Tiruchirappalli Travel Blog› entry 9 of 22 › view all entries
They are "Four Lane-ing" the Tanjore to Trichy road. As a result, it took an uncomfortable 90 minutes for the 50 km.
Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) is a large clean busy interesting town. On the outskirts are many colleges/ universities some in grand buildings to provide for the growing youth population whose parents have money. There are 2 main sights, the Rock Fort and the Sri Rangam Temple. The Fort is perched on a high outcrop, and reached by steps cut in the rock up through a tunnel - some 200+ of them. As it's also a Ganesh Temple, you go barefoot. There are great views from the top and yellow clad Ganesh devotees admired the scene too. We then wandered through some pretty clean backstreets round the base of the Fort.
The Sri Rangam Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is said to be the largest in India.
And quite a contrast to the elegant early 19th Century St John's Anglican Church near our hotel, with its pillared portico, rattan chairs and memorials to the Brits.
Outside Trichy, we visited the small village of Kanadukathan, home of the Chettinad clan. They intermarried, made considerable fortunes in trade in Raj times, and built huge mansions here early last century. Many are dilapidated, but some restored. One looked like a 1930s Odeon. Another, a "homestay", we went in to get a drink. None provided - but we were shown round by the owner: Italian marble, Burmese teak, Birmingham ironwork. 126 rooms altogether. He told us at length about his 28 day tour of Europe and showed the monograph he'd written about it.
We'd also stopped in Puddukotai, formerly the only princely state in Tamil Nadu. The Rajah had a new palace built for himself in the early 1920s, very attractive with its verandahs and courtyard. It's now the Collector's Office (government official - what a lovely raj era title) But the police guard let us in, showed us round and refused a tip.
Next stop, the great temple town of Madurai.