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History of Trichy

Tiruchirapalli was originally a Chola citadel and later, during 1st millennium AD, then it was occupied by other south Indian dynasties such as the Pallavas, and Pandyas. The Chola regained control over Tiruchirapalli during the 10th century. Urayur,which has a known history and tradition of about 2500 years, was the capital of Early Cholas. Later, after the fall of the Chola empire, it came under the direct conrol of the Madurai Nayak Dynasty who paid tribute to the Vijayanagara empire. The Rock Fort temple, the most famous landmark in Tiruchirapalli, was built by the Nayaks. The Madurai Nayak rulers changed their capital from Madurai to Tiruchirapalli, and back, several times.

The city is home to Nagaraja Cholan and it has many historic temples, monuments, churches and mosques. It was the capital of the early Chola kings. The oldest human-built dam, Kallanai, was built by Karikala Cholan across the Kaveri River about 10 miles from Urayur.

With regard to the centre of origin of iron, Sir William Larke, Director of the British Iron and Steel Federation, says - "The centre of origin is variously placed in India, where there are historical traditions and remains indicating a highly developed iron culture. Hyderabad and Trichinopoly are considered by many to have been the centres of production of wootz..... This steel was noted for centuries, being carried by merchants from India to Damascus and Toledo.." Sir William gives the date of this origin of the iron age as 1400 to 1500 B.C.E

Trichy was an important town in the days of the Later Cholas and of the Nayak kings, and during the early days of the British East India Company. The conquest of Tiruchirapalli by the British East India Company marked a major step in the British conquest of India.

The well-known Trichinopoly cigars are chiefly manufactured from Tobacco grown outside the district at Dindigul. It was said that Winston Churchill developed a taste for the mildly aromatic Trichy cigar that was traded from Fort St George to Whitehall during 2nd World War

One famous landmark in Tiruchirapalli is the Rock Fort, a big outcrop of rock, 83 metres in height. It is the only such outcrop of its kind. Because of it Trichy is also called as Rock City. On top of it is the Ucchi Pillayar Koil, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vinayaka (Ganesh), from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Tiruchirapalli. The temple was also used as a military fort by the Nayaks for some time.

On the southern face of the rock are several beautifully-carved cave temples of the Pallava period. On the eastern side is Sri Nandrudayan Vinayakar Temple, with Ganesha as the main deity. A large-sized Ganesha and depictions of other rare deities can be seen in this temple, which hosts festivals every year during the Vinayaka Chathurthi (birthday of Ganesha). Many Carnatic musicians have given concerts in this famous shrine. Around the rock temple is a busy commercial region, mainly known for its textiles and Burma, China, Japan goods, known as Chatram. The Main Guard Gate is flooded on festive occasions such as Deepavali, Ramzan, Bakrid, Christmas, and Pongal.

Trichy is famous for the number of Christian churches it contains—it is said to have the greatest number of chapels in India. The most famous are Holy Redeemer's Church (Sagayamatha Kovil), Our Lady of Lourdes Church(built by Jesuits) near Chatram bus stand, and The Cathedral in Melapudur(built by Jesuits), all more than a century and a half old. The most famous college in Trichy, St. Joseph's College was also built by the Jesuits, and so was St. Joseph's school,etc. Trichy also is famous for Arcot Nawab masjid (one of the oldest), with its large water storage tank (Ahail)

There are several theories for the origin of the city's name. One is that Tiruchirapalli was named after the three-headed demon Trishira (or "Chira") who performed penance at the Shiva temple in the city and obtained favors. The city was therefore named after the demon. Another theory states that since there are three peaks in the area, which are occupied by Shiva, Parvati, and Vinayaka the name Tri-Shikharam or Tirisirapuram arose. The legend says that Shiva in the guise of a woman attended to the call of a devotee in labor, hence he is called as Matrubhuteswarar (Matru means mother, Bhuteswar is another name of Siva meaning 'king of ghosts') or Taayumaanavar in Tamil.

