India is often referred to as the land of temples and many of these temples are renowned globally for their vibrant history and architecture. One of the most fascinating examples of the exquisite temples of India is the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is known for its magnitude and distinct form of architecture.
Below are some of the fascinating facts about the temple:
The Srirangam temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, the resting form of Lord Vishnu, is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. The temple is built across an area of 157 acres, with more than fifty smaller shrines in the temple complex. You can also witness shopping complexes, residential buildings within the temple complex. In fact, the temple is so huge that it is like a city in itself.
Built using the style of architecture, the temple complex boasts of 21 towers or Gopurams that rise majestically to the sky. It is also adorned with 800 inscriptions that offer insights into the religious and social influences during the medieval era. A unique feature of Srirangam temple architecture is the eight-pillared monolithic sculptures of leaping animals with riders on their backs.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple has seven prakarams (enclosures). These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls that run along the sanctum. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakarams, providing a unique sight to visitors. The space within the outer two prakarams (outer courtyard) is occupied by several shops selling temple-related goods.
The temple complex of Lord Ranganatha houses the largest mandapam (hall) for Garuda. The temple has two hundred beautifully carved pillars and is the most artistic mandapam in the temple. There is a free-standing shrine in the center of the hall, which contains a large seated statue of Garuda.
The town of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple has over 800 inscriptions, of which almost 640 are on temple walls and monuments. These inscriptions give insights into the various religious and social influences during the medieval era. The archaeological evidence states that the inscriptions belong to the Indian dynasties of Chola, Pandya, Hoysala, and Vijayanagara.
The walls of the temple complex are decorated with beautiful paintings using herbal and vegetable colors. They provide insights into the culture and tradition that was practiced in that period. The high-end techniques used in these paintings have guaranteed its long life and it is a challenge to recreate them today.
Throughout the year, the temple holds several festivals. Out of 365 days a year, 322 days are filled with festivals at the Srirangam temple. The 21-day annual celebration of the temple is one of the must-visit festivals in South India and draws more than 1 million tourists every year.
These were some of the incredible facts about Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Travel to the abode of Lord Ranganatha, Srirangam temple, to witness the splendor of the temple and breathe in its tranquil and spiritual atmosphere!