Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
The Ranganathaswamy temple Srirangam is one of the few self-manifested temples of Lord Vishnu and is an important Vaishnavite pilgrim center.

The hallowed land of India has a glowing and rich legacy of art and architecture. It has been a shining beacon to the world in terms of culture and spirituality. The country’s length and breadth are teeming with testaments that sing the glory of a once magnificent era when India forged ahead in diverse disciplines ranging from Astronomy and Alchemy to Architecture and Engineering, from Music and Dance to Science and Literature.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India 

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

This rich heritage is nowhere more evident than in the fabulous temples that embellish the country’s landscape. Be it the Sun temple of Konark, Katarmal Sun temple, Somanathpur temple, or any of the thousands of temples that dot India.  One of the most shining examples of the exquisite temples of India is the  Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The massive and impressive temple complex is regarded as the largest functioning Hindu temple complex in the world. Read about Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam here.

About Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – World’s Largest Functioning Hindu Temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, is a massive temple complex near the city of Tiruchirapalli in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is said to be the largest functional Hindu temple in the world. It is spread over a massive 156 acres of land. The temple is a town unto itself. The complex consists of about 48 different shrines.

The chief deity of the Srirangam Ranganathar temple is Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God who is considered the ‘Preserver’, of the universe. Vishnu is part of the divine trinity of Hinduism that also includes Lord Brahma, the Creator, and Lord Shiva, the destroyer. The Trichy Srirangam temple is said to be one of the rare Swayambhu or self-manifested temples of Vishnu.

The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangam is located on an island created by the rivers Kaveri and Coleroon. The temple is a very important pilgrimage centre for Hindus and particularly the Vaishnavite sect. This temple along with similar temples at Srirangapatna and Shivanasamudra in Karnataka is a very sacred group of temples. All the temples are dedicated to Sri Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu and are located on islands formed by the river Kaveri. The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangapatna is referred to as Adi Ranga, the one at Shivanasamudra is called Madhya Ranga, while the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple Srirangam is known as Antya Ranga.

History of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

Srirangam temple history is fascinating. The ancient history of the temple is not very clear and there are many versions. Some historians believe that the temple was originally built way back in the 3rd century BC, while others opine that it came up much later in the 9th century AD and was built by the rulers of the Ganga dynasty who held sway over the Kaveri delta.

Whatever be the truth here there is no denying the fact that Srirangam was a very important cultural and religious centre and played a pivotal role in the growth of the Bhakti movement. Its riches attracted the attention of invaders from time to time and it was plundered, but the temple survived defiantly all these attacks and the ravages that time and nature inflicted. The temple is said to have been rebuilt during the 14th century.

The temple also attracted the attention of the king Krisnadevaraya of the golden Vijayanagara Empire who recognized its worth and helped in its restoration and preservation. The temple today makes for an interesting study for historians. It offers insights into the rich cultural diversity of the region across history. Inscriptions in different languages including Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, Marathi, Oriya, among others are a testimony to the cultural tapestry of the region.

Myths And Legends of Srirangam temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India

As with all temples, there are many myths and legends that create an aura of intrigue and wonder around the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. One of the most interesting and popular stories is regarding the genesis of the idol of the temple which is the reclining form of Vishnu or Sri Ranganathaswamy.

As the story goes, Lord Rama in the Treta Yuga performed worship to an idol of Lord Vishnu and presented it to Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana. The idol was presented with the condition that Vibhishana was not supposed to place it on the ground until he reached his home in Lanka. As fate would have it, Vibhishana placed the idol on the ground when he reached the banks of the river Kaveri as a festival celebration was in progress.

He could not move the idol from this place as it is believed that Lord Vishnu liked the place and wanted to reside there permanently. Vibhishana beseeched the Lord to come with him, but the Lord declined. However, he blessed Vibhishana and said that he would always be facing towards his home in the south. Hence to this day, the deity of the reclining form of Lord Vishnu at the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple Srirangam faces south.

