Rock Fort, situated on the banks of Cauveri River is a major tourist attraction In Tiruchirappalli. It is one of the two monuments of national importance in Tiruchirappalli according to the Archaeological survey of India. Rock Fort is situated on the top of an ancient 88 metre tall and 3800 million years old rock, hence the name. The fort itself is believed to be some two billion years old. The fort was built was the Pallavas and Nayaka rulers. The main attraction of the Rock Fort is a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva which has been adorned by 100 carved pillars and a dome covered in gold. Besides these, there two temples of Lord Ganapathy, a Palace called Rani Mangammal Mahal and a small water body. The view from the summit of the rock is beautiful and attracts a lot of nature lovers.
This ancient temple of Lord Shiva has been declared a protected Monument of national importance by The Archaeological Survey of Indian. The temple was built in the Medieval age by the Chola Rulers and is called Malai Kovil or the Hill Temple by the locals.
Children would love a visit to the Anna Science Centre which was established by the Tamil Nadu government in 1999. This planetarium is a popular destination for children and adults alike. The Planetarium is located next to the airport and also features an environment gallery exhibiting themes related Eco systems, Bio diversity and its conservation. Shows at the planetarium are available on all days of the week in Tamil and English. Mukkombu, is a picnic spot and is also known as the Upper Dam. It is located 18 kilometres away from Tiruchirappalli, on the banks of the Cauvery River. The destination features a park and playground that includes a science centre, toy train and boating facilities. The little would also like to go to various parks in the city especially the Gandhi Children’s Park.
Rani Mangammal District Museum is also known as the Government Museum and is the best museum in the city. It has some rare and unique collections of artworks, artefacts and relics. The museum is divided into different sections which cover topics as wide as antiques, archaeology, arts and crafts, ecology and numismatics. This large museum is has a plethora of information and would appeal people interested in history, arts and culture of the state. There are two smaller museums in the city which you may visit if you have time namely the Tiruchirappalli Railway Museum and Aayiram Kaal Mandapam.
If you would like to visit other places of interest near Tiruchirappalli and there are several options depending upon your interests and preferences. If you would like spend some time at the pristine beaches and enjoy a tranquil holiday near the sea then Puducherry would be ideal for you. Pondicherry is located 207 kilometres away from Tiruchirappalli. You can also travel 336 kilometres to Chennai for good food, shopping and clubbing too. Another popular destination which you can visit is the temple town of Mahabalipuram or Mammalapuram. Mahabalipuram is located 291 kilometres from Tiruchirappalli and is famous for its temples, beaches and Sarees.
Puliyancholai Falls are located at the foothills of the Kollimalai and feature an awesome waterfall and a picturesque forest. It is located 72 kilometres away from Tiruchirappalli. Cool and far away from the bustling city this forest with its tamarind groves and a stream passing through is a popular weekend getaway. Tourists also have the option of staying at either of the two resorts here. You can also go to Kallanai Dam, which is one of the oldest dams in the region. The dam is about 2000 years old, built on Rive Kallanai. The dam is popular for the lush greenery around it and scenic views. Mukkombu is another popular green hideout for the people in Tiruchirappalli.
Most of the festivals and cultural events in the city are celebrated in the months of March and April. Thai Poosam & Chariot Festivals are celebrated at the Maariamman Temple every year and is very famous. Another famous cultural event in the Truchirappalli cultural calendar is the Float Festival which is celebrated every year at the Rock Fort. Natyanjali, which is an annual classical Dance festival, is celebrated at the Tiruvanaikkaval Temple. The other popular festivals which are celebrated in Tiruchirappalli are Mohini Alangaram, The Flower Festival, Vaikuntha Ekadashi and Garuda Sevai Festival.
The Rock Fort, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Samayapuram Maariamman Temple, Erumbeeswarar Temple, Thillainagar and Gandhi Children’s park are some of the major landmarks in Tiruchirappalli. Apart from these and the other tourist spots, some prominent landmarks within the city are Anna Stadium, Trichy Municipal Corporation office, Sri Rangam Island and the famous Golden Rock Railway workshop.
Located 77 kilometres from Tiruchirappalli the Akaya Gangai waterfall is the upper reaches of the Puliyancholai forest. In order to get there you have to first get to Puliyancholai from where you need to trek for 5 kilometres to the waterfall. Located around the waterfall are thousand year old carved rocks and Dolmens. There is also a cave called the Pithukkuli Cave. On the way to and from the waterfall you can buy some excellent forest produce from the locals.
Sahaja yoga Meditation is a great place to meditate and unwind. You can also go to the Green trends Spa for relaxing massages.
Nature lovers love to visit the Butterfly Park near Srirangam. With the purpose of protecting endangered butterflies this indoor and outdoor conservatory is home to many species of butterflies. The park also has a unique forest called the zodiac forest. The trees grown here are linked to the 12 zodiac signs and 27 stars that are part of Indian mythology.
You will find plenty of restaurants in Tiruchirappalli. The most common meals are “Thaalis” otherwise known as “Saapadu” consists of selection of lentils and vegetables to be eaten with rice. A few notable places to eat in the city are Vasanta Bhavan, Banana leaf, DiMoRa, Grand Gardenia, Kannapa Chettinad Restaurant, Hotel Rajasthan and Sangeeta. Grill Chick is recommended for chicken lovers and a visit to a Sri Krishnas outlet for sweets is a must while you are in the city.
Though most of the food available in Tiruchirappalli will be familiar with Chettinad dishes available all over Tamil Nadu, two dishes that you must try are while in the city are Vatral Kuzhambu and Maakali Kizhangu. While the former is a hot sausage containing garlic and other spices and used in addition or as a substitute to sambar, Maakali Kizhangu is a pickle and a special item in the City.
Festember is annual cultural event which is organized by the National Institute of Technology in September. It is the largest cultural festival in Tiruchirappalli and one can listen to live music, performances during the festival. You can also check out the listings for Carnatic Music recitals in the city with the help of locals.
Altitude Resto Lounge and Trichy City Club are two very popular nightspots in Tiruchirapilly and could be visited for partying.
Sri Sangeethas, SKS Bar and Altitude Resto Lounge are a few places where you can go for a few drinks. Apart from these most hotels also have bars in their premises.
A popular shopping destination, Chinna Kadai Street is packed with shops offering apparel, jewellery and souvenirs. There are also many restaurants and snack bars located here.
Some well-known departmental stores are Chinthamani Supermarket, Amma Supermarket, JAC Departmental Stores and Neela Mala Departmental stores.
Two popular markets are Gandhi market and Thillainagar. The 128 year old Gandhi market is one of the largest and most extensive markets in Tamil Nadu. Always pulsating with activity this market is the nerve centre for trade in Tiruchirappalli. Thillainagar is a relatively new well-developed shopping destination with stores retailing popular branded consumer goods.