Friday, March 19, 2010

Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple- Sri Rangam (Trichy)

Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple is the biggest temple in Trichy , covering an area of 156 acres. It is the first and foremost among the 108 divya deshams of Vishnu and here, the Lord Ranganatha ( Vishnu) is in a reclining pose on Aadisesha. The massive idol of the main deity is beautiful . The Utsavar is fondly called as Nam -Perumal meaning "Our Lord" in Tamil, Azhagiya Manavalan " the handsome groom" while His consort Ranganayaki is known as Thayar meaning "Mother".

Sri Rangam is an island surrounded by river Kaveri. There are 21 towers for this temple and the temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls with a length of 6 miles. With in these towers situates the whole town. The town cannot be separated from the temple. The temple is the biggest functioning Hindu temples in India. This temple is about 2000 years old.

The outer most tower on the South side is the tallest, called as Rajagopuram with 13 tiers and as you walk towards the main sannidhi you cross 6 more towers. The temple is an architectural marvel and also houses a 1000 pillared mandapam. The 4 th tower is the one which leads us inside the temple and here one gets an opportunity to get on to the terrace of the temple for a panoramic view of the whole temple complex. . Non- Hindus are allowed to go up to the 6 th tower and not beyond, near the Lord Ranganatha's Gold plated sanctum.

The Garudalwar facing the Ranganathar is a massive form around 15 feet in height, in a sitting posture facing the main sannidhi. Photography is banned here. Vaikunda Ekadashi festival is very famous and pilgrims throng the temple to have a darshan of Lord Ranganatha during this 21 day festival.

Enroute to Thayar sannidhi I found something interesting, There are 5 holes in the floor just in front of a small Vishnu shrine, inside a lotus pattern and pilgrims were trying to put their fingers inside and peeping towards the direction Ranganatha swamy's shrine. It is believed that the Goddess used to look at the God by supporting her hand on the floor. Pilgrims were trying to experience the same.( see photo)

Ranga Thayar idol is beautiful and she is in a sitting posture and has the Panchaloha idol in front. There is also a Gold plated mandapam here to conduct special poojas for the deity. There is a small gallery in front of the Thayar sannidhi and there are some fabulous paintings of Narasimha Moorthy. There are shrines for Chakra thazhwar and Anjaneyar, Ramanujar and a dozen others dedicated to various forms of Vishnu like VenuGopal, Narasimhar etc. The Kodanda Ramar sannidhi and Utsavar of Andal also is very attractive.

I have already written about the legend of Ranganatha in my earlier post , Trichy- Rock fort temple how he came to reside in Sri Rangam.

Andal shrine is of great importance here. She was a great devotee of Lord Ranganatha and she is believed to have merged with the God here. The Tiruupavvai (collection of hymns) composed by her praising the Lord is sung by young and old in the month of Marghazi .( December mid-January mid)

Trichy is well connected by rail air and road. Srirangam also has a railway station but for a good stay it better to stay in Trichy town which is just 5 Kms.



56 comments:

  1. That hand on the ground, perfect timing.

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  2. now your blog looks so fresh and so beautiful chitra...loved the new look of your lovely blog and temple is very very beautiful and looks so peaceful and divine....

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  3. What beautiful colours! Perfect Spring!
    Another 'must see' destinations! Thank you!

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  4. What readable, educational and interesting post and what great photos from you're Flickr account - really impressive architecture - thanks for sharing!

    Happy Weekend :-)

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  5. Mridula,
    I too wanted to experience the hand on the ground. But there was a pretty big queue, just caught it on my camera and was satisfied.

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  6. Sushma,
    Thanks for your beautiful comment. I should thank a blogger friend of mine who guided me in making the changes.

    This is the ancient and biggest functioning temple in India. If you happen to visit Trichy . It would become a memorable experience.

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  7. ?
    Thanks for the comment. You can spend at least a day going around this temple.

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  8. RennyBA's Terella,
    Thanks for your beautiful comment. India has thousands of temples and each and every one is an architectural marvel.

