A street view of the main tower at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

‘Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple’, also known as ‘Thiruvarangam’ is situated in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli district of Tamilnadu. This famous temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also most important one among the 108 Divya Desam Temples. Srirangam is an island located in the middle of the Rivers ‘Kaveri’ and ‘Kollidam’ and also a part of the city Tiruchirapalli. Thiruvarangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is also known as ‘Thiruvaranga Tirupati’, ‘Periyakoil’, ‘Bhoologa Vaikundam’, and ‘Bhogamandabam’.

The total area of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple covers nearly 156 acres, and built in the style of Dravidian architecture. There are totally 21 Gopurams (temple towers) in this temple and its weight is about 24,880 tons. A main Gopuram among these 21 Gopurams of this temple is known as Rajagopuram is about 237 feet high having 12 Kalasams (a pot like structure) at its top. The deity Lord Sri Garudalwar in Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is the biggest idol among all of the Vaishnavite temples.

An Aerial view of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
An Aerial view of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

As per the literature, it is said that the temple belongs to the Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and the Vijayanagar rulers who ruled the Tiruchirapalli district. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple constitutes Seven Prakarams (passageway sorrounding with big walls) around the temple which covers next to next each other and the seven great walls are referred as the Seven Worlds.

Specialty

The presiding chief deity (Moolavar) of this Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is Lord Vishnu named as ‘Lord Ranganathar’ in reclining posture on Adishesha (coiled serpent) facing south direction. Lord Ranganathar is also called by the names ‘Periya Perumal’, ‘Nam Perumal’, ‘Azhagiya Manavalan’. HIS consort Goddesses named as Goddess Boodevi and Goddess Sridevi(Goddess Lakshmi) is found just before the deity Lord Ranganathar.

An entrance tower on the way to sanctum sanctorum of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
An entrance tower on the way to sanctum sanctorum of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is considered the first and most important temples of all the 108 Divya Desam Temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The other deities of this temple are Lord Nam Perumal (Uthsavar), Goddess Ranganayaki, Lord Sudharshana Alwar, Lord Dhanvantri, Lord Pattabhi Ramar, Lord Venugopalan, Lords Nava Narasimhars, Lord Metu Azhagiasingar, Goddess Periya Piraati.

Maha Gopuram (Main Tower) of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Maha Gopuram (Main Tower) of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

The Gopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is the Biggest Gopuram in Asia. It is also called as “Raja Gopuram”. It is said that among 12 Azhwars, 11 Azhwars have performed Mangalasasanam (Hymns) in this temple. The 11 Azhwars are:

  1. Periyalwar
  2. Sri Andal
  3. Kulasekara Alwar
  4. Thirumazhisai Alwar
  5. Thondaradipodi Alwar
  6. Thirupaan Alwar
  7. Thirumangai Alwar
  8. Poigai Alwar
  9. Boothathalwar
  10. Pei Alwar
  11. Nammalwar
Corridor with pillars located inside the temple premises at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Corridor with pillars located inside the temple premises at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

There are separate Sannadhi (separate sanctorum) for each of the deities are as follows Chakrathalwar, Ramanujar, Garudalwar, Dhanwanthari, Andal, Periyalwar, Kannapiran, Manavala Mamunikal, Nathamunikal, Alavanthar, Thiruvaranga Perumal Arayar, Thondaradipodi Alwar, Thiruppana Alwar, Vedanta Desikar, Azhakiya Singar, Nammalvar. Sri Rangam is considered as a home for the devotees of Lord Vishnu.

Festivals

  • Jestabishekam – June-July
  • Pavithrothsavam – August –September
  • Sri Jayanthi – August – September
  • Oonjal – October-December
  • Kaisiga Ekadesi – December – January
  • Ekadesi – December-January
  • Viruppan ( Chithirai Ther ) – March-April
  • Ankurarpanam (Sprouting the seeds) – March – April
  • Nagarasothanai (Street Investigation) – April–May
Golden Vimanam (Roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Golden Vimanam (Roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Pooja Timings

  • Viswaroopa Seva Timing – 06:00 AM To 07:15 AM
  • Pooja Time -( No Darshan) 07:15 AM To 09:00 AM
  • Darshan Timings 09:00 AM To 12:00 PM
  • Pooja Time -( No Darshan) 12:00 Noon To 01:15 PM
  • Darshan Timings – 01:15 PM To 05:45 PM
  • Pooja Time -( No Darshan) 05:45 PM To 06:45 PM
  • Darshan Timings 06:45 PM To 08:45 PM
  • Viswaroopa Seva Timing 06:00 AM To 07:15 AM
By Road

Trichy Central bus stand has direct services to most parts of Tamil Nadu. From the bus stand, tourists can avail local buses, taxi, and auto rickshaw to reach Srirangam.


By Train

Srirangam has a railway station that can be reached from Chennai through any of the major trains travelling in the Chennai-Kanyakumari railway track and the journey time from Chennai is about 5 hours and 10 minutes (320 km). The Tiruchirappalli fort and Trichy junction which are the distance of 2 km and 8 km serves as connection point to many destinations in southern India, such as Thanjavur, Thiruvananthapuram, Chidambaram, Madurai, Tirupathi, Tuticorin, Tenkasi, Quilon, Rameshwaram, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kochi, Kanyakumari and Mangalore. It also connects to some northern Indian cities including New Delhi.


By Air

The nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli International Airport. Trichy Airport has connections to Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Singapore, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Abu Dhabi.

  • Sri Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Temple
  • Sri Purushothaman Perumal Temple
  • Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple
  • Sri Appakkudathaan Perumal Temple
  • Sri Pundarikashan Perumal Temple

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