Tiruchirapalli - Art, Society and Culture

Art, Society and Culture

See also: Tamil culture, Tamil cuisine, and Swamy Jewellery

A resident of Tiruchirappalli is generally referred to as a Tiruchiite. The city formed a part of the traditional Chola heartland and has a number of exquisitely sculpted temples and forts. With a substantial population of students and migrant industrial workers from different parts of India, Tiruchirappalli has a more cosmopolitan outlook than the surrounding countryside. Tiruchirappalli is home to many Carnatic musicians and film artistes.

Pongal, Tamil New Year, Aadi Perukku, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Navarathri, the Srirangam car festival and Bakrid are some of the important festivals celebrated in Tiruchirappalli. The Gregorian New Year, Christmas, Deepavali and Holi are also celebrated with pomp and splendour. Jallikattu tournaments are occasionally held on the outskirts of Tiruchirappalli city. Textile weaving, leather-work and gem cutting are some of the important crafts practised in Tiruchirappalli. Wooden idols of Hindu gods and goddesses are sold at the crafts emporium, Poompuhar, run by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Trichy Travel Federation (TTF) was formed on 5 May 2009 to promote Tiruchirappalli as a favourable tourist destination. The federation organises an annual food festival called Suvai. Lack of infrastructure has been a major deterrent to the city's tourism industry.

Tiruchirappalli has a number of historical Hindu temples and fortresses. Most of the Hindu temples, including the Rockfort temples, the Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam, the Jambukeswarar Temple at Thiruvanaikkaval, the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple, the Erumbeeswarar Temple and the temples in Urayur, are built in the Dravidian style of architecture—the Ranganathaswamy Temple and Jambukeswarar Temple often being counted among the best examples of this style. The Rockfort, considered to be one of the symbols of Tiruchirappalli, is a fortress which stands atop a 273-foot-high rock. The Ranganathaswamy Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, is an important Vaishnavite pilgrimage center and is believed to house the mortal remains of the Vaishnavite saint and philosopher Ramanujacharya. The Jambukeswarar Temple at Thiruvanaikkaval and the Erumbeeswarar Temple, both date from the time of the Medieval Cholas. The city's principal mosque is the Nadir Shah Mosque or Nathar Shah mosque which encloses the tomb of the 10th century Muslim saint Nadir Shah. The Christ Church, constructed by the German Protestant missionary Christian Friedrich Schwarz in 1766, and the St Joseph College Church, are noted examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the city.

The Nawab's palace, the Upper Anaicut constructed by Sir Arthur Cotton and the world's oldest functional dam, the Grand Anaicut are some of the other important structures in Tiruchirappalli.

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