Architecture & Layout of The Srirangam Temple Tiruchirappalli

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

The architecture and layout of the Srirangam temple is an excellent example of the genius of the engineers and architects of ancient India. The temple city of Srirangam sprawls over an area of 156 acres and consists of seven concentric enclosures with high walls. It is believed that these seven enclosures which are known as Prakarams or Prakaras symbolize the seven Chakras believed to be the spiritual energy centres in the human body.

The temple complex itself is made up of 48 shrines. The complex is crowned by the magnificence of 21 towers or Gopurams that rise to the sky majestically. The tallest tower is the Rajagopuram which at a towering height of about 236 feet considered to be one of the tallest of its kind in Asia. The grandeur of the temple complex also comes alive with numerous exquisite frescoes, carvings, and inscriptions. Water tanks in the centre of the complex provide an enchanting setting while the presence of a 1000 pillar hall is an architectural delight.

How To Get To Srirangam

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

♠ The famous temple of Sri Ranganathaswamy is located in the ancient city of Srirangam near Tiruchirapalli also known as Trichy in Tamil Nadu, India

♠ Srirangam is located about 323 kilometers from Chennai and 334 kilometers from Bangalore

♠ Madurai to Srirangam distance is about 140 kilometers
♠ Trichy to Srirangam distance is about 11 kilometers
♠ The nearest airport to Srirangam is Tiruchirapalli International Airport at a distance of about 13 kilometers

♠ Tiruchirapalli is well connected to major towns and cities of India by rail and road, from Trichy, there are regular buses to Srirangam

Quick Facts About Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
♠ Srirangam temple timings are 5.30 AM to 7.00 AM and 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM and then from 7.00 PM till 9.00 PM. (Do check the Srirangam official website for latest Srirangam timings)

♠ Srirangam temple accommodation is not a problem as there are many hotels in Srirangam itself and many of these are hotels near the Srirangam temple. A recently established Yatrinivas has the capacity to accommodate more than 1,000 pilgrims at a time

♠ There are 48 shrines within Srirangam and many temples near Srirangam which include Rockfort temple, Tiruvannaikovil temple, and Samayapuram Mariamman temple

♠ The Srirangam temple dress code is Men are required to wear a dhoti or pajamas/ pyjamas with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts, women need to wear a saree or a half-saree or Churidar/Chudidar with upper cloth/ dupatta

Have you visited and taken darshan of Lord Ranganathawamy at Srirangam? If not we hope that you get there at the earliest after reading this post on Srirangam and seeing the Srirangam temple images. We also hope that our post on Srirangam Temple Tiruchirappalli is useful to you for planning a visit to Srirangam. Do connect with us through our comments section or any of our social media handles. We always love your inputs to make our posts more and more relevant and interesting.

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Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India

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Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

18 thoughts on “Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu”

  1. Loved how detailed this post is. Those planning to visit the temple will certainly find this information much much useful. Love the myth part of the post more.

  2. The temples of South have such beautiful architecture that can’t be explained in words. They all depict a story. Through your post I feel I visited the temple and came to know so many facts about it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have visited this temple so many times. Yet i am surprised reading the facts and history of this beautiful temple.. Thank u for sharing this .

  4. The pics gave me goosebumps thinking about the creativity of the artists who built it. Such a heritage and incredible it is.

  5. Wow the architecture is so beautiful .I have heard about Temple but never got a chance to visit .I loved the detailed article especially the quick facts 👌

  6. I really love temples in south because of their beautiful architecture and details … I never got chance to visit this place but sure would love to!!

  7. India is truely a culturally rich country! A themed pandel was made in Kolkata during the last Durga puja which looked exactly like this temple! I loved it!

  8. The history of the temple is interesting. I like the architect of the temple. Even it survived lots of attacks still it stands tall with beautiful interiors

  9. I read about this temple in one such articles and i have been meaning to go here. Thanks for the insights 🙂

  10. South India has such beautiful temples! These look so picturesque. Haven’t explored Tamil nadu much…Would love to visit.

  11. I loove the whole temple culture and architecture of south india, and reading this article has been an absolute pleasure. I did nor know about this temple of this level of details – thanks for sharing that. I do hope to get to visit and experience this place for myself someday.

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