Day 1

  • As you touchdown at Tiruchirappalli early morning hail an auto or cab to the hotel of your choice. Alternatively, if you have booked your hotel in advance do ask the hotel for a pickup service. Its often complementary. Check-in, refresh and have a filling breakfast at the hotel. You might want to start your exploration with Rockfort, a rocky outcrop about 3.8 billion years old that has the city’s famous Rock temple, built by the Pallavas and rebuilt by the Nayaks, perched right on top. Enroute, right from the base of Rockfort, you will come across 3 more temples built in different eras over the course of time; Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Ucchi Pillayar Temple at the top of the hill, dedicated to Lord Ganesha and the Taayumaanavar Koyil Shivastalam, a rock cut temple dedicated to a Nayaka era saint, Taayumaanavar.
  • At the foot of the rock you will also find a house and church built by Reverend Schwartz of Denmark in the 18th century. The incredible palace you see at the base of the rock was built by Chokkanatha Nayak, and is known as Rani Mangammal Mahal. It features a Durbar hall (Mughal court and ceremonial hall for gatherings during the British Raj). Don’t forget to peer down from the 83 meters of Rockfort, you can see the colourful city bustling with life before you.

  • The climb of 437 steps, which must have felt like 10,000, sure must have worked an appetite. Visiting Rockfort will take better part of your morning and afternoon. You can headover to Banana Leaf for a delicious, filling lunch that has some of the best of Hyderabadi, Chettinad and Mughlai cuisine.
  • Having time travelled, you might be inclined more towards enjoying the delights of this century. Chinna Kadai Street, that runs along the Uchchi Pillaiyar Rock temple, is a market street packed with clothes and jewellery, punctuated with restaurants and snack bars, where you can stop for your evening tea or coffee and snacks. If south silk saris are on your shopping list then head over to Saradhaas, Laxmi Silks (further down the street beyond the Uchchi pillaiyar temple) and Chennai silks store. You can visit Khadi Krafts at Tiruchirappalli Junction for some truly great handicrafts and silk wear that you can carry back home as souvenirs and gifts for family.

  • When you emerge from the shopping spree, the sun will probably be about to set, with twilight in near the horizon. You could head over to Kallanai Dam, also called Grand Anicut, at a distance of 20 km from the main city. Kallanai dam is about 2000 years old and was built by the Cholas in 2 AD. A marvel of Dravidian engineering, it has, over the years, served as the model to emulate for many modern day dams including the one called Upper Anicut at Mukkombu. Get down at the dam and if you are visiting post monsoons you can see river Kaveri cascading and streaming below. Try to catch the view of the sun setting beyond the flowing river. The river turns different shades of blue, violet and then inky blue and the silence, broken by vehicles at times, is surreal.

  • Heading over to the city, keep you eyes stretched out in the skyline-as you approach the city you are very likely to see the Rockfort temple illuminated and twinkling against the inky sky. Have a filling, plate load of South Indian cuisine at your hotel’s in house restaurant to top off your perfect day.

Day 2

  • After breakfast, head to the Sri Rangam island 4 km south of Rockfort, that has the Sri Rangam Ranga Nathar Temple, dedicated to Rangnatha, reclining form of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most illustrious temples of South India, rich in lores and history. Millennia old, the temple, enclosed by 7 concentric walls. with 21 gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, 50 shrines, Ayiram kaal mandapam (a hall of 1000 pillars) and several small water bodies inside the complex, spread out over an area of 156 acres, is one of the largest religious complexes in the world. As you enter the complex you are faced with the 7 prakarams (the concentric walls). Non-hindus can continue their exploration uptil the 2 prakaram but beyond that, inside the gold topped sanctum sanctorum, you will not be allowed.

  • A bustling place, enroute to the temple and while visiting the shopping market within the island you will be bound by river Kaveri on one side and its distributary Kollidam on the other. Your exploration the temple is bound to take most of the morning and by the time you emerge it is probably noon. For lunch you could try out any one of the humble local eateries doling out tasty idlis served with some of the best sambhar or delicious uttapam piled with bowls of utterly delicious coconut and tamarind chutneys (sauces). Alternatively, you could also visit Hotel Balaji Bhavan restaurant.  The street of the island are chattering with noise and activity. Ask around for the local market, where you can do a bit of trinket and jewellery shopping.

  • Once you have completed your exploration of Sri Rangam, you can visit Jambukeswarar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Sree Akhilandeshwari in Thiruvanaikaval, parallel to Sri Rangam island at a distance of 2 km. Following that you can visit Lourdes Church at Salai road. It will take you about 15-20 minutes. About a 100 years old, the church has stained glasses poignantly depict stories from the Bible. To complete the spiritual and mystical experience in the city of temples, visit Hazrat Nathervali dargah, dedicated to Sufi saint Nathervali, who was interned here in a tomb about a 1000 years back, and is a major pilgrimage center for Muslims.

  • Finally, as the evening approaches make a quick visit to Government Museum and with the sightseeing more or less wrapped up, visit Gandhi Market for a bit of indulgence and souvenir shopping. You are likely to come across exquisite jewellery items, wooden crafts and brassware.

Day 3

  • Wake up to the sun’s rays just beginning to make from below the horizon, get your espresso shot and pack your breakfast hamper and trekking gear to head over to Kollimalai hills near Thuraiyur at a distance of 72 km from Tiruchirappalli on SH 62. Here at the foot of the hills are the aquamarine Puliyancholai Falls, that appears more like a stream of water being a terrace waterfall, cascading through step like stones.There are many trekking trails here ranging from easy to difficult for you choose from. Exploring the natural beauty of Kollimalai hills can take entire morning and afternoon. There are no restaurants in or near Kollimalai hills, though you are likely to come across local eateries on your way back and you could stop at Sri Rangam that falls on the way for lunch.

  • Alternatively, a little ahead of Mannachanallur you could break off at SH 25 to Mukkombu, located at a distance of 18 km, it is really a sequel to Kallanai dam and is referred to as Upper Anicut. Built at the point where River Kollidam branches off from river Kaveri, it is a place with immense natural beauty and opens your way acres of pristine greenery and its well kept park. After enjoying a refreshing walk through the woods and wildflowers you can head over to Mukkombu amusement park, where apart from fun rides, you can indulge in delicious snacks and meals.

Come to Tiruchirappalli and experience and see the world through the eyes of the Cholas, Nayaks, Pandyas and the Vijaynagar empire. A different century and world awaits you in Tiruchirappalli or rather Trichy as it is fondly known and called throughout the city and South India.

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