I was about 10 when I moved to Tiruchirappalli. I didn’t know the language and knew no one except my parents and my brother. I was reluctant to mingle with the neighbourhood kids thanks to my language barrier. But I was included in the gang with no reluctance at all, for which I am grateful to this day.
And it’s not just them, but the entire town of Tiruchirappalli is always warm and welcoming. Trichy, as it’s affectionately called, sits almost in the middle of Tamil Nadu and is neither too big to get lost in, nor small enough to be explored in a single afternoon.
A city, for me, is not just a habitat for different people. It’s a place in time where people have evolved and changed, which speaks of this history through its buildings and culture. It reminds us that we aren’t the first ones here, nor will we be the last.
For me, exploring Trichy brought out aspects in me that even I didn’t know existed. Here are some of them:
The Weekend Vacationer
Sitting in the middle of the state (or even in a room) has its advantages. Whether it was when my brother retreated from his workplace, or during my college weekends, we could always quickly choose different places to go.
A quick turn of the accelerator to the west and we would find ourselves on the quiet hills of Pachamalai alongside a waterfall, roasting some barbecue. To the east, a short trip would land us at the oldest dam in the world– Kallanai, which was built in the 2nd century AD, where we can bask on the edge of the river island with some local fried fish.
And not to forget the majestic Cauvery bridge, where, when the water flow drops, you can munch away your time on the bridge.
And in the monsoons, you can leap from short bridges into the river with the locals for a swim. However, extreme caution is advised in river swimming.
When it comes to Trichy, one thing cannot go unmentioned – the amazing temples. Trichy is an ancient city which had many historic rulers. Its temples serve as a connection between the people who built it and the ones who admire it to this day.
From the world’s largest functioning temple – Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple in Sri Rangam – to the famous Pilliyar Temple on Rock Fort (a 3.8 billion-year-old formation of rocks), the architectural marvels would inspire anyone to take up photography. I know it did for me.
To reach the footsteps of the Rock Fort temple, you have to go through the famous Main-Guard Gate bazaar. And you will love it if have your camera with you. Always bustling with people and roadside stores, the bazaar and the Singarathope near it are the places to fall in love with street photography.
The Cultural Enthusiast
Speaking of the Main-Guard bazaar, the foodie in you ought to come alive in Trichy as well. From Theppakulam to the West Boulevard road, the streets are dotted with pushcarts with some unique styles of food.
The Burma food stalls will also excite your palate, and they have a history behind them.
Burma refugees came to south India in the 1960s, and with them, the delectable Burmese cuisine took over Trichy. Their mouth-watering Attho noodle, Mohingha or the fever-killing soup hinncho will make you want to set up your home nearby.
And in Puthur, at certain times of the month, the roads will be blocked by temple festivals and exhibitions. And to keep the crowds happy, delicious local food goes around. You can witness the culture of Tamil Nadu in all its glory while being filled with amazing local cuisine.
Whether it was Burmese culture or Tamil culture, it made me curious about the lifestyles that envelop different parts of the world. I wanted to learn and expose myself to different cultures, not just for the food, but for the morals as well
The History Buff
Apart from historic temples, Trichy is a city filled with history –
from the bronze age to modern day. And if you want to explore Trichy, historical facts will induce awe in your journey.
Have a look at the Uyyakondan canal, traversing 71 kilometres, it was built by the Cholan empire a thousand years ago. Or the eye-pleasing Lady of Lourdes church, built in 1840 is a replica of St Lourdes church in France. Also the Natharvali Mosque, which is 900 years old and contains a hand-written Quran from the 11th century.
Trichy inspired me to read more about history and learn the lives that lived thousands of years ago. And I’m pretty sure it will induce the same nostalgia even in those who have never visited the city before.
So in the end, Trichy has taught me some amazing things in life – making me more relaxed, inspiring me to take up a hobby that I love and helping me get over my reluctance to meet new people.
I only wish people visiting, not only Trichy, but any city, will go back with stories and lessons in their memories and would have learnt something that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Hey, you may also like: Food Will Not Be Wasted Anymore: NIT Trichy to Set up a Biogas Plant, Utilise Food Waste as Feed
This February, Show Some Love For Your City!
We love our city, and we bet you love yours too. And since cities are meant to be experienced and not just seen, this Valentine’s Day, The Better India is celebrating the unique experiences — places, food and activities — that define 14 Indian cities!
So VOTE for your favourite city, SHARE what you love about it and TELL us your ideas for making it even better!