The name Tiruchirappali is the combination of three words Thiru + Chira + Palli, meaning the 'School Chira'. In Thanyumanavar Temple in Rock fort, the pictures depict that there was a saint called 'Chira', who established a school ('Palli' in Tamil) near that area. Hence the name Chira Palli or Tiruchirappalli, Tiru is a honoric prefix for the saint Chira.

Normally the place names ends with 'Palli' refers the ancient devotional place of Jains (Samanar). Rocky caves in many places occupied by them. 'Palli' means not only school but also refers to resting place.

He topology of Trichy is flat. It lies at an altitude of 78 m above sea level. The river Kaveri (also called Cauvery) and the river Coleroon (also called Kollidam) flows through Trichy, the latter forms the northern boundary of the city. The river Cauvery flows along WNW-SSE direction through the city.

There are a few hills located within the city, the prominent among them are Golden Rock, Rock Fort, Kajamalai and in Thiruverumbur. There are few reserve forests along the river Cauvery, located at the west and the north-west of the city. The southern and the south-western part of the district is dotted by several hills which are thought to be an offset of the Western Ghat. Eastern ghats also pass through the district. The soil here is considered to be very fertile. As two rivers flows through the city, the northern part of the city is more greener than other areas of the city.

Trichy has a moderate and pleasant climate, with humidity slightly above normal. The city experiences mild winters and humid summers. The timing of the monsoon in this part of the country has lately become unpredictable, with the rainy season starting from mid-October until early-November and the rains then extending until early or mid-January.

Max. 41 °C (106 °F) 36 °C 97 °F)
Min. 21 °C (70 °F) 18 °C (64 °F)

As of 2009, Trichy had a population of 11,39,534. Males constitute 49.97% of the population and females 50.03%. Trichy has an average literacy rate of 91.45%. Male literacy is 94.17% and female literacy is 88.73%. In Trichy 9.59% of the population is under 6 years of age. The city's population is predominantly Hindu (with both Saivaite and Vaishnavaite), and there are sizable population of Christians and Muslims. Sikhs and Jains are also present in smaller numbers.

Tamil is the official language of the city. The dialect of the Tamil language spoken here is the standard version of the language with a blend of Kongu tamil. Madurai Tamil may be heard as one travels through the eastern and southern-eastern boundaries of the city. One may also hear eelathamil / Sri Lankan Tamil spoken in some parts of the city. Other language spoken here is English,Hindi.

During the pre-independence era, Anglo-Indians, many of whom worked in the 'South-Indian Railways', started settling in 'Golden Rock-Township' and 'Crawford' located within the city. Crawford is considered as one of the expensive areas in the city. The place is predominantly Christian.

The city has a multi-cultural society with a sizeable presence of Tamil, English, Marathi, Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam-speaking population. The city projects a calm outlook and is considered to be friendly toward tourists. One may experience typical Anglo-Indian, Andhra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu cuisines here. In addition to Pongal, the Thamizhar Thirunaal, Ugadi, Holi & Onam are festivals celebrated by their respective communities retaining their cultural roots.

People living in Trichy have a rich ancient cultural heritage. The city served as the centre of fine arts since sangam literature periods. Uraiyur, the old head and name of the city, was the capital of early Cholas. Here lived a number of great Tamil Scholars and contributed to the Tamil literature. People living here even today speak Tamil mostly what is being used in written form than any other people living in other parts of Tamil Nadu.

Trichy cuisine is predominantly South Indian with rice as the main-dish. The city prefers a fairly mild flavour, with variations to suit the local palette. Lunch is usually served in many restaurants over a banana leaf. North Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines are also available. Jelebi, idly, dosa, halwa, parotta and biryani are popular among the locals.

Trichy is a major engineering hub and energy equipment and fabrication center of India.

