Leisure Places

The Upper Anaicut is also known as Mukkombu is a dam built on the Kaveri River in trichy. Mukkombu is about 18 kilometers (11 mi) west of Trichy at a point where River Kollidam branches out from the main river Cauvery. Mukkombu is about 685-meter long and it was built in the 19th century by Sir Arthur Cotton who drew inspiration from the 2nd century Kallanai dam by the Cholas.Mukkombu breaks into two channels at the Upper Anaicut to form the island of Srirangam which is enclosed in between the delta of Thanjavur.

Kallanai is also known as the Grand Anicut is an ancient dam built across the Kaveri River in Tiruchirapalli District which is located at a distance of 15 km from Tiruchirapalli.It is considered to be one of the oldest water-diversion structures in the world which is still in use. It still stands as a symbol of Tamil Engineering.The purpose of the Kallanai was to divert the waters of the Kaveri across the fertile delta region for irrigation via canals. The dam splits the river Kaveri into 4 streams known as Kollidam Aru, Kaveri, Vennaru and Puthu Aru. The area irrigated by the ancient irrigation network is about 69,000 acres.By the early 20th century the irrigated area had been increased to about one million acres.The dam was originally built by Karikala Chola around first century AD.The idea behind constructing the dam was to divert the river to the delta districts thereby boosting irrigation.The dam was re-modeled by the British during the 19th century.

Museums & Art Galleries

Anna Science Centre is a planetarium located in the Indian city of Tiruchirappalli.The planetarium is located on the National Highway 210 between Trichy and Pudukottai adjacent to the Tiruchirapalli Airport.The Anna Science Centre Tiruchirappalli was established by the Government of Tamil Nadu and was inaugurated on 10 June 1999. The planetarium has an Environment Gallery which exhibits themes related to Eco systems, Bio-geochemical cycles, Bio-diversity and Conservation. The planetarium has a software on Shark Island, a 3D scientific movie.The planetarium also has Vigyan Prasar, an Edusat Facility and Try Science – Around the World, a system that has details about the science centres in more than 50 countries.The planetarium has shows in both Tamil and English. Tamil shows will be at 10.30 am, 1.00 pm and 3.30 pm. In English shows will be at 11.45 am, 2.15 pm and 4.45 pm.

This museum was established in the year 1983 by the government of Tamil Nadu to have museum in every district.It was later moved to Rani Mangammal Darbar Hall during 1997 which is within Town Hall Complex.It is located near the super Bazaar in the heart of the town trichy. The museum has both indoor and outdoor exhibits of up to 2000 objects. Some of the indoor exhibits include epoch artefacts like megalithic sculptures, carvings, stone age inscriptions, musical instruments, tools, currencies and Chola-era coins, paintings,photographs, rare documents, palm-leaf manuscripts, fossils. The stone idols in the sculpture park forms the outdoor exhibits. The park opened on 17 April 2012 has about 45 Hindu sculptures of gods and goddesses dating 13th century to 18th century including sacrificial altar, stone nandhis and lingams.There is a separate section of Tribal things in the museum. There is a very nice model of Pachamalai hills on display. There is some very excellent work on display which has some Thanjavur paintings. Also on display are some very rare and ancient coins of India. It is a visual delight for people who are interested in coins.The museum opens from 10 am to 5 pm.

Monuments

The Rock Fort is a historic fort and temple complex built on an ancient rock. It is located in heart of the city of Tiruchirapalli.It is constructed on a 83 meter high rock.The rock is said to be one of the oldest formations in the world. It is 3.8 billion years old, making it as old as the rocks in Greenland and older than the Himalayas.There are two Hindu temples inside the Rockfort one in the lower part of the fort called Lower Cave temple and other in the complex outside the Thayumanswamny on the way up to Uchi Pillayar Kovil called the Upper Cave temple. the Uchchi Pillaiyar Koil and the Siva Temple. The fort complex has witnessed fierce battles between Madurai Nayakas and Bijapur, Carnatic and Maratha forces. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic wars helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India.The Nayaks of Madurai constructed the Rock Fort Temple Lake along with major walls as foundations establishing the town as a trading city and later as their capital. The fort palace also witnessed the transfer of power from Queen Meenakshi to Chanda Sahib.The oldest structure in the rock-cut temple in the hill temple complex was built during the Pallava era in 580 AD.

