Sri Aranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangam, Tamilnadu

This article is a synopsis about Srirangam, which is considered as Boolokha Vaikuntham, situated in Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu. The history, specialties, deities, festivals of Sri Ranganathar temple are given in this article. Some other temples near Srirangam are alsogiven here.

Location of Srirangam, Tamilnadu

Srirangam is located at a distance of 10 km from Tiruchirapalli(Trichy) in Tamilnadu. One can reach here by bus or train from Trichy. The nearest airport is Trichy airport.

History of Srirangam Temple

According to the legend,Sriranga Vimanam (the sanctum sanctorum of Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy temple) was first worshipped by Lord Brahma in his divine land called Sathyalogham. Later it was brought to the earth by the King of Ayodhya named Ikshvaghu, a descendant of Surya(Sun god). It was worshipped by him and his lineage. Shri Rama, the seventh avathar of Lord Mahavishnu incarnated in this lineage. Shri Rama was crowned as the King of Ayodhya, after his victory over the demon king Ravana. He gifed the Siranga Vimanam to Vibhishana, the king of Srilanka who attended the coronation ceremony. He also advised him not to place it anywhere other than his place of worship in Srilanka since it could not be taken back, once placed down. On his way back to Srilanka, when he was near Cauvery river, Vibhishana had to do his daily rituals. He asked a boy there to hold that Vimanam until his return after finishing his rituals and not to place it down. But that boy fixed a timelimit and said that within that timelimit Vibhishana should return quickly finishing his rituals.

Vibhishana agreed but he failed to turnout within the fixed time limit. Then the boy placed that Vimanam there itself. Vibhishana got angry and chased him to catch but the boy climbed up a rock nearby. That boy is none other than Lord Vinayagar, who is now being worshipped as Utchi Pillaiyar and that rock is called as Malaikottai(Rockfort. When Vibhishana tried to take that Vimanam, he found that it was well fixed in that place and was most disappointed. Shri Ranganathar consoled him that being in that place(Srirangam), He will be facing south, where Srilanka is situated. Also He added that Vibhishana might come to Srirangam and worship Him everyday.

Specialties of Srirangam Temple

Srirangam RajagopuramSrirangam is the first among the 108 tirupathis of Lord Mahavishnu.

• In Vaishnavam, Koil(the tamil word for temple) refers only to Srirangam.

• The wide area covered by this temple is 156 acres(6795360 sq ft).

• The maximum number of Azhwars i.e. 11 out of 12, praised and composed pasurams (divine hymns) about Srirangam & Sriranganathar.

• River Cauvery flows like a garland around Srirangam.

• There are seven enclosures around the idol of Sriranganathar. Many rulers and devotees had built the enclosures from time to time.

• The Vimanam(roof of the sanctum sanctorum), named as Pranavakara Vimanam is fully gold plated. In the Vimanam, Lord Mahavishnu is in the form of Paravasudevan.

• The Rajagopuram of Srirangam temple which is 236 feet high is the biggest temple tower in Asia.

• Sri Ranganathar(Namperumal) gives darshan alongwith Shri Ranganayagi thayar only on Panguni Uthiram day.

Only here there is a separate shrine for Lord Dhanvanthiri.

Sri Katazhagiyasingar Temple is situated near Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam. The deity here is Lakshmi Narasimhar.

Bhagavath Ramanujar formulated the rituals and festivals of this temple and are being followed even today. He also made arrangements for the maintenance and security of the rich wealth of this temple. He attained Moksham in Srirangam. His body is preserved with saffron and sandalwood paste and worshipped in a shrine within Srirangam temple.

• The famous tamil poet, Kambar premiered his world famous Kamba Ramayanam(Ramayanam in Tamil language) in front of Thayar shrine in this temple. When the learned scholars opposed a verse about Lord Narasimhar in his work, Lord Mettuazhagiyasingar(Narasimhar) in a shrine near, approved and blessed Kambar's work.

Deities of Srirangam Temple

The main deities are God Shri Ranganathaswamy, reclined on five headed Adisesha(the divine serpant) and Goddess Shri Ranganayagi Thayar, both being in separate shrines.

The processional deity(utsavar) of Sri Ranganathar is called as Namperumal, who is accompanied by Ubayanatchimars(Sridevi & Bhoodevi). The processional deity of Thayar is also called as Ranganayagi Thayar.

There are also separate shrines for Shri Chakkrathazhwar, Shri Kothandaramar, Shri Ramanujar, Shri Andal, Shri Vittala Krishnan, Shri Paramapathanathan within this temple.

Festivals of Srirangam Temple

The various festivals conducted during the year are listed monthwise below:
• Jan/Feb - Boopathi Thirunal
• Feb/Mar - Theppam
• Mar/Apr - Adhi Brahmotsavam
• Apr/May - Viruppan Thirunal
• May/Jun - Vasanthotsavam
• Jun/Jul - Jyeshtabishegam
• Jul/Aug - Thiru Adipooram, Adiperukku
• Sep/Oct - Navarathri
• Oct/Nov - Dolotsavam
• Nov/Dec - Kaisiga Ekadasi, Thirukarthigai Deepam
• Dec/Jan - Vaikuntha Ekadasi

Other Temples near Srirangam, Tamilnadu

Sri Jambukeswarar-Akilandeswari temple is situated at Thiruvanaikoil, which is at 6km from Trichy.

Sri Thayumanava swamy temple and Utchi Pillaiyar temple at Rockfort, Trichy.

Sri Natchiyar temple and Sri Vekkaliamman temple at Uraiyur, which is at 2km from Trichy.

Uthamar Koil, at 10 km from Trichy junction is the only temple where Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the deities.

Thiruvellarai Pundareekasha Perumal temple at Thiruvellarai, which is at a distance of 15 km from Trichy on Trichy-Thuraiyur road.

Gunaseelam Prasanna Venkateswarar temple at Gunaseelam, which is at 18 km from trichy on Trichy-Salem road.

Samayapuram Sri Mariamman temple at Samayapuram, which is nearly 20 km from Trichy.

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