AsiaIndiaTrichy

The Rock Fort Temple

Trichy Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 37 › view all entries
The Rock Fort Temple (Trichy, India)

After the exhausting day we had yesterday, we’re happy tour leader Digna is lenient enough to decide to leave our hotel a bit later. This gives us a chance to sleep longer without having to hurry like madmen to pack our backpacks, stuff breakfast down our faces and barely have enough time for a decent cigarette.

We’re starting to get to know our travel companions a bit better, and like always, there are a couple of weirdo’s, a bigger group of people who are all right, and some people we really enjoy spending time with. At the risk of sounding really ‘couple-minded’ (which I’m not, I actually enjoy traveling with a group that mostly consists of single people), there’s another couple we have a lot of fun with. Their names are Jeroen and Cynthia, they’re from Amsterdam, and they smoke at least as much as Rens and I do.

The Rock Fort Temple, the entrance to the lower Shiva Temple (Trichy, India)
Better yet, they also naturally understand that the fact that the four of us hit it off, doesn’t automatically mean we are now stuck at the hip.

Ajit and Lomash manage to drive us around Trichy flawlessly today, I have the sneaking suspicion they have done some research before getting behind the wheel. Within fifteen minutes we arrive at the Rock Fort Temple, which is perched on a huge rocky out crop. The rock is 83 meters high and it is said it is one of the oldest rocks in the world, dating back over three billion years.

The actual Rock Fort Temple (the Indian name is Ucchi Pillayar Koil) is a combination of two famous 7th century Hindu temples.

The Rock Fort Temple, the lower Shiva Temple (Trichy, India)
Entering through the small shopping lane that leads to the first temple, we automatically cross the threshold of the Shiva Temple (also called Thayumanaswamy). It’s carved in the middle of the rock and its very colourful and mystic. The vivid main hall of this temple, which houses a massive stone statue of Shiva, has stairs in the back that lead up to other stunning buildings that are built on higher levels inside the rock. There’s a large hall with hundreds of carved pillars, a couple of small courtyards and even a barn with cows.

There’s a fair amount of stairs, but there’s a lot of variety of sights on the way up, so it’s never too strenuous. A long flight of stairs between the highest tops of the rock remains and the steps are painted in bright red and white. As I understand it, red stands for protection and white for peace and purity.

Once these steps are climbed, we arrive at a plateau with a great view, but there’s a very last flight of stairs in red and white to reach the small Ganesh Temple (also called Pillayar) at the very top.

The Rock Fort Temple, the lower Shiva Temple (Trichy, India)
These last stairs require some stamina, especially since halfway the last bit of steps we run into a giggling travel companion who warns us by saying: ‘There’s nothing to see up there!’

As soon as we arrive at the tiny building, we see that our travel companion was right. It’s a very modest temple that can be seen within a few steps. It can hardly withstand a comparison with the elaborate lower temple, but the view of Trichy and the Srirangam temple are amazing.

While I’m staring at the beautiful surroundings from the seemingly insignificant temple, I think of this saying: ‘The journey towards the goal is more important than the goal itself’. I’m pretty sure it’s a Buddhist saying (although it’s very likely Hinduism has a similar expression), but it definitely applies to the Rock Fort Temple. The road towards the top of the rock is more enjoyable than then the obvious finale, the Ganesh temple, and maybe that is just as it was intended.   

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Rock Fort Temple (Trichy, Indi…
The Rock Fort Temple (Trichy, Ind…
The Rock Fort Temple, the entrance…
The Rock Fort Temple, the entranc…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower Sh…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower S…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower Sh…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower S…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower Sh…
The Rock Fort Temple, the lower S…
The Rock Fort Temple, a hall with …
The Rock Fort Temple, a hall with…
The Rock Fort Temple, a hall with …
The Rock Fort Temple, a hall with…
The Rock Fort Temple, a building o…
The Rock Fort Temple, a building …
The Rock Fort Temple, the barn wit…
The Rock Fort Temple, the barn wi…
The Rock Fort Temple, the barn wit…
The Rock Fort Temple, the barn wi…
The Rock Fort Temple, a building o…
The Rock Fort Temple, a building …
The Rock Fort Temple, the last fli…
The Rock Fort Temple, the last fl…
The Rock Fort Temple, the last sta…
The Rock Fort Temple, the last st…
The Rock Fort Temple, the last sta…
The Rock Fort Temple, the last st…
View from the Ganesh Temple at the…
View from the Ganesh Temple at th…
View at the Srirangam Temple from …
View at the Srirangam Temple from…
The Rock Fort Temple, taking the s…
The Rock Fort Temple, taking the …
The Rock Fort Temple, taking the s…
The Rock Fort Temple, taking the …
Flower salesman (Trichy, India)
Flower salesman (Trichy, India)
Chalk drawing on the street (Trich…
Chalk drawing on the street (Tric…
St. Josephs College (Trichy, Indi…
St. Joseph's College (Trichy, Ind…
Trichy Sights & Attractions review
The highlight of Trichy
The Rock Fort Temple is perched on a huge rocky out crop. The rock is 83 meters high and it is said it is one of the oldest rocks in the world, dating… read entire review
Trichy
photo by: jose28