Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Maha Vishnu in the form of Vishnu Sri Rangam, Trichy-620006

One of the most famous temples in India. It is famous for- -1st among the 108 divya desams - Place where Kamba Ramayana got recited - Largest functioning Hindu temple in the world - Hall of a 1000 pillars - 2nd tallest temple tower in Asia

Temple Etiquette

  • Footwear not allowed inside

    Footwear not allowed inside
    ---------------------
    Footwear to be left outside the temple. In summer be careful of the hot paving stones.

  • Prasad and donation

    Prasad and donation
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    Use your right hand to accept prasad and give donations. The left hand is considered unclean in India.

  • Dress conservatively

    Dress conservatively
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    Avoid shorts, skirts, tanktops and do not expose legs.

  • Restricted entry

    Restricted entry
    ---------------------
    Entry is normally restricted to temple priests in the sanctum sanctorum. Some temples restrict the entry of non-Hindus

  • Avoid cellphones

    Avoid cellphones
    ---------------------
    Use of cell phones is restricted normally. Photography is restricted in some temples.

  • Circumambulation or pradakshina

    Circumambulation or pradakshina
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    Devotees are to walk around the sanctum sanctorum in a clockwise direction


About Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

This Hindu temple comes under Chozha Naadu( land of the Cholas ) and is the 1st in the 108 DivyaDesams. Of the 108 Divyadesas, Sri Rangam, the 1st and Tiruchirupuliyur, the 11th are the only ones facing south.

The legend of this famous Indian temple was that the idol of the main deity was gifted to Vibhishana, the estranged brother of Ravana, by lord Rama in appreciation for his help in the Rama-Ravana War. On the way back from Ayodhya, lord Ranganatha or Vishnu wanted to settle in the town now called as Sri Rangam, as it was very beautiful. He is supposed to have made Vibhishana thirsty and Vibhishana kept the idol on the banks of the river Cauvery and went to drink water. When he returned and tried to lift the idol, he couldnt move it and the lord is supposed to have told Vibishana that he wanted to stay at that place and that he could see Sri Lanka from there itself. So the main deity looks towards the south .

Another story was that this was the place where a priest of the temple threw a stone on Tiruppanazhwar (one of the 12 Vaishnavite saints). Vishnu took the stone meant for Tiruppanazhwar on his forehead and bled. By this act he gave salvation to the saint.

Another story associated with this temple is that of Surathani,the daughter of Malik Kafur,the king of Delhi who was said to be devoted to the Lord.To remember her, the Lord is dressed with a lungi (the Muslim dhoti) and Roti is offered as nivedhana on Ekadasi and new moon days.

Vaishnavaacharya sage Sri Ramanuja stayed here rendering his services to the Lord and attained salvation here. He is supposed to have died and also resurrected here. There is a separate shrine for Sri Ramanuja here.

The Kamba Ramayanam also got recited in this temple and the place is called as "Kamba Mandapam". While staging the Kamba Ramayana in the temple, some objected to the mention of lord Sri Narasimha in the Ramavatar story. Kambar said that he would withdraw this part of the epic, if the lord himself so demanded.  Lord Sri Narasimha emerged from a pillar and approved Kambar’s writing. Lord Narasimha is present at a separate shrine in the name of Mettazhagia Singar. Lord Narasimha is holding only the conch and no discus.

There is a shrine for Garuda (eagle vehicle of lord Vishnu) holding the nectar pot and also the Vedas handed over to him by Maha Vishnu after recovering them  from the demons. The idol is made of Salagrama. Devotees offer dal, jaggery and sweet pudding balls as nivedhana to Sri Garuda.  Special pujas are performed to Him on Garuda Panchami day.

Lord Ranganatha is found in this Indian temple in a reclining form as he did on the Ocean of milk. The temple is believed to have come into being from the ocean of milk. This is one of the Swayambu Kshetras with the Lord facing south. Lord Brahma is not on the naval chord.  It is believed that lord Brahma worships the lord just before sunrise each day.

The lord grants the Muthangi Sevai darshan to devotees for six days after the Vaikunda Ekadasi festival.  This is a very famous event in the temple. 

Brahmotsavam is celebrated thrice a year during January-February, February-March and April-May. Three Brahmotsavam are celebrated in the temple during Chithirai (April-May), Thai (January-February) and Panguni (March-April).  Lord Brahma celebrated the Brahmotsava for Lord Ranganatha in Panguni in his Satyaloka which is called the Aadhi (first or original) Brahmotsava. The Thai Brahmmotsava relates to the one celebrated by Lord Sri Rama in Ayodhya. As Rama is considered Lord of Earth, this festival is also called Bhoopathi festival.  

On the Kaisika Ekadasi falling on the full moon fortnight in the month of Karthikai (November-December) an event of covering the lord with 365 blankets is celebrated throughout the night.  This is said to make up for the errors committed in the day-to-day clothing of the Lord during the other days of the year.  As November-December happens to be winter, it is also said that the event is followed as a token of the love of devotees, to comfort the Lord from the cold weather. 

Aani Jeshtabishek (abishek with perfumed oil) is performed with sandal water. The same day, abishek is performed to Vishnu, the procession deity after removing the gold coverings.  Abishek to Vishnu is performed with 22 pots of Cauvery water.  It is said Mother Cauvery herself performs the abishek to lord Vishnu.  Abishek on other days are performed without removing the golden coverings. Aadi Perukku Utsav is celebrated on the 48th day of the Jeshtabishek to the Lord on the Aani Jeshta star day.  This is celebrated on Aadi 18 or 28 in some years. Devotees at Amma Mandap offer gifts to Mother Cauvery with silk sari, bangles, betel leaves etc. This is taken on an elephant and dropped in the flowing river.

Dhanyalakshmi: A separate shrine is dedicated to Mother Dhanyalakshmi in the prakara of Anna Perumal temple. Mother Dhanyalakshmi graces with Lord Krishna on the right and Lord Narasimha on the left. Those afflicted with adverse aspect of planet Venus (Shukra) worship her with while silk saris, garlands of white flowers and offer white pulses as nivedhana.
Lord Anna Perumal (Lord of Food) has his shrine here, holding a staff,a pot and a ball of rice.  It is believed that worshipping Perumal in the shrine would keep the devotees free from hunger. 

A 25 feet tall Sri Garuda is found opposite the Lord Ranganatha shrine. He appears in a majestic form ready to take off with the Lord wearing Ashta Nagabaranam (a jewel/ornament of 8 serpents). The dhoti vastra/garment of Sri Garuda is 30 meter long. Abishek is not performed to Sri Garuda. Kozhukkattai, the sweet pudding balls are offered as nivedhana on Thursdays. Sugriva and Angadha are the dwarapalakas (body guards) in the shrine.  A festival for him is celebrated on the Margazhi Tiruvadirai star day. 

This Hindu temple also has a shrine for Danwanthiri, lord of medicines, with goddess Mahalakshmi on his chest. He holds a conch and a discus in his hands and also a leech. Those suffering from prolonged diseases, light lamps with castor oil and offer curd rice as nivedhana. Along with nivedhanas, a medicine made of dry ginger and jaggery is also offered to the Lord for digestion. It is believed hat Lord Danwanthiri himself offers this medicinal preparation. Also a medicinal preparation is used for the abishek of Lord on the seventh day of Brahmmotsavam festival. 

While traditionally Vishnu is seen in temples in India with goddess’ Sridevi and Bhoodevi, in this temple,Ranganayaki Thayar (Thayar-Mother) is a procession deity with Sridevi and Bhoodevi behind her in the same shrine. During the arati to her, drum instruments are also played.
 

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