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A busy commercial city on the banks of the Kaveri River, Tiruchirapalli (‘Trichy’ for short) is dominated by its dramatic Rock Fort, which rests atop a sheer-sided chunk of granite. From the Ganesh temple crowing its highest point, you get a superb panoramic view over the surrounding rooftops and island in the river on which the Chola kings built one of their grandest temples, Sri Rangananthaswamy. A vast complex of sixty hectares enclosed within seven concentric, rectangular walled courtyards, or prakaras, the shrine revolves an inner sanctum where an image of Vishnu reclines on the Cosmic Serpent, Adisesha. Most of the structures you see today, including the 70-metre gateway towers, date from the 13th and 14th centuries.
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