Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple,Srirangam, Trichy

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is situated at Trichy/ Tiruchirapally in Tamil Nadu State.This is  at 'Sri Rangam' of Trichy which is  an islet  formed by river Cauvery.This beautiful enormous Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is the first and foremost temple among the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu known as   'Divya Desams'.
Sri Ranganatha Swamy (Lord Vishnu) and his consort Ranga Nayaki (Lakshmi Devi) are the main deities worshiped in this temple but there are sub deities of other incarnations of Lord Vishnu such as 'Chakrathazhvar,Narasimha,Rama,Hayagreeva, and statues of 'Acharyas' like 'Ramanujacharya,Dhanwanthari, are also in this temple.
The temple sprawls in an area of 156 acres and the sanctum  is surrounded by seven concentric walls.The outermost wall has a perimeter of 3 km.There are 21 beautifully sculptured majestic towers which are called as 'Gopurams'.All the Gopurams  have carved and painted  statues of characters from Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha etc.
The main deity Ranganatha Swamy is in reclining posture as like that of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram.He is reclining on the serpent 'Adi Sesha'.Images of 'Brahma,Hanuman,Vibhishana,Rama,Garuda,and symbols of Vishnu such as Conch and discuss are seen inside the sanctum.
Ranganatha Swamy temple is famous as 'Bhooloka Vaikundam' suggesting that this is similar/equal to the celestial anode of Lord Vishnu.'Vaikunda Ekadasi' is an important festival at this temple.
There is a legend regarding the origin of this temple.The idol of this temple  was once  belonged to Sri Rama who worshiped it previously at Ayodhya and  it was presented to 'Vibhishana' by Sri Rama after winning the war against Ravana which he fought  at Sri Lanka.Vibhishana also accompanied Rama when he  returned back to Ayodhya after the war to witness Sri Rama's crowning as the King of Ayodhya.Vibhishana was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and Lord Vishnu.So Sri Rama  presented this idol to him and Vibhishana  wanted to carry it to Sri Lanka.While carrying this idol to Sri Lanka he alighted at Srirangam for his daily  routine of  'Pooja rituals'.After finishing the Pooja rituals he found that the idol got stuck to the ground firmly and was unable to move it.He along with many others tried to lift it but in vain and they constructed a small temple over the image.It remained unnoticed for several years but later the temple was constructed, modified and maintained by many Rulers of famous South Indian dynasties.
Out of the 21 Towers existed in this temple, 20 towers were built between 14th and 17th centuries.The main 'Raja Gopuram' was left unfinished because of unknown reasons and was completed in 1987 only.It is 236 feet tall and is the tallest temple tower in Asia.
This temple is considered as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the World.
The gold topped  sanctum sanctorum is surrounded by seven 'Prakarams'(Outer courtyard) separated by  walls and there are 39 mandapams including the spectacular 1000 pillar mandapam, fifty shrines,several majestic




structures,21 magnificent towers,bathing ponds etc in this temple complex.
On most of the days round the year  there will be some kind of festivity in this temple but the annual main festival is a grand occasion which  is for 21 days and is celebrated in the month of 'Margazhy'(Dec-Jan). The annual festival  attracts more than 1 million visitors and devotees.
Non Hindus are allowed up to the second 'prakaram' only.
Tiruchirapally is well connected by Road and Train to all Cities of Tamil Nadu.There is an Air-Port also at Tiruchirapally.