The world’s largest functioning Hindu temple, spread over an area of 156 acres, the Sri Rangam Ranga Nathar Temple is definitely one of the most well known and revered temples in India. The temple is dedicated to the reclining avatar of Lord Vishnu – Lord Rangnatha. Located in Tiruchirappalli, the temple was constructed well before the 9th century and expanded and renovated by various dynasties and kings that followed. The temple complex today consists of thirty nine pavilions, twenty one towers, fifty shrines, a hall with one thousand pillars, and several water bodies, all enclosed inside seven concentric walls. A twenty one feet long idol of Lord Ranganatha, depicted in eternal repose is placed in the sanctum.
Entry to the temple is restricted to the Hindu community and non- Hindus are only allowed to enter up to the second prakaram. The sanctum sanctorum is topped with gold with the Ranga Vimanam resting on it. The idol of the Lord, resting on the Adisesha (the five headed serpent) with his consort Ranganayaki sitting by his feet are placed inside the sanctum. The idols of Garuda, Hanuman and Brahma are also placed in the sanctum. The shrines dedicated to the various other avatars of Vishnu also find place inside the temple complex.
The Hall of thousand pillars is shaped like a theater and has magnificent rock cut granite sculptures depicting horses rearing on their hind feet and trampling tigers beneath their feet. The entire complex is adorned with massive sculptures and statues which highlight the quality and beauty of the work in that era. The temple itself is constructed following the classic Dravadian architectural style.
The Rajagopuram has thirteen tiers and is 236 feet tall, making it the second tallest one in Asia. It was added to the complex in 1987 by the Ahobila Mutt. All the other towers are however from the 14th to the 17th century. The temple complex carries inscriptions from the various dynasties that helped shape the complex. The temple has a long history which is interspersed with construction, renovation, looting and destruction and as a camp for military. The history of the temple can be traced by the inscriptions on the walls of the complex. Today, the temple is a vibrant place with devotees flocking to its locale, especially during the festivals of Vaikunta Ekadeshi, Rathothsavam, Brahmotsavam, amongst others.
The Orlov Diamond which is now a part of the Diamond Fund of the Kremlin’s famous collection, was originally placed here as one of the eyes of the deity. Sometime in the past, the diamond was removed from here and found its way to the collection in Moscow. About the size of half an egg and cut in the Indian rose style, this iconic diamond is still considered as one of the finest stones in the world.
|Entry Fee||250 per person Quick Seva 50 per person Viswaroopa Seva|
|Timings||All days of the week 6:00 AM - 1:00 PM 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM|
|Visit Duration||2 to 3 hours|