This week for a marriage of a co-worker, I went by car to Trichy with my good friend E.Ravi. Trichy holds a special place in my life, not only as my mother’s native place but also that’s where I went for many of the years for my (school time) summer holidays. So I look forward each time I get to go to Trichy and to Srirangam temple, to which I have fond memories of going with my (late) maternal grandfather.
We went from Chennai by NH45 (the same road that leads to Chennai Airport, Chengalpattu and so on) in my Honda City (I love this car, but that’s for a different post). The national highway is one of the best I have seen in this part of India. The only irritant is that you have to stop and pay (about Rs.196 in total) at 6 different toll booths. Why don’t they collect the amount together at the first tollbooth itself, which I was told the higher ups in Government are contemplating. Each way it takes about 4:30 to 5:00 hours depending on the city traffic and how fast you drive. I was able to do in many places over 120 KM (I admit the official limit was only 80 KM/HR).
We left on Wed (15 Sep) afternoon around 12 PM and reached Trichy by 4:30 PM. On the way, we stopped in Villupuram for Lunch at a local vegetarian restaurant called Vasantha Bhavan which is opposite to New Bus Stand, it’s not a great place but you get decent food and an affordable price. To get inside the city (Villupuram) remember to get out of NH45 By-Pass. While you are near Trichy just after Samayapuram, remember to get out of the By-Pass by turning right towards Salem road and then at the Thiruvanaikaval junction turn right to reach Srirangam. After reaching Srirangam, we went straight to the temple and had a good darshan at all the Deities (சந்நிதிகள்) and visited LIFCO’s Showroom at Nandhi Koil Street.
We stayed for the night in Hotel Femina (decent star class hotel) as the marriage was at a marriage hall just opposite the hotel. Next day morning (Thursday) we got up early and went to Rock Fort (மலைக்கோட்டை) by Autorickshaw (no Fare-meter in Trichy as well, just like Chennai). It was about 150 steps and was not difficult, we went up and came in less than an hour. While on top you get a fabulous view of the whole city (Trichy). Then we went to the marriage and had a great wedding lunch. Then we left around 2 PM from Srirangam and luckily reached Chennai by 6:30 PM (you know, I can be a good driver), we didn’t stop in between anywhere.