Spiritual Temple to Visit in Tamil Nadu – Srirangam Temple
Visiting Srirangam temple, Tamil Nadu to seek blessings from the great Lord Vishnu keep you and your family in good health. This temple is visited by millions throughout the year, and there are several festivals, and occasions celebrated periodically, which are simply mesmerizing.
About Srirangam temple:
This temple is the first of the total 108 Divya Desam Kshetras and also the world’s largest functioning temple for Hindus. Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity here and is referred to as Ranganatha Swamy. The idol was created in reclining form on the great serpent Adi Sesha, with Goddess Lakshmi in his chest.
From Thiruchirapalli, this temple is located at a distance of about 8 km, and enclosed by the waters of the sacred river Cauvery and Kollidum, its tributary. The island is spread across 600 acres, and the temple complex is built on 156 acres of land. The place is stated to be among the 8 self-manifested temples (Svayam Vyakta Kshetras). This place is also among the 5 Pancha Ranga Kshetras located on the Cauvery Riverbanks.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple comprises of concentric rectangular enclosures within the sanctum sanctorum along with 7 Prakaras. It is also considered to be the country’s only temple having 7 enclosures that represent seven upper planetary systems. The prakaras’ cumulative length is over 6 miles. 21 Gopurams embellish this temple complex. The 13 storeyed, 236 ft. high gopuram is regarded to be Asia’s largest gopuram. It was during the reign of Sri Krishnadeva Raya that its construction had started. But after his death, due to political reasons, the construction stopped.
It was between the 4th & 17th centuries that the rest of the 20 gopurams constructed. The Nayaks belonging to Madurai, Vijayanagar kings, Hoysalas, Pandyas, Cheras and the Cholas had contributed towards its development & further expansion. Ahobila Mutt’s 44th Jeeyar, Shri Azhahiyansingar Jeer Swamigal in 1987 completed the construction and on 27th March 1987, the Kumbhabhisheka took place. Although Mughal kings had made repeated invasions of South India, this temple structure still stands tall, without losing its fame, beauty, and devotion.
Temples within the main complex:
- Kamban Ramayana Mandapa: Kamban, a popular Tamil poet, had composed the Ramayana. He recited his version outside Thayar Sannidhi for the Lord to accept it, to stop the disputes made by others. This version was accepted by Lord Azhagiya Singar. Hence, there was constructed Mettazhagia Singar temple close to Thayar Temple in its memory and the Kamban Mandapa.
- Sri Gardua Sannidhi: It is constructed within the fourth enclosure and has a 25 ft. tall Garuda deity, sitting opposite Lord Ranganatha temple.
- Sri Chakkarathalwar Sannidhi: It is constructed in Akalangan Thiruveedhi (5th prakara) in the west wing facing east.
- Sri Ramanujar Shrine: Sri Ramanujar was a great Vaishnava teacher, and his philosophy is referred to as Vishishta Advaita. His body is still preserved here in a seated position holding jnana mudra.
Out of 365 days, 286 days are celebrated as festivals here. Some of the important festivals are Vasantha Utsava, Pavitra Utsava, Rama Navami, and Vaikuntha Ekadashi.