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Rock Fort Temple, Tiruchirappalli

Rock Fort Temple Overview

The Rock Fort temple complex in Tiruchirappalli is a conglomeration of three temples - the Manikka Vinayaka temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanava Koyil (Shivastalam) on the hill. This Shivastalam is a rock cut temple on a hill in the most prominent landmark in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy); reached by a flight of steps on the way to the famous Ucchi Pillaya temple. This temple crowns a massive outcrop of rock, that soars 83 metres upwards, from the surrounding plains. It is reached by a steep flight of 437 steps, cut into the rock. Halfway up is the Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a 100-pillared hall, and a Vimana, covered with gold. On the southern face of the rock, are several beautifully carved, rock-cut cave temples, of the Pallava period. Non - Hindus are not allowed into the sanctum sanctorum, at the summit. Built by the Nayaks, who were the founders of the city, it was one of the main centres, around which, the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century, during the British - French struggle for supremacy in India. About The Temple 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. History 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 Tiruchirappalli as the trading city. Festivals Six worship services are offered each day here. This well endowed temple celebrates the annual Brahmotsavam in Chithirai. Aadi Pooram and the float festival in Panguni are also of significance here.

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