The Rock Fort Temple
Historical | Pilgrimage
#2 of 18 Places to Visit in Tiruchirappalli
Distance (From Tiruchirappalli Junction): 5 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2 Hours
Place Location: 1 Km From Trichy Town Railway Station
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto
Travel Tips: Timings:
Ucchi Pillayar Temple: 6 AM to 8 PM
Thayumanavar Temple: 6 AM to 12 PM & 4 PM to 8 PM
Manikka Vinayagar Temple: 5.30 AM to 12 PM & 4 PM to 9 PM
At a distance of 5 km from Trichy Railway Junction, The Rock Fort is a historic fort and temple complex built on a large rock with a height of 85 meters.
Pallavas built the initial temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified position and designed it as a fort. There are 344 steps carved out of rock lead to the top. The fort complex has witnessed fierce battles between Madurai Nayakas and Bijapur, Carnatic and Maratha forces. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic wars, helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. The Rockfort is the most prominent landmark of the city.
There are three Hindu temples inside the Rockfort, the Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple, Thayumanavar Temple and the Manikka Vinayakar Temple. The Manikka Vinayakar Temple is located at the foot of the hill, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Manikka Vinayakar is the patron deity of the Trichy.
The Ucchi Pillayar Temple is a 7th century Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesh located on top of Rock Fort at an altitude of 273 feet. The Ganesh temple is smaller shrine with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India.
According to the Mythology, when Vibhishana returned home after the coronation of Rama, he brought with him an idol of Lord Ranganatha in a lying posture. He had been strictly warned not to put it down on the ground for any reason. When Vinayaka appeared before him as a Brahmin boy. Vibhishana asked him to hold it for a while Vinayaka accepted his request on condition that he should come and relieve him before he called him thrice. Vibhishana went to perform his evening ablutions. But within a short time Vinayaka called him thrice and put it down and ran away to the top of the hill. The idol stuck to the ground. The famous Ranganatha Temple was built where the idol was placed.
The Thayumanavar Temple, the biggest of the three temples, is a rock cut temple situated in the middle of Rock Fort Hill on the way to Ucchi Pillayar Temple. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Thayumanavar and is represented by the lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Mattuvar Kuzhalammai. A gold-topped tower raises over its sanctum, which houses a 2m-high Shiva lingam. This temple was built by King Mahendra Varman of Pallava dynasty in 6th Century. While major portions of the temple were built by Pandyan rulers during 8th century. Evidences of Jain occupation around the rock are still extant.
There are two rock cut temples in the fort, one in the lower part of the fort called Lower Cave temple and other in the complex outside the Thayumanavar Temple called the Upper Cave temple.
The Chittirai festival during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April - May) is main festival celebrated here for fifteen days.