Places of Worship

Srirangam is an island and a part of the city in Trichy and it is 8 kilometers from Trichy city.Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River on one side and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam on the other side. Srirangam is famous for its Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus and the largest temple complex in India. Srirangam can be considered the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples i.e.Divyadesams. This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati.The temple complex is 156 acres in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras.Then Chola kings Dharmavarcholan and Killivalavan developed the shrine into the big temple. They built the basic foundations and main buildings.The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram which is 236 feet tall and it is the tallest gopuram in Asia.

The Our Lady of Lourdes Church is located in the heart of Trichy city surrounded by commercial markets.It was built in the year 1812.The Roman Catholic Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes.The Gothic Style of architecture with its penchant for the pointed arch,the church top rises 62 feet above the main body of the church. In a note of cross-religious pollination, icons of Virgin Mary are garlanded in Hindu flower necklaces.The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is held annually on 11 February. The 5 Statues of Great Saints in the middle of the Tower are : The Gothic Tower filled with artistic petal like flowers and dolls in the shape of pet animals,The Chimney Bell at a height of 90 feet,Colourful stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus, Jesuit Saints and Evangelists,Grotto of our Heart of Jesus on the right side and grotto of our Lady on the left side at the entrance,14 stations of the Way of the Cross on the inner church road.

Nathar Vali was died in 1225 CE was a Sufi saint and among the first Sufis to bring Islam to South India and Sri Lanka.Dedicated to Sufi saint Nathervali, who was interned here in a tomb about a 1000 years back, the famous dargah is a major pilgrimage center for Muslims. He came to Trichy in the 11th century his shrine is located in Tiruchirapalli which according to legend is atop the grave of the three-headed Hindu demon Tiriasuran whom Nathar vali killed.Though various legends describe him as a Byzantine nobleman, who left his comfortable life in search of murshid.He was commanded by Mohammed Rasoolallah to spread Islam in India. He was a qalandar who is a unmarried saint came to India along with 900 qalandars to spread Sufi Islam.During this time he is said to have performed miracles. Along with his qalandars he came to Tiruchirapuram which is now known as Tiruchirappalli, and led a religious life with his qalandars in a flower garden there. Nathar Vali died on the 15th of the month of Ramdan in Hijiri 417. This date is commemorated as his death-day and the first 17 days of Ramadan are celebrated in his honor by Muslims, Christians, and Hindus one the event of the Kanduri festival where they seek his blessings.

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple is a Hindu temple in Samayapuram near Tiruchirappalli.The Temple is Situated in the Chennai - Trichy National Highway which is 15 KM from Trichy. The main deity, Samayapurathal or Mariamman is made of sand and clay like many of the traditional Mariamman deities and hence unlike many other Hindu deities there are no abhishekams conducted to the main deity but instead the abishekam is done to the small stone statue in front of it.This Temple is known to occupy a prominent position among the temples dedicated to Goddess Shakthi. This temple is situated in beautiful land scape enriched by the Holy River Cauvery. It is believed by the devotees that the Goddess has enormous powers over curing illnesses.Samayapuram is also known by the names Kannanur, Kannanpuram, Vikramapuram and Mahalipuram in ancient times. In early 18th century King Vijayaraya Chakkaravarthi built the present day form of the temple.There is scant history of the period before that though it is believed that the locals worship the Goddess for many centuries before building the current temple. One legend says that the present deity was at the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam and one of chief priests of the temple believed that the idol caused him illness and hence asked it to be removed from the temple. It is a common belief in that part of the region that such local Gods have immense powers and they must always be satisfied by proper offerings and sacrifices. The idol was moved outside Srirangam and later found by some of the passerby who built a temple named the Kannanur Mariamman temple.