  • BHEL --- Bharat Heavy Electriclas Limited
Bharat Heavy Electriclas Limited (BHEL) is ranked among the leading Power Plant Manufacturers in the world. At TIRUCHIRAPALLI, the High Pressure Boiler Plant of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) was setup in 1963. Now, it is one of the foremost manufacturing facilities within BHEL and it has 3 major plants namely, High Pressure Boiler Plant, Seamless Steel Tube Plant and Boiler Auxiliaries Plant. BHEL is the first state-owned company to acquire ISO 9000 certification during 1993 for all its operations. Further it has been accredited to ISO 14001 Standard. It is having a very big Housing colony, with all facilities including good educational facilities, on the NH-67, just in front of the main factory. And it manufactures about 86% of the total outcome of BHEL is from this factory.BHEL was set up during the period of K.Kamaraj, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the statue of K.Kamaraj is there at the entrance of the Colony main Gate.
  • A number of small scale industries have also sprung up in Trichy, mostly around Thuvakudi and Mathur.

  • Leather tanneries are located on the way to Pudukottai. Viralimalai, considered an industrial sub urban, has the factories.

  • Manachanallur has numerous rice mills supplying polished rice all over Tamil Nadu and it is well known for the quality of the rise produced from its land.

  • The economy of the city is driven to a certain extent by IT/ITES companies encouraged by the support from state government. A dedicated stretch of land has been identified and developed to increase the state's share in national IT/ITES exports. The government had begined its work for setting up IT park in the city. The economy of the city would be incresed to a great extend if this park comes into working. Which would be finished in about one year.

  • Infosys is eyeing Tiruchirapalli for its expansion.

  • HCL has an carrier development centre in the city to guide the youth of the city.

  • More over the city has many reputed MNC's are in the city, and still many to come.

The city is a Municipal Corporation. It also serves as the headquarters of the district with the same name. The city is headed by a Mayor, under whom are the Deputy Mayor and several councillors elected by people representing administrative wards; as well as a corporation Commissioner of the rank of IAS to administer the city.

The city has one Member of Parliament representing the Trichy constituency, pudukkottai parliamentary constituency has been mearged with trichy and few regions are mearged with other constituncy for administrative reasons. Both Tiruchi (East) and Tiruchi (West) assembly constituencies are part of Tiruchirappalli (Lok Sabha constituency).

The district is headed by the District Collector of the rank of IAS. The District court is the highest court of appeal in Trichy/Tiruchirappalli. The city has seen moderate to high development in spite of funds constraint.

The city's police force is headed by the City Police Commissioner of the rank of IPS. One of the 5 Central prisons of the state is located here.

Some prominent people from Trichy include:
  • Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (Sir CV Raman),Indian physicist and Nobel laureate in physics (Nobel Prize-winning physicist)

  • Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai born in Adavattur near Somarasam Pettai (4 km west of Trichy) who contributed to Tamil Literature during the 17th century and wrote many great Tamil lyrics

  • K. A. P. Viswanatham Pillai,(Fondly remembered as Ki. Aa. Pe), a great Tamil writer.

  • Akilan, author, Tamil scholar, Sahitya Akademi Award recipient.

  • Sangitha Kalanidhi Clarinet A.K.C. Natarajan.

  • Kalaimamani Clarinet A.K.C. Venugopal.

  • Sujatha Rangarajan, writer.

  • Hema Malini, actress.

  • Lalgudi Jayaraman, violinist.

  • Kavingnar Vaali, Tamil poet and lyricist.

  • M. K. Thiyagaraja Bhagavatar, first superstar of Tamil cinema (MKT as he was popularly known was born in MAyuram, which stands for the first initial in his name).

  • A. R. Murugadoss, Tamil Film Director.

  • Prasanna, Tamil Film Actor.

  • Iravatham Mahadevan, famous epigraphist, specializing on the Indus script and Early Tamil epigraphy.

  • Dr. Vijayanandan, famous doctor and fourth dental surgeon of Tiruchirappalli.

  • James Vasanthan, music director.

  • G.M.Vridhachalam , Famous Lawyer.

  • Vanitha Rangaraju Ramanan, OSCAR award winner in 2004.

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