|Elevation||70 m (230 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River (also known as Cauvery 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).
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
According to the temple's website, 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). Angkor Wat is bigger but non-functioning.
Srirangam among a few "self-manifested" shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu. The temple is enormous in size. The temple complex is 156 acres (0.63 km2) in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor. The temple town lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon.
The Srirangam temple complex is composed of 7 concentric walled sections and 21 towers gopuram. The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram and is 236 feet (72 m) tall, the tallest in Asia.
The temple has seven prakaras (elevated enclosures) with gopurams articulating the axial path, the highest at the outermost prakara and the lowest at the innermost. In historic times, just after the construction of this temple, the city of Srirangam lived completely within the walls of this temple and hence is quoted as an example of Hindu religious utopia - during its peak of existence.
The Srirangam temple is one of the three temples of the God Ranganatha that are situated in the natural islands formed in the Kaveri river. They are:
- Adi Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangapattana
- Madhya Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Shivanasamudra
- Antya Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam
There is a gopuram fully made of gold, which is protected by electrical fence.
Clothes such as Silk Sarees, Dhoti, Towels, etc.., used for religious purposes are auctioned here.
Inside the temple compound, there is a separate temple for the goddess Andal. Additionally, there is a museum, a library and a bookshop.
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 traveling 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. Then Chola kings Dharmavarcholan and Killivalavan developed the shrine into the big temple seen now. They built the basic foundations and main buildings.
Srirangam's History got important during the invasion of some jealous Muslim emperors (1310-1311) Srirangam was captured and the riches were looted. The invaders did not want to accept the rituals of Hinduism. They took off the statue of Alagiyamanavalar Perumal and plundered the treasures, jewels and ornaments which belonged to Srirangam temple. The statue of Alagiyamanavalar Perumal was sent to Delhi. In Delhi Alagiyamanavalar Perumal got a devotee, who cared him like a mother. Yes, it was the daughter of the Sultan. At the very moment she saw the statue of Alagiyamanavalar Perumal, she suddenly turned into an aficionado of Perumal. She fell in love with Perumal. She never left Perumal even a bit. The Sultan didn't expect this. The Sultan surrendered the statue of Alagiyamanavalar Perumal back to Guru Ramanujar. The Daughter of Sultan could not bear this. At last in a divine scene she disappeared in air mysteriously. She possesses a separate temple near Srirenganathar temple and people worship her. She is called "Thulukka Nachiyar". The moral is, Perumal never wants to miss even a single devotee. Even after this incident Srirangam was often attacked and ransacked by various mughal emperors. After the rise of Vijayanagara Kingdom the atrocities of the Mughal Sultans came to an end. King of Vijaya Nagar "Krishna Deva Rayar" realized the importance of this sacred city and prioritized Srirangam as equal as Thirupathi and bequeathed a plenty of treasures, jewels and lands to Srirangam temple. During his period the Srirangam temple was well reformed and many plans were executed for the growth and people welfare and so Srirangam got developed rapidly.
Due to the famous temple, Srirangam has a thriving economy based on tourism. Devotees come from all parts of India and abroad. The number of devotees to the town increases greatly during the festivals like Vaikunta Ekadashi which falls on the Tamil month of Marghazi (Margashirsha).
Thiruvarangam is one of the few temples which is always being crowded by devotees.
There are many other famous temples near Srirangam. They include Rockfort temple, Samayapuram Mariamman temple, Tiruvaanaikovil temple, Vayalur Murugan temple, Uraiyur Vekkali Amman temple, Kaatazhagiya singer temple etc. In addition along the banks of Kaveri in areas near Srirangam and Tiruchirappalli there are other famous temples of Lord Vishnu most of which house the reclining form of him, namely the Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple (Thiru Anbil) and housing the deity Appala Ranganathar, also called the Appukudaththan Temple at Koviladi. Another temple of Vishnu is at Tiruchirappalli itself, the Azhagiya Nambi Temple at Woraiyur which is part of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam.
Srirangam town is also home to several hundred people who work in offices and industries located in Tiruchirappalli. The public transport linking Srirangam to Tiruchirappalli (route #1) is very frequent.
There are numerous schools, both private and public, in the town. The Higher Secondary School for Boys was founded in 1896 and is the oldest one in the town. There is also a Higher Secondary School for girls which is almost as old as that of the boys. Srimad Andavan College, Chinmaya Vidyalaya Matric. School, Sri Akilandeswari Vidyalaya, Sri Ranga Matriculation School, Sri Vaijayanthi Vidhyalaya,Srivageesha vidhyashram etc., are other institutions in Srirangam. Most of the schools have English as a medium of instruction. Some have Tamil as a medium of instruction, and some have both. There are many school children who travel to nearby Trichy also.
The nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli International Airport.
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 approximate 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, Rameswaram, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kochi, Kanyakumari and Mangalore. It also connects to some northern Indian cities including New Delhi.
Trichy Central bus stand has direct services to most parts of Tamil Nadu. From the bus stand, tourists can avail local buses, taxi, auto rickshaw to reach Srirangam.
City Bus service to all places of tourist interest from Central Bus Stand and from Chinthamani -Main Guard Gate Bus Stand (Both in Trichy). Tourist Taxis andAuto Rickshaws are also available at reasonable rates.
Route No. 1 of the City bus service runs between Srirangam and Central Bus stand. This route starts from Trichy Central Bus Stand and goes via Trichy Junction Railway Station, Palakkarai Rettai pillaiyar Kovil street, Main Guard Gate, Chatram Bus Stand, Cauvery River Bridge, Mambazha salai, Thiruvanaikkovil and ends at Srirangam Bus Stand near the Srirangam Therkku vaasal (South entrance to the temple).
There is a bus for every 5 minutes and the bus service is round the clock.
The climate of Trichy (and Srirangam) is Tropical. Average Temperature Range (°C): Summer- Max. 37.1 °C (98.8 °F) Min. 26.4 °C (79.5 °F); Winter- Max. 31.3 °C (88.3 °F) Min. 20.6 °C (69.1 °F); Rainfall: 835 millimetres (32.9 in)
- Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple website
- India By Sarina Singh, Joe Bindloss, Paul Clammer, Janine Eberle
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
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