Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort was constructed during Vijayanagar Rulers was used for military fortifications. British used it during the Carnatic War with French Armies. The fort was cut out of 273 foot high rock. As per geology, such high rocks may belong to billion years ago. The main attractions in this Rock Fort Complex are the Uchipillayar Temple and Thayumanavar Temple. Tourists can access the fort complex through Main Guard gate which stands facing the North. One can visit a museum in part of Palace (Rani Mangammal Mahal) built by Chokkanath Nayak in 16th century. Tourists can see a tank with a Marquee called as “Theppakulam”. It was built by Viswanatha Nayak of Madurai in order to perform the ritual of making the deities to float across the tank in a boat called “Theppam” during festivals.
Now the tourists has to climb 344 stone cut steps to access atop the rock. On the way to the Uchipillayar Temple atop the rock, tourists can stopover and offer prayer for Shiv Ling in the Thayumanavar Temple which was established during Pallava era. One can see many inscriptions which were attributed to Mahendra Varma I of Pallava Dynasty. The last stopover would be the Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
Tourists should climb up a flight of steep steps to worship Lord Ganesha. One can get an astonishing view of Tirchy, Srirangam and Kollidam and Cauvery Rivers from the top of the Rock Fort. Uchipillayar Temple which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha has a historical and religious background. As per religious facts, Vibishana (Brother of Raavan, demon king) was bestowed with a statue of Lord Vishnu (Sri Ranganathar) by Lord Rama for helping him to defeat Raavan and rescue Goddess Sita. However, Devas never want Vibishana to take that sacred statue to Sri Lanka as he himself is a Demon. So they asked Lord Ganesha to stop him carrying the Statue to Sri Lanka. When Vibishana halted for taking Bath in River Kaveri and perform Poojas, he asked a cowherd boy nearby river to hold the Statue and not to keep it on the ground, as he cannot move the statue once kept on earth. Now, Lord Ganesha in the disguise of Cowherd Boy placed the statue on the ground and ran away to climb a huge rock nearby the river. Vibishana got angry and chased Lord Ganesha atop the rock and hit him on the forehead. Once Lord Ganesha shed down his disguise Vibishana apologized and went back to Sri Lanka. The place where Lord Vishnu’s Statue was placed by Lord Ganesha is called “Sri Rangam” and the temple built for Lord Ganesha atop the Rock is called as “Uchipillayar Temple”.
THINGS TO KNOW
Historical, Fort, Monument
Tamil & English