Vekkali Amman Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vekkali a form of Hindu deity Parvathi. It is located in Woraiyur in Tiruchirapalli. The central shrine of the temple houses the image of Vekkali Amman and the major feature of the temple is the absence of roof over the sanctum. The temple is known from the period of early Cholas but there are no historical records. The people of Woraiyur see Vekkali Amman as their guardian deity.The temple chariot is made of gold and was launched during 2010.The position of the leg of Vekkali Amman is different from other Shakti temples without roof where the right leg is placed over demon. As per Hindu legend the position requires lot of energy and while Nataraja during his dance switched his legs, Vekkali Amman remained in the position to show her energy levels. Historically temples facing north, are considered to provide victories on endeavours. The Cholas worshipped the deity before proceeding to military campaign.

Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple in Thiruvellarai a village 27 km from Tiruchirappalli on the Thuraiyur road is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu who is worshipped as Pundarikakshan and his consort Lakshmi as Pankajavalli. The shrine of Pundarikakshan is built on a 50 ft tall artificial hill.There are two stepped entrances to the sanctum, Utharayana Vaasal and Dhakshanayana Vaasal, each open for a six-month period.The two gates in the temple are believed to represent the continuous cycle of entering into life and getting out of it. An image of the presiding deity, Pundarikakshan, is seen in a standing posture facing east. He is believed to have appeared to Garuda, Sibi Chakravarthy, Bhoomadevi, sage Markandeya, Brahma and Shiva, all of whose images are housed inside the sanctum. The temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD with later contributions from Medieval Cholas, later Pandyas, Vijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The temple has three inscriptions in its two rock-cut caves two dating from the period of Nandivarman II 732–796 AD and the other to that of Dantivarman 796–847. It also has Pallava sculptural depictions of Narasimha and Varaha two of the ten avatars of Vishnu.A granite wall surrounds the temple enclosing all its shrines and six of its seven bodies of water. The rajagopuram the temple's gateway tower is unfinished. A swastika shaped temple tank built in 800 AD by Kamban Araiyan during the reign of Dantivarman is outside the temple complex.

Viralimalai Murugan Temple is one of the famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Muruga which is located in the town of Viralimalai about 28 km from Trichy.The hill is small and rocky.In the 18th century the temple was under the control of Pudukottai Thondaiman. Great saints and yogis are said to have lived in the form of Kura trees and worshipped Lord Muruga and hence the name Viralimalai derived from the Tamil word Viravi.We find the statue of Kashyapa Muni and Narada Muni in the hill temple .On the way to the hill top we find the Idumban Sannidhi a small cave Srine for Meenakshi Sundareshwar.The Navagraha shrine is located on the way to the Maha Mandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum.On the southern part of the foothill Saravana Poigai the Sthala Theertham is located. It is also called Naga Theertham.

The Vayalur Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga, located 9 k.m. near the city of Tiruchirapalli.The main deity in the temple is Lord Muruga, it is behind the Moolavar Shiva Sannithy.Main temple is facing east and the main entrance into this graceful Temple is through a gateway of Rajagopuram directly leading into the inner temple precincts.The majestic Rajagopuram is consisting of five Anganams. In front of the temple, on Southeast side there is a holy bathing tank known as Sakthi Theertham . Legend says that Lord Muruga Himself had created this tank by using His Velayutham.This temple is around 1200 years old built during the reign of the Cholas.

Thiruvanaikaval Jambekeswaram is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli. The temple was built by Kocengannan one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago.Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu representing the five great elements.This temple represents the element of water.The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out it is always filled with water. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all of the four most revered Nayanars have sung glories of the deity in this temple. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period.The temple surpasses the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple in architectural terms were both constructed at the same time.There are five enclosures inside the temple. The massive outer wall covering the fifth precinct known as the Vibudi Prakara stretches over a mile and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high.The fourth precinct contains a hall with 796 pillars and measures 2436 feet by 1493.The third enclosure is 745 feet by 197 surrounded a wall 30 feet high. This area has two gopurams 73 feet and 100 feet tall.The second enclosure is 306 feet by 197, a gopuram 65 feet high and several small shrines.The inner most enclosure measuring 126 feet by 123 has the sanctum.