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Introducing Trichy (Tiruchirappalli)

Welcome to (more or less) the geographic centre of Tamil Nadu. Tiruchirappalli, universally known as Trichy or Tiruchi, isn’t just a travel junction; it also mixes up a throbbing bazaar with some major must-see temples. It's a big, crowded, busy city, and the fact that most hotels are grouped around the large bus station isn't exactly a plus point. But Trichy has a strong character and long history and a way of overturning first impressions.

Trichy may have been a capital of the early Cholas in the 3rd century BC. It passed through the hands of the Pallavas, medieval Cholas, Pandyas, Delhi Sultanate and Vijayanagars before the Madurai Nayaks really brought it to prominence, making it a capital in the 17th century and building its famous Rock Fort Temple.

Trichy stretches a long way from north to south, and most of what matters to travellers is split into three distinct areas. The Trichy Junction, or Cantonment, area in the south has most of the hotels and restaurants and the main bus and train stations. The Rock Fort Temple and main bazaar area is 4km north of here; the other important temples are in Srirangam, a further 4km north again, across the Cauvery River. Fortunately, the whole lot is connected by a good bus service.