Sri Ranganathaswamy is one of the famous temples in India. The temple is located in Srirangam of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is a Hindu temple that is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha or Lord Vishnu. The other names for Lord Ranganatha are Nam Perumal and Azhagiya Manavalan. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple contains many shrines such as Gopala Krishna, Rama, Challarathazhwar and Hayaagreeva. The temple is constructed in the Dravidian style.The temple was built between the 6th and 9th century. Sri Ranganathswamy Temple is main attraction for the tourist in the months of December and January. The temple celebrates festival of 21 days. The area covered by Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is 156 acres of land which makes it the largest temple in India. The Idol of Raja Gopuram is 236 feet tall.
The decoration of the temple is done with beautiful paintings and inscriptions. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple contains 21 gopurams, 7 walls, 50 shrines and a huge hall that has total 1000 pillars. As the temple has many visitors from all around the world there are many restaurants and shops outside the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple that helps in making the temple more attractive and many facilities are available for the visitors.
The Hall of 1000 pillars has many inscriptions on its walls pillars and on the ceiling, the inscriptions include rampant tigers, horse bearing riders and the surroundings that are very common. The two Mandapas in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple are Garuda Mandaps and Kili Mandapa are significant in themselves. The Garuda Mandapa has the legendary bird of Lord Vishnu and the Kili Mandap being the parrot. It has a beautiful gold platted posture of the goddesses Ranga Thayar. The walls also got the paintings of Andal who was a great devotee of Lord Ranganatha moving ahead towards Thayar Sannidhi that has 5 small holes and small patterns of the lotus flower. It is said that the Goddesses uses to see Lord Ranganatha from these five holes.
The festivals that are celebrated with great splendour in the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple are:
- Chita Poornima,
- Rathothsavam ,
- Vaikunta Ekadeshi
There are huge crowds in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple during the months of December and January where as the festival of Brahmotsave is celebrated in the month of March or April. This festival is the prime festival of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple and is celebrated in the Tamil month Panguni. On the second day of the festival the deity of that Lord is taken to the garden which is inside the temple. It is taken through Cauvery River in a palanquin to a village that is opposite shore Jiyarpuram on the third day from the festival
Jyestabishek is an annual festival that is celebrated in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple during the Tamil month aani that normally follows in the English months of either June or July. During this festival the gold ornaments are ablated with water that is brought in large vessels that are made of gold and silver.
The Vaikunta Ekadeshi is a festival that is celebrated in the Tamil month of Margazhi that follows in December or January of the English month. This festival is celebrated for 20 days that is Pagal Pathu that is 10 days time and the Ra Pathu which is 10 day night time making it a total of 20 days. On the first day of Ra pathu is Vaikunta Ekadeshi. The festival of chariot is celebrated annually in Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is called as Rathothsavam it is celebrated during the Tamil month of thai in this festival the deity is taken round the temple in the temple car.
According to the archaeologist Sri Ranganathswamy Temple was build somewhat during the 10th century AD. The inscriptions in the temple are from the Pandya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala dynasites. The idol of the Lord Ranganathswamy was placed by a Chola king in the temple while he was chasing after a parrot and found it in the deep forest. At that time the king established Sri Ranganathswamy temle being the largest temple complex in the whole world.
The architect in it contains:
The temple plays an important significance religiously. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is one of the temples among 108 temples that is included in praises by Azhwars. The Azhwars are the divine saints from the Tamil Bhakti movements. The temple has total 247 pasurams in its name.