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  9. good pics, chitra... its such a huge and beautiful temple, a day is barely enough to cover it... we spent a few hours in this temple a few years back and realised that we had barely skimmed the surface! have to go back, but waiting for samhith to grow a little older so that he too can enjoy it....

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  10. Wow!! Excellent description. I had been here a couple of times when I was a kid. Dont recall much other than the mystic Lord Vishnu at the garba sthanam. This is our kuladaivam. And most of my relatives are priests here, but havent visited lately. After reading your post, I want to visit it. Hopefully soon.

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  11. Anu
    Thanks for the comment. I don't think even I have seen it completely. All these pictures I could gather during 2of my visits . First I landed there on the Vaikunda Ekadashi festival period and could not even go near the sanctum due to heavy rush . So made a trip again and could get a good darshan.

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  12. Insignia,
    When your relatives are priests there you will get a nice opportunity to spend some time near the deity. When we went, there was no crowd and were the first ones to be inside the temple when the darshan started in the evening and had a satisfying darshan of the Lord.

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  13. Oooh a new look blog, such vibrant, warm colours and very welcoming.
    Excues my ignorance but is there any significance with the number 21?

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  14. That was a nice piece of information,thanks for sharing..

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  15. PW,
    Thank you for the comment. No.21. Even I am ignorant. Let me try to get some information on this but I could read in the temple site that the 7 enclosures is a sacred number for the followers of Vishnu and it represents the seven centers (Chakras) of Yoga or a reference to the seven elements,(so far I know only 5)making up the human body, with soul forming the center.

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  16. Readers Dais
    Welcome to my blog and thank you for the comment.

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  17. Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple at Trichy is famous and I have been there thrice. Its a very beautiful temple and I like to visit there again and again. Very well written.

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  18. beautiful pics
    and header pic is classic

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  19. Babli
    Nice to know you have already visited it and my post would have brought back some memories of the same.

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  20. sm,
    Thanks a lot and you made my day.

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  21. Chitra,

    First of all, amazing pictures. Your eye to click the right ones is really a great quality. The description is very nice too. I must have visited this temple, but I don't remember anything. Next time I visit I'll make sure I take some time to explore the uniqueness of the architecture.

    What more can a person ask for than a spacious temple space. These temples were strategically built which means that many factors were considered even before laying the foundation stone. And the deities will be placed at strategic locations too. That is why a devotee can feel a lot of energy and peace when inside.

    Today there a thousand of temples built just like that and they don't exude any sort of aura. I think it is not a good thing to do because we might very well be disrespecting the Gods.

    I love visiting old temples simply for the reason that they are meticulously built and I introspect myself and be free of negative thoughts.

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  22. Hello Chitra,
    Really glad to have found this blog..not only has your article increased my knowledge but also my longing to personally visit these magnificient temples.
    I love visiting temples- the colorful and the rich legacy of all these ancient temples fascinate me.
    I pray to God that some day, I too, get an oppurtunity to experience the spiritual mysticism of these old yet beautiful south Indian temples.

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  23. Vittal,
    A person visiting Trichy would not miss this temple, may be it you are unable to recollect it.

    What you say is absolutely true .the peace and tranquility one experiences in the ancient temples cannot be expressed in words. May be if you get a opportunity do visit and spend some time leisurely.

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  24. Arti,
    Welcome and thanks for the comment. I am trying my best to bring photos as well as a small description to each temple I visit. When my friends appreciate, it is really an encouragement. Thanks once again.

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  25. Chitra! I love the new look -- it reflects all the color and beauty that you show us through your posts. Just another wonderful way you share your beautiful perspective on the world!
    :-)
    Traci

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  26. Chitra,
    To say the truth, I am very happy with your blog, your word flow, and the information. It gives a home feel to read your blog sitting abroad. And the new look fits your blog very well.

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  27. Traci, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment dear. Its very much encouraging.

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  28. WM
    What more do I need. Your comment made me happy. I am a very simple person and what ever I write it flows from the heart. I think its God's blessing. I am happy my post is providing lot of information for the people all over the world. See you again. Many were asking me to change the theme to suit my posts. Happy to know you liked it.Thanks once again.

