Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Travel Guide, Srirangam: An Architectural Marvel & Few Unknown Facts (2020)
Introduction to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Some of the South Indian Hindu temples are well known for its eminence in construction and the mythological stories behind. They are constructed in a beautiful manner with usually a lot of sculptures and skyscraping towers. One of the hardest to believe facts about these temples is that most of these are handmade. Here we are going to take a look at one of such temples, which is located in Tamil Nadu, known for its largest temple complex in India and the second largest temple complex in Asia, The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam. Image Source
An Overview of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Believed to be constructed during the regime of Cholas and Pandyas, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam is one of the most auspicious temples of the entire South India. Sri Ranganathaswamy is also popularly known as the largest temple complex of India, covering an area of 155 acres within a perimeter of 4 km. There is also an assumption that the temple was constructed during the ninth century when the province of Srirangam was under the rule of Gangas. It also makes the temple one of the oldest constructs among the places of worship; the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is worshipped among the Vaishnavas on a large scale.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple: The Architectural Marvel
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is constructed by adopting a Dravidian style, which is seen among most of the popular South Indian temples. The towers of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple are indeed its major attraction where the scriptures and inscriptions are made upon. The temple has a total of seven courtyards, 21 major towers, nearly 40 pavilions, nine major and numerous water pools inside the temple complex. There are various other shrines inside the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple too, which includes Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Shri Ram, Lord Krishna, etc.
The Tamil tradition, which is blended with the art of Dravidian style, is used for the construction of the temple. The structure is apparently a well-planned one with excellent placement of the towers and pavilions. With nearly 50 major shrines inside the temple, the devotees usually take a long day or maybe even two days to pay a visit and worship all the deities of the temple. The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is located on the banks of the holy river Cauvery, with nearly 12 water tanks within temple premises. In total, the temple has around 81 shrines, followed by 7 Parikramas or compounds, 21 towers and 39 grand pavilions.
The 237 ft Raja Gopuram is a major architectural grandeur, which is also an important attraction of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam.
More Facts About Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam is undoubtedly one of the most popular Lord Vishnu temples among the Vaishnavas who were spread all over India. This is one of the reasons why the temple has mostly Lord Vishnu and deities of his various forms and incarnations. It is also among the 108 Divya desams of Lord Vishnu, which is of huge regard among the devotees.
The deity of Lord Vishnu in this temple is made by using Stucco and Thailam, a paste made of honey, jaggery, musk, camphor, and sandal.
Malik Kafur, Who was one of the generals of Alauddin Khilji, raided the temple and stole the idols which were recovered later by the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple later.
The festivals celebrated in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple witnesses a large number of devotees as the count even reaches millions. Some of the major festivals celebrated in the temple include Vaikunta Ekadasi, Uriyadi, Brahmotsavam, Rathotsavam, etc.
How To Reach Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple?
By Road: The national highway 38 connects the temple with some of the major cities of Tamil Nadu and even South India like Chennai. A lot of bus services are available for the tourists and pilgrims to reach Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple from Chennai and other major cities of South India easily. The closest town to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is the town of Tiruchirappalli, of Tamil Nadu.
By Rail: The railway station of Srirangam is indeed one of the most crowded railway stations in the whole of South India during the festival times in the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Srirangam has a great railway network, connecting the town to various major Indian cities, as it is known for the temple, which witnesses a huge influx of devotees and tourists round the year. Therefore the train offers a convenient and affordable journey to the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam.
By Air: The most popular airport, and also the airport with a good amount of traffic is the Chennai international airport, but if you can make a direct connection to the Tiruchirappalli international airport, it would make the journey more comfortable. The town of Tiruchirappalli is close to the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, which is just 12 Km away from the airport.
The temple of Sri Ranganathaswamy is one of the most important Hindu temples in the entire country. If you are a pilgrim, a tourist or even an architectural or art enthusiast, the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangam should be on your list. So make a plan and try to visit this beautiful temple lying on the banks of the river Cauvery in the near future.