Golden Rock, Tiruchirappalli
The Golden Rock area is also known as Ponmalai and constitutes one of the four zones of the city of Trichy (also known as Tiruchirappalli) in Tamil Nadu, India. Majority of the area here (81 hectares) is taken up by the Golden Rock Railway Workshop and the residential colonies for its employees. The workshop employs around 6000 people and is one among the three mechanical railway workshops supporting the southern zone of Indian Railways.
Most of the people living in this neighbourhood are railway employees. The area is well-developed with supporting infrastructure. There are a number of good schools and colleges and one of the city’s oldest hospitals – the Divisional Railway Hospital belonging to Indian Railways, is also located here. The Golden Rock railway colony area has a number of places of worship too. These include the Sri Mariamman Temple, Sri Kamatchiyamman Kovil, Om Sakthi Kovil, St Joseph Church, St Peters Church, CSI church and a mosque. There is a famous Sunday market here that was set up by the British as far back as 1926 and is still functional today.
The Central Workshop was the first set up in Nagapattinam in 1897 but was later shifted to Tiruchirappalli in 1928 due to its locational advantage. The workshop, Golden Rock has been functioning in Ponmalai since then. When it was built, it had state-of-the-art facilities rarely seen in that era. It even had its own powerhouse to generate electricity and Golden Rock was one of the first places to have electrical lights in Tiruchirappalli. The workshop is currently engaged in diesel locomotive maintenance, carriage maintenance, wagon manufacturing and parts producing wing.
A visit to Golden Rock is incomplete without visiting some of the nearby attractions such as the Rock Fort temple. The rock is a landmark in Trichy and believed to be a billion years old. The high vantage point from the rock after climbing 400 steps offers spectacular views and is really worth a visit.
Sri Ranganatha temple located across the Kaveri River from Uraiyur is one of the largest temples in India. It offers solemnity and grandeur all in one and shouldn’t be missed. The Grand Anicut (Kallanai) nearby is an almost 2000-years-old dam that offers an ingenious water regulation system that divides the river into multiple streams to water the rice belt of Thanjavur. A visit will leave you in awe. Numerous other places of interest exist here, but for that, you will need to stay-over in Trichy. A great place to stay in would be the Sangam Hotel.