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Rock, Fort And Temple With a Twist!

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Have you seen the VFX made temples and palaces in the films like Magadheera and Bahubali. They are is exotic and visually appealing too. Wondering why we are discussing VFX or palaces? Once upon a time even the Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli was that grand and has remained so after all these years. A distant view of the fort on the top of this rocky hill attracts us to explore this magnificent fort.

Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli

Rock Fort 
Photo Courtesy: Pravinyeapuri

What is there in the Rock Fort?

As the name suggests, it is a fort built on a rock. To top it all there are three temples in the fort complex.

What is Special About Rock Fort?

Most importantly it is the rock which desires our attention. Yes, splendid rock formations on which the fort is built is one of the oldest rocks in the world. 83 mt rock which is around 3.5 billion years old and this stands as is one of the major landmarks of Tiruchirapalli.

Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli

Rock Fort
Photo Courtesy: Odrej Zvacek

Second, the hill fort that has an incredible past. This fort has witnessed numerous battles and has been part of several kingdoms. Though it was constructed by the Vijayanagara rulers, it was a stronghold of many other dynasties. Interestingly, the fort was under Pallavas to Cholas, Vijayangara rulers to Delhi Sultanates. Finally, it came under the British administration during the colonial rule. The reason behind its popularity is the strategic location which gives a panoramic view of the city.

Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli

Rock Fort
Photo Courtesy: Ankushsamant

Rock Fort Temples

Rock Fort has three temples: Manikka Vinayakar Temple, Taayumaanavar Kovil and Ucchi Pillayar Temple.

Manikka Vinayakar Temple is a Ganesha temple located at the foot of the hill. Visitors have to go to Manikka Vinayakar Temple first and then climb the stairs further to reach the other temples.

Taayamaanavar Temple is a shrine dedicated to a saint named Taayamaanavar. It is a rock-cut temple built during the era of Madurai Nayaks.

Ucchi Pillayar Temple is on the tip of the hill and it was built by the Pallavas. Ucchi Pillayar Temple is the main shrine among the Rock Fort Temples in Tiruchirapalli. Though the temple was constructed by Pallavas, the stairs and other renovations were made by Madurai Nayaks.

Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli

Upper Cave Temple
Photo Courtesy: Hayathkhan.h

Rock-Cut Temples

There are two rock-cut temples that exhibits the unique architecture. One shrine is known as the Upper Cave Temple and that is is located on the way to Ucchi Pillayar Temple. Another shrine, the Lower Cave Temple is in the lower part of the fort. Studies indicate that these rock-cut temples were built by the Pallava Dynasty.

Hence, this defence fort is unique in various ways. Rock Fort in Tiruchirapalli is a one-of-its-kind architecture and a historical monument preserved under ASI.

It is definitely one of the top tourist places in Tiruchirapalli Do visit this place and let us know your experience in the comments section below!

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