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Sunday, May 2, 2010

India's Largest Temple-Sri Ranganathaswamy/Sri Rangam Temple (Srirangam)

One of the largest temples or religious place in the world is Sri Rangam Temple at Srirangam town of Tamil Nadu state of India.The first of the Vaishnava temples in south India, the Sri Rangam temple is the premier amongst the 108 Vaishnava divyadesas. The Vaishnava Acharyas made it the head quater of the Vaishnava movement. In present times the temple is managed by the Vaishnava Acharyas from the place Nathumani. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the entire Universe.

History Of Temple:-
Sriranga Mahathmiyam is the compilation of religious accounts of the temple, detailing the origins of its greatness. According to it, Lord Brahma, the Lord of Creation in Hindu mythology was once in a state of deep meditation and in His supreme trance received the gift of the Lord Vishnu's idol, "Ranga Vimana". He was told by the Supreme Lord that there would be seven other appearances of such idols on earth -- Srirangam, Srimushnam, Venkatadri (Tirumala), Saligram (Muktinath), Naimisaranya, Totadri, Pushkara and Badrinath.The idol was then passed on by Brahma to Viraja, Vaiswatha, Manu, Ishwaku and finally to Rama. Lord Rama, himself an avatar of Vishnu, worshipped the idol for a long time, and when he returned victoriously from Sri Lanka after destroying Ravana, he gave it to King Vibhishana as a token of appreciation for the latter's support for Rama against his own brother, Ravana. When Vibhishana was going via Trichy en route to Sri Lanka, the Lord wanted to stay in Srirangam.

About The Temple:-
The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (6,31,000 m²) with a perimeter of 1,116m (10,710 feet) making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. In fact, Srirangam temple can be easily termed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world (Angkor Wat being the largest non-functioning temple). However, lots of shops restaurants and flower market occupies the first two pragarams out of seven (Pragarams are the inner columns surrounded by the compound walls (mathil suvar) while the outer column known as Mada veethi). Thus the other massive Tamil temples like Chidambaram (Nataraja swamy Temple), Tiruvannamalai (Annamalaiyar temple), Meenakshi Amman Temple claim to be the biggest temples (Note- all these massive temples are entirely dedicated for the religious rituals and massive in size, structure and tradition.) The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls (mathil suvar)with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. These walls are enclosed by 21 Gopurams (Towers).

On the 120th day of the year, the Utsavmaurthy is taken out for procession from its inner sanctum. The Aadi Bharam motsavam is celebrated in the month of Panguni while the great Adhyayanotsavam is performed in the month of Margazhi. The echoes of the recitation of the Prabandham hymns or the Alwar Pasurams can be heard within the thousand pillars.

How to Reach Sri Rangam/ Ranganathaswamy Temple:

By Air
Trichy/Tiruchirapalli is well connected to cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Madurai, and Colombo. The Trichy airport is about 7 km from the city.

By Rail
Trichy/Tiruchirappalli is an important Railway junction of the Southern Railways. It connects many important cities and towns of South India such as Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai and Chidambaram.

By Road
Trichy/Tiruchirappalli is well connected by road to Madurai, Chennai, Pondicherry and Thanjavur/Tanjore.

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