The Rock of Trichinopoly 21211
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Tiruchirapalli (Trichinopoly) is one of the chief cities of Tamil Nadu, a populous commercial centre on the river Kaveri. An ancient, granite rock looms over it, giving it a unique landmark. The city has been a major site for Hindus since the 7th century AD with important temples, some of which were built in different eras at various levels on the Rock. The Rock is about 84 m high (273 feet) and its summit, crowned by a modern Ganesha temple (Ucchi Pillaiyar Koil), can be reached by means of 437 steep steps. The Nayakas of Madurai realised its strategic position and built the Rock Fort (seen at the left) in the 17th century. The last major battle here was fought during the Anglo-French wars of the Carnatic in the 18th century. Carved into the southern face of the Rock are cave temples dating from the time of the Pallava king Mahendravarman I (reigned 570-630) and the Pandya period (8th century). At the west face is the 17th century Thayumanaswamy temple dedicated to Shiva, where the lingam is a natural rock projection.