Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Tiruchirappalli Overview

This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Sri Ranganatha, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Maha Vishnu, situated in Srirangam. It is one of the most acclaimed temples of South India and has played a pivotal role in Vaishnavism history. It is located on an island between the Kaveri and Kollidam rivers. This has made it prone to flooding and plundering by armies like that of Delhi Sultanate. The temple was rebuilt in the 14th century and expanded in the 16th and 17th centuries with more gopurams (tower gateways).

Occupying an area of 155 acres, 81 shrines, 21 towers, 39 pavilions, and several water tanks, Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is known to have the largest temple compound in India. Know that it is also the world’s largest functioning temple. About 800 inscriptions on the temple bring out its economic and spiritual importance. These inscriptions are in Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, Marathi, and Odiya. Besides this, the temple also ran as a charitable institution which provided educational and medical facilities.

The temple celebrates numerous festivals called Utsavam all around the year. But the annual 21-day festival hosted during the Tamil month of Margazhi attracts approximately 1 million visitors. This is during December and January according to the English calendar. The temple has also been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but is still in the tentative list.

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