The island of Srirangam wedged between the rivers Cauvery
and Kollidam is home to Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, the largest
functional Hindu temple in the world. Spread over 156 acres, the temples is one
of the foremost Vishnu temple in India and is a revered one for Vaishnavaites. Built
and rebuilt over centuries from 3rd to 17th century, the
temple complex presently houses numerous commercial establishments, an art museum, roads and
houses. The temple is known for its 21 stunning gopurams (entrance gates), 39
pavilions, 9 temple ponds, numerous halls and 49 shrines dedicated to Vishnu.
One has to walk through seven gopurams before entering the sanctum sanctorum
which has a gold plated gopuram. All
other gopurams are extensively carved and colourful. The south facing rajagopuram
(the main entrance gate) is the tallest temple tower in Asia at 73 metres.
Built in typical Dravidian architecture, the temple’s exquisite sculptures and
carvings can be seen at halls such as Shesharayar mandapam, Garuda mandapam,
Kili mandapam and Ranga Vilasa mandapam. The inner sanctum houses the shrine of
Ranganathar (a form of Vishnu) plated in gold in reclining pose on a coiled
Only Hindus are allowed inside the inner sanctum. One can
take the stairs near Ranga vilas mandapam to go up and have an aerial view of
all the gopurams. The major festival is held during the month of Margazhi
(December- January). Srirangam is located in Tamil Nadu, close to Tiruchirappalli (8 Kms) which is
a big town with restaurants and hotels.
|Vellai gopuram (the only white gopuram at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple)|
|More shrines and gopurams|
|Another colourful gopuram|
|Carved pillars at Garuda mandapam|
|One of the shrines|
|One of the circumambulatory paths|
|A small mandapam|
|Gopurams with a road running through them|
21 gopurams? And you walk thro' atleast 7! That's a lot -- very special?ReplyDelete
The temple looks like a great work of art. It's beautiful.
Thank you Nomad for the post and the pictures. :)
Yeah, lots of carved gopurams and the temple is definitely a special one. Glad you liked it, Divya.Delete