Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Photograph courtesy: Richard Mortel/Creative Commons

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati) is dedicated to Ranganatha who is a form of the Lord Vishnu. The temple is located at Srirangam, about 12 kilometers north of Tiruchirapalli city in Tamil Nadu. Constructing by Dravidian architecture, the temple is counted as the first amongst the 108 ‘Divya Desams’ or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. The temple site is on a large island bounded by the Kaveri River and Kollidam River. The temple complex has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is in UNESCO’s tentative list.

Temple History

A temple at Srirangam is mentioned in Tamil literature of the Sangam era (6th century BCE to the 4th century CE. The Temple was first built by Dharma varma chola. Then, Later Kaveri river flood destroyed the temple vimanam and later the Early Cholas King Killivalavan Rebuilt the temple complex present today.

Temple Architecture

The temple one of the largest Hindu temple in the world, spread across an area of over 156 acres, with 81 shrines and with 21 brilliantly carved Gopurams (tower gateways) 39 pavilions, and 9 sacred water pools.

The main or the ‘Raja Gopuram’ is the tallest temple tower in Asia. It is 13-tiered Gopuram, height of 236 ft. was built in 1987 by Ahobhila Matha, a historic Srivaishnava Hindu monastery. The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric enclosures with courtyards. Each layer has walls and gopurams, which were built or fortified in and after the 16th century. These walls total 32,592 feet (9,934 m) or over six miles.

The shrines are dedicated to Vishnu, Lakshmi as well as various Vaishnava scholars and poets. The Hall (called Ayiram kaal mandapam) of 1000 granite pillars is a fine example of a planned theatre-like structure and opposite to it is the “Sesha Mandap”. Some of these structures have been renovated, expanded and rebuilt over the centuries as a living temple.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Photograph courtesy: Richard Mortel/Creative Commons

Major Festival

Vaikunta Ekadashi

The annual 21-day festival conducted during Vaikunta Ekadashi the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) attracts 1 million visitors.  The first ten days are referred as Pagal-Pathu (10-day time festival) and the second half as Ra Pathu (10 day night-time festival). The first day of Ra pathu is Vaikunta Ekadashi.


The annual gold ornament cleaning festival is called Jyestabisheka (first of anointing) and is celebrated during the Tamil month of aani (June–July). The icons of all deities are abluted with water brought in large vessels of gold and silver.


Brahmotsavam (Prime festival) is held during the Tamil month of Panguni (March–April).

Visiting Hours:

Type of DarshanRanganthar ShrineRanganayaki Shrine
Viswaroopa seva6:00-7:156:30-8:00
Pooja (closed for devotees)7:15-9:008:00-8:45
Pooja (closed for devotees)12:00-13:1513:00-15:00
Pooja (closed for devotees)17:45-18:4518:00-18:45

How to Reach

Tiruchirappalli city is well connected by the Rail, Bus and Road. From city to temple someone can travel by private vehicle or by hiring a cab. The site is near the Tiruchirappalli International Airport.


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