Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tiruchirapalli is known as Rock City

Actor Rajesh honored with an ancient photo of Trichy Rock fort

Writer V.Jawahar Arumugam
‘Tiruchirapalli is known as Rock City’ mentioned by V.Jawahar Arumugam, President of Writers Association in Trichy recently in a function. V.Jawahar Arumugam further elaborated, “Trichy is a fine blend of temples and monuments and is a great travel destination. Tiruchirapalli, Rock City is situated on the banks of river Kaveri. The Rock in Rock Fort is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3,800 million years. The Rock Fort temple complex in Tiruchirapalli is a collection of three temples - the Manikka Vinayaka temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Kovil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanava Kovil on the hill. It is located on top, and carved into, a huge rock in Trichy. Rockfort temple history says that, the temple was built by Pallavas on hundred million years old hill in 580 AD. To visit the temple is a big climb, up the 437 steps cut into the stone, to the top, but well worth the effort.Tiruchirappalli itself has a long history, going back to the centuries before the Christian era, when it was a Chola citadel. The Pandyas and Pallavas held sway over the region for short periods. In the 12th century, Cholas were subverted by the Vijayanagar kings of Hampi, who proudly withstood the invading Muslims. Less than fifty years later, the Nayaks of Madurai came to power, constructed the Rock Fort, and firmly established Tiruchirapalli as the trading city.This shrine houses Kangaala Moorthy, one of the 64 manifestations of Shiva. The approach to the temple is through a flight of covered stairs. Towards the end of the climb, the Tayumanavar temple is towards the west and the Uchipillayar temple towards the east.There is a rock cut Pallava temple - Lalitankura Pallaveswaram in this hill temple complex, with several inscriptions here attributed to Mahendravarma Pallavan. In addition the Cholas, the Vijayanagar rulers and the Nayaks of Madurai have made extensive contributions here. The two storeyed Taayumaanava temple, built on a hill is a masterpiece of construction. The Chittira Mandapam (also spelt as Mandapa) houses a granite chain with nine loops.The Rock Fort Temple stands 83m tall perched atop the rock. The smooth rock was first cut by the Pallavas but it was the Nayaks of Madurai who completed both the temples under the Vijayanagara empire.The temple complex is composed of two parts: a Shiva temple (Thayumanaswamy) carved in the middle of the rock and a Pillayar (Ganesh) temple at the top portion of the rock. The Shiva temple is the bigger one, housing a massive stone statue of Shiva in the form of Linga along with a separate sanctum for goddess Parvati. The temple is mystic in its nature with an awe-inspiring rock architecture. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological Department of India. This steep rock is a distinct feature in the otherwise flat Trichy landscape. It has some exquisitely carved rock-cut cave temples from the Pallava dynasty”.-Govin

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