Among the most memorable panoramas to be had in the south is the one from the terrace of Trichy’s Rock Fort, where an old stone temple dedicated to Vinayaka (Ganesh) crowns the top of the near-vertical sided granite outcrop. The view north extends over the Kaveri River to the vast Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Built on an island in the river, the shrine is that greatest of all those devoted to Vishnu in south India, and officially the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. It is made up of seven concentric courtyards, encased by 4.5 miles (7km) of perimeter walls and crowned by spectacular gateway towers – the largest of them more than 230ft (70m) tall.

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