The abode of a deity often described as Nam Perumal and Azahagiya Manavaalan, Tamil for “our god” and “beautiful groom”, the magnificent Ranganathaswamy Temple is home to Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu in a reclining pose.
Considered as one of the eight sywayambu kshetras of Lord Vishnu as per Alwar – the tradition of Tamil Nadu’s poet saints – its glory has seen it become the only temple to have been praised by all of them in their hymns. Together, they created as many as 247 pasurams or hymns in praise of the temple and its presiding deity.
Often referred to as the world’s largest functioning Hindu temple spread over a155 acres complex, it is also home to the tallest gopuram or temple tower across all South India. In fact, its rajagopuram makes for architectural grandeur at 237 feet above the complex base, moving up in 11 ascending tiers.
Visiting the Ranganathaswamy temple can be a fascinating experience for history enthusiasts as well as devotees.
Here, they can get a glimpse into the temple’s history, which goes back to 3rd century B.C. as per some historians. Alternate views suggest it was built later in the 9th century A.D. by the Gangas, the ruling dynasty based at Talakkadu on the banks of the Kaveri. Read More
Apart from its religious and cultural significance, the temple also merits a visit for its architectural glory. The world’s largest functioning Hindu temple, the complex is designed in the quintessential Dravidian architecture style.
Spread over 155 acres, it welcomes guests with seven prakarams or compounds, representing the seven chakras related to our body and soul. Read More
Visitors to the temple can get to worship Lord Ranganatha at close quarters in the innermost sanctum.
He rests in a reclining pose on Adisesha, the coiled serpent with five hoods. A unique feature of his idol is that it is crafted using stucco and thailam, a paste made of musk, camphor, honey, jaggery and sandal. Read More
The grand complex continues to be home to special features that are great examples of civic facilities for locals and visitors. These include water tanks and granaries. It is also home to several temple chariots that play an integral role during festivals and special occasions.
Of the temple’s 12 major water tanks, the surya soc, named after the sun and chandra pushkarani, after the moon, deserve a special mention in every guest’s itinerary. Together, these two water tanks can hold as much as two million litres. Read More