Trichinopoly - Encyclopedia

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TRICHINOPOLY, a city and district of British India, in the Madras presidency. The city is on the right bank of the river Cauvery, 250 m. by rail S.W. from Madras. Pop. (1901), 104,721. The fort which forms the nucleus of the city measures about r m. by 2 m.; its defences have been removed. Within it rises the Rock of Trichinopoly, 273 ft. above the city, and so completely isolated as to provide a remarkable view over the surrounding plains. It is ascended by a covered stone staircase, entered by a carved gateway, and profusely ornamented. At intervals up this stair are chambers connected with the temple on the rock. Buddhist inscriptions and carvings in some of them are attributed to the 5th or 6th century. Near the foot of the rock is a fine masonry tank called the Teppakulam, and the palace of the nawab, of which the fine domed audience hall is now used as a town-hall. In Trichinopoly is St Joseph's first-grade college, maintained by the Jesuit mission and occupying, among other buildings, a house formerly the residence of Clive. Another first-grade college is maintained by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; it has grown out of schools founded by the missionary Schwarz. The Roman Catholics have a fine cathedral. Trichinopoly is important as a trading centre, especially as being a railway junction. It has special industries in goldsmiths' work and modelling in pith; the wellknown Trichinopoly cigars are chiefly manufactured from tobacco grown outside the district at Dindigul. Trichinopoly and its neighbourhood was the scene of much hard fighting between the English and the French during the Carnatic wars between 1 749 and 1761.

The District Of Trichinopoly has an area of 3632 sq. m. The surface is generally flat, though diversified by masses of crystalline rock, of which the Trichinopoly Rock in the fort is a well-known example. The only mountains are the Pachamalais, which rise to 2500 ft. and extend into Salem district. The Cauvery and its branch, the Coleroon, are the only rivers of any importance. The climate is very hot and not liable to great variations; the annual average rainfall is about 34 in. The principal crops are rice, millets, other food-grains and oil-seeds, with a little cotton and tobacco. The main line of the South Indian railway traverses the district, with a branch to Erode. In 1901 the population was 1,444,770, showing an increase of 5% in the decade. The district came into the hands of the British along with the rest of the Carnatic in 1801.

See Trichinopoly District Gazetteer (Madras, 1907).

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