Ranganathaswamy Temple Quick Facts
|Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu (India)
|70 meters (230 feet)
Ranganathaswamy Temple Overview
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a world-famous Hindu temple located on the island of Srirangam in the city of Tiruchirappalli in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shri Hari Vishnu. This temple is called 'Bhoo-Lok Vaikuntha' meaning 'Vaikunth of Earth'. It is one of the largest temple complexes in the country. It is also known by different names like 'Srirangam Temple', 'Thiruvarangam Tirupati', 'Periyakoil' etc.
Ranganathaswamy Temple History
This magnificent temple is also mentioned in the Tamil literature of the Sangam era (100 AD to 250 AD) and in the Silappadikaram (one of the Five great Epics of Tamil literature). Although its Archaeological inscriptions are available only from the 10th century.
The inscriptions available in this temple mainly pertain to the Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara dynasties. The kings of the Hoysalas and Vijayanagara Empire contributed a lot in building this temple. The inner building of the temple was built by a woman named Hambi.
During the reign of the Ganga dynasty, Thirumalaraya built the Navaranga Mandapa here, he also built the temple of Lord Tirumala on the left side of the Mahadwara. According to historians, most of the dynasties that ruled in South India had rebuilt and expanded this temple.
Ranganathaswamy Temple Interesting Facts
- The Area of this huge and grand temple complex is about 156 acres (6,31,000 sq m) and the circumference is 4116 m.
- This Temple is situated on the banks of river Kaveri.
- The Temple complex is constructed consisting of 7 types (Concentric wall sections) and 21 gopurams.
- There are 7 informers and 21 towers in this temple.
- The main gopuram of this temple has a height of 72 meters (236 ft), it is called 'Rajagopuram (Royal Temple Tower)'.
- The Construction of this temple mainly reflects the Tamil architectural style.
- The Temple also has a wooden statue called Yana Vahan, sitting on top of it, Lord Vishnu resembling Mastodontoidea. Mastodontiotida is a prehistoric elephant, which became extinct about 15 million years ago.
- Gold has been used in the upper part of the vimanam (the structure above the sanctum) of the temple.
- On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Ranganatha Swami, every year on the day of Shukla Paksha Saptami, Rang Jayanti is organized in the temple. This festival lasts for a full 8 days.
- Only once a year, on the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, the 'Parampad Vasal' i.e. the gate of Vaikuntha Lok is opened.
- The 21-day festival held during the Tamil month of Margaji (December-January) attracts about 1 million devotees every year and is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.
- The Temple has also been awarded 'The UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Merit 2017' on 3 November 2017 for the conservation of cultural heritage after large-scale reconstruction and restoration work. It is the first temple in the state of Tamil Nadu to receive this prestigious honor from the United Nations.
- This is the only temple among the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu built in South India, which has been praised in the songs of all the saints of the Tamil Bhakti movement. Here 200 devotees are provided free food every day under the Anandam scheme.