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  29. My earlier comment didnt get saved:-(
    I've been to Srirangam..one of my favourite towns in TN. I love this temple. Brought back some nice memories. Even I remember the entire town is planned around this temple!!

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  30. Here after a break! Will check out the posts I missed.
    wonderful effort and thanks for the informative post.
    Good work..good work!

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  31. Your blog has got a new look since I last visited! It does look beautiful.

    Andal's story is somewhat similar to that of Meera in that they both accepted Vishnu (Ranganatha is regarded as Vishnu here) as their husband and refused to accept a mortal husband. The difference is that Andal has been accepted as another wife of Vishnu in Tamil Nadu and is worshipped along with Lakshmi, while Meera remains a venerated saing but is not worshipped as a Goddess. Andal has written some fine devotional poetry in Tamil which is still sung during festivals in Tamil Nadu.

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  32. Yes, I have visited this temple-town too!

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  33. Yes, I have visited this temple-town too.

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  34. Nice one. We have been to Sri Rangam temple couple of times. Enjoyed our visit each time. Thanks for bringing us the fond memories.

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  35. Chitra please collect the Sunshine award from my blog. Thank you for giving us a window into the places you travel!

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  36. lostworld,Sorci,Archana, My unknown friend( sorry I cant read what you have written)SG, and ?

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I am travelling and unable to accesss the computer as soon as I am back I would be active and visiting you all. Till then take care .
    ? - Thank you for the award you are so kind. . Shall visit your posts and accept my award.

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  37. seems there are a lot of places i need to mark in my list,..
    beautiful descriptions :D

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  38. I just accidentally hit this BLOG yesterday and it is an excellent service taking the people to Bakthi Yoga..I have written a comment on Narasimha Temple - Namakkal

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  39. Pradyut
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the encouraging words. I am on a pilgrimage and when I return I shall visit your post too. Thank sonce again.

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  40. Rajalakshmi
    Thanks for the comment. You would definitely love a visit to Srirangam temple.

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  41. Dear Chitra, I do hope all is well. I was beginning to worry when you hadn't posted for a while.

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  42. I too have been away from my blogging. I want to say, oh my how beautiful. The artistry of the carvings and loving workmanship of the buildings is lovely to behold. We in America are impressed when we find a building from the 1800's. How wonderful it must be to live among such rich history. As usual, thank you so much for sharing.

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  43. PW
    My Pooter too developed a problem as it was hijacked and could not access my system at all. Now I am in my home towm to celebrate our temple festival. I shall be reaching back in a day or two. See you soon. Thanks for the concern.

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  44. Frances ( hummer)
    Nice to see your comment too. I am missing all my friends. I shall be getting back to blogging soon. Shall visit your posts as soon as I become blogger active.

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  45. u know when i visited the temple in London, i realised our country infact our state has so many temples that we never visited, kinda felt so ironic on me... this is one temple which i can never forget!! hey thanks for the site.., yes i did disappear lately :) been back to India..yu there on FB or some site i can mail...happy easter!

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  46. Nice to see you back Hary. I am on FB too but hardly use it so i have left my e id on your post.

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  47. Hi chitra, so nice to see u back, so where were you all these days? u get ready made canapes in india which u need to deep fry them before filling anything into them...if you dont find it u can use roasted or fried mini papad instead...if i get the recipe for canapes will surely give it to you...

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  48. or the best option would be to use this filling over the crackers or monaco if you dont find canapes

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  49. Thanks for the quick response Sushma. I was away for the temple festival in Kochi.

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  50. this country is so nice

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  51. countries like this have a large and ancients traditions like this, in the moment when I finish my career as archaeologist from my university I gonna take some time to visit all this countries.

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  52. Thanks for the comments. India is a country with a rich cultural heritage, there is lot to learn and see here.

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  53. I too did visit this living legend but it was merely a visit devoid of any exploratory work. Your narration and pictures have provided lot of insight. Thank you.

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  54. Thanks PNS. I am happy you got some info. from my post.

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