Our morning alarm rang out loud in dead of the night. It surely isn’t the best time of the morning to wake up but we had a flight to catch at 7. And this is another thing about Flights. We have to reach way too early for a flight. Nothing like reaching the station just in time to catch the train! 😛 So by 4am were ready to go. Now I think of it, I myself wonder about how we woke up so early! But trip was just getting started and we were determined on keep each other surprised throughout! :p Most of the time in the flight flew by while we caught up on our sleep, and before we knew it, it was already time to touch down. After an hour’s rest at the hotel in Trichy, we were ready to and explore the city.
Our caravan started from the most prominent landmark of the city, Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort. A historic fort along with a temple complex is built on a 273-foot high ancient rock which may date over one billion years. There are two Hindu temples inside the Rockfort, the Uchchi Pillaiyar Koil and the Siva Temple. The temple exhibit Dravidian Architecture. After the flight of more than 350 steps we reached The Ucchi Pillayar Temple at the top of the hill. After climbing up, with Sun shining mercilessly above us, we finally had the darshan of Lord Ganesha.
Moving on we visited Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. This temple was large and spacious unlike the previous one. The old yet grand Dravidian Architecture spoke tonnes about its history. It is said that the temple attracts over 1 million devotees during the annual 21 day festival conducted in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January). Its vast area of 156 acres makes it the largest temple in India and is also often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Standing in the long queue we awaited our turn for the darshan of Sri Ranganatha, a resting form of Lord Vishnu. The cool ambiance of the place was simply divine. I couldn’t manage to get the perfect picture as the maintenance work was in progress. 🙁
After sumptuous lunch of south Indian dishes in a nearby restaurant that served on the large banana leaf, we headed back to our hotel. Our bodies demanded rest after whole day’s excursion. In the evening, high speed winds beckoned us for a stroll in and around the hotel premises. I have never witnessed such high speed winds ever. One couldn’t have guessed that the weather would have been hot beyond tolerance during the day. As we walked out, I noticed the stark contrast between the north and the south. I saw more women working to support their families. But sadly, what disheartened me the most was the aloofness of the city and the state on the whole. I knew people there weren’t so open to Hindi but the same would be the case for English too, this was something unexpected. For a moment it felt like I wasn’t in India but some foreign land. I felt a little bit alien and a little bit lost.
Mom broke my reverie and called me back for the dinner. After all, early to bed and early to rise, was the rule which was to be followed again.
>> Day 3 <<
Place of Stay : The SRM Hotel, Race Course Road, Khajamalai, Tiruchirapalli – 23, Tamil Nadu.
My Take : 3.75/5
- Ambience: 3.5
- Interior: 3.5
- Housekeeping : 4
- Food: 4.5
- WiFi : 3 (4 hours per room)