Sri Ranganathaswamy temple located in Srirangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a resting form of Lord Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian Architecture, this temple is believed to be the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.
The temple town is a significant archaeological structure, providing a historic window into the early and medieval South Indian society and culture. Numerous inscriptions suggest that this Hindu temple served not only as a spiritual center but also a major economic and charitable institution. Additionally, it ran a free kitchen and financed regional infrastructure projects from the gifts and donations it received. Some of the temple structures have been renovated, expanded and rebuilt over the centuries.
The Temple of Ranganathaswamy, the abode of Sri Ranganathar, is a brilliant example of architectural magnificence. Its architecture can be traced back to the style of Vijayanagar and Hoysala. The entrance of the temple, beautifully crafted with the 24 forms of Lord Vishnu, is an example of the architectural style of Hoysala, which gives importance to artistic side of creations. Another quintessential example of the temple’s archit¬ecture is the temple’s Prakasar (outer courtyard) which has been painted with a wide array of mythological stories. You can also witness the influences of the Vijayanagar style of architecture.
This temple has 21 gopurams, 39 pavilions, 50 shrines, and 9 sacred water pools inside the temple.
The Ranganathaswamy temple town has over 800 inscriptions. Many of these inscriptions are related to gifts and grants given by the rulers, while others are related to the temple's management and scholars. These inscriptions range from the late 9th century to the 16th century, ranging from the times of Cholas, Nayakas, Pandyas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara era. These inscriptions at the temple are carved in six major Indian languages: Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, Marathi, and Odia.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple was built in 894 AD. However, it has undergone many structural changes during varied rulers belonging to various dynasties. According to Hindu mythology, Sri Ranganthaswamy temple is one of the key temples, visiting which devotees can attain spiritual salvation. Legends believe that the Kaveri river, while on her way formed three islands - Shivanasamudra, Srirangapatna, and Srirangam. Additionally, it is believed that devotees who visit temples in these islands on the same day are sure to attain moksha.
Timings of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple timings are from 07.30 am to 01.00 pm and 04.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
If you are visiting Srirangam temple, you can also explore some of the other places like Rock Fort, Tiruvanaikkaval Temple, Government museum, Kallanai dam, and more.
So, block your dates and head to Ranganatha Lord Vishnu temple to witness the beauty of this cultural and spiritual elegance that has been standing tall since eons.