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The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, also known as Thiruvarangam, is one of the most significant temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Ranganatha. It is located in Srirangam, a part of Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is renowned for its immense size, architectural grandeur, and cultural importance.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple has a rich history dating back to the early medieval period. It is believed to have originally formed the Chola empire in the 10th century and was expanded by later rulers including the Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagar emperors.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. The deity is depicted in a resting posture on the serpent Adisesha.
Srirangam is situated on an island formed by the split of the Kaveri River. The temple complex covers a vast area and is surrounded by seven concentric walled courtyards, forming a fortress-like structure.
The temple exemplifies Dravidian architecture with its monumental gopurams (towering entrance gateways), intricately carved pillars, and spacious courtyards. The Rajagopuram, the main entrance tower, is one of the tallest in Asia.
The Rajagopuram stands at a height of 236 feet (72 meters) and has thirteen tiers. It is adorned with sculptures and ornate carvings.
This temple has several vimana (tower-like structures) above the shrines of various deities in the main complex. The church is surrounded by seven central buildings, each with its own memorial tower. The diameter of the outermost wall is about 4 km.The temple complex has several temple basins such as Chandra Pushkarani and Surya Pushkarani, which are used for ritual bathing.
The main shrine of Lord Ranganatha is located in the inner area. Devotees believe that the service offered here brings great spiritual benefits.
This huge temple has several shrines dedicated to various forms of Lord Vishnu, including Rama, Krishna and Narasimha.
The temple celebrates several festivals, Vaikunte Ekadasi being one of the most important. During this festival, the deity is believed to open the "Vaikuntha Dwara" or gateway to heaven and bless the participants.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is an integral part of the cultural and religious heritage of Tamil Nadu and attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple stands as a testament to the architectural and cultural richness of South India. It is not only a place of worship but also a marvel that reflects the dedication, skill and craftsmanship of generations of makers and artisans.