Srirangam

1

General view

The foremost and first in the sacred places for vaishnavites is Srirangam. It is near Tiruchirapalli, in a small island formed by the rivers, Cauvery and Kollidam. The island city Srirangam is centred on this temple and there are more floating population than the residents, mainly because of the devotees of Lord Ranganatha, who throng to this place from all over the country and World..

Some aspects of this temple:
The great epic, Ramayanam was staged to the world for the first time here at a mandapam by the poet Kamabar.
Eleven Alwars consecrated 247 Pasuras on Lord Ranganathar.
The temple’s  main tower, Garuda the divine mount of the Lord, are all very big in size in the large temple.
There are seven praharams surrounding the temple at the centre.
The festival Vaikunda Ekadesi is celebrated in a grand manner here and thousand and thousands of devotees line up from early morning to enter into the sacred entrance, called Swarga vasal.  On that day of Vaikunda Ekadesi, it is customary to sing the sacred hymn, Nalayera diviya prabhandam set to raga and thala, called Ariyar sevai.
The presiding deity is Sri Ranganathar, also called Namperumal, also called Alzigiya Manavalar, granting darshan in reclining posture.
Thayar is Sri Ranganayaki, also called Ranga Nachiyar, in a separate shrine.
Teertham: Chandra Pushkarani.
Sthala Virucham (sacred tree): Poonai.
Vimanam: Pranavakruti covered in gold and the Lord’s foot steps are seen in gold on the outside wall.
Because of the large area of the temple comprising of numerous other shrines of deities like Dhanvantri, Sri Rama and others, one has to walk quite a distance to reach the Thayar’s sanathi. To facilitate easy access for the senior citizens and children, battery operated electric cars are run free of cost.
Special entrance tickets of Rs 20 and Rs 50 are available at the temple premises for those who running short of time and want a quicker darshan.
4
Main tower – front view
5
Main tower – rear view
3 In the outer praharam
8
Inner tower
6
In the inner praharam
9
The Vellai Gopuram (white tower)
11
A stone tablet at the entrance of the main tower
Srirangam is well connected by road and rail and is at a distance of about 320 km from Chennai. Small cabs charge some Rs 6500 for a round trip which could be booked online from some outstation cab companies. Good hotels are available very near the temple at affordable tariff.
A trip to this holy temple is a must for all spiritually oriented people and particularly Vaishnavites at least once in their life time, which is believed to bring solvation to the soul.
Ranga, Ranga . . .
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