Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, February 26, 2024

Srirangam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Srirangam (Thiruvarangam in Tamil) is an island and a part of the city of Tiruchirapalli, in South India. Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River on one side, and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam (Coleroon) on the other side. Srirangam is home to a significant population of Srivaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu). 

 

 

 

Srirangam is famous for its Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus and the largest temple complex in India. 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. 

 

 

 

God Vishnu as “Ranganathar” is in a sleeping posture (called Anantha sayanam - reclining on the snake Anantha.) 

 

 

 

Srirangam can be considered the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world, as it covers an area of about 631,000 square metres (6,790,000 sq ft) with a perimeter of 4 km (10,710 ft). The Srirangam temple complex is composed of 7 concentric walled sections and 21 towers gopuram. The southern gopuram of the temple, called the Rajagopuram, is 236 feet (73 m) tall and, as of 2016, is the second tallest in Asia. 

 

 

 

Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam.

 

 

 

 

 

Legend:

 

 

 

 

 

Lord Rama performed aradhanam (pooja) to Vishnu's idol (deity in a reclining posture). As a symbol of love he gifted the idol to Vibishana (brother of Ravana of the Hindu epic Ramayana) to take back with him to Lanka. There was a condition that he could not set the idol on earth and if he did it would seat itself permanently. Vibishana took this idol and while travelling towards Lanka, came upon the banks of the river Kaveri. He placed the idol on banks of river Kaveri, while an utsavam was in progress. When the utsavam got over, the Lord refused to move as he loved the place (Srirangam). When Vibhishana requested him to come along with him, the lord refused but promised to bless Vibhishana by always facing South (the direction of Lanka, home to Vibhishana) Hence it is that the deity (in a reclining posture) faces South. 

 

 

 

Srirangam is admired as the city of festivals. Though the celebrations are throughout the year, the most important “car festival” (to lead the life peacefully) is celebrated every year in the month of April/May (Tamil Month: Chithirai) and the "vaikunda ekadhesi"(attaining the status of no re-birth by residing at the feet of Lord) festival is celebrated exuberantly from December-January (Tamil Month: Margazhli–Thai). 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Sources