Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Description of the Diety

Lord Ranganathar (Vishnu)

Associated Dieties

  1. Chakkarathazhwar
  2. Narasimha
  3. Rama
  4. Hayagreeva
  5. Gopala Krishna
  6. Udayavar (Ramanujar Sannathi)"

Historical information

The Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, located in Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India . Constructed in the Tamilian style of architecture, this temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alwar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD and is counted among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship.
According to historians, most of the dynasties who ruled South India - Cholas, Pandya’s, Hoysalas, Nayaks, assisted with renovation and in the observance of the traditional customs. Even during the periods of internal conflicts amongst these dynasties, utmost importance was provided to the safety and maintenance of these temples. It is said that Chola king presented the temple with golden serpent couch. Some historians identify this king with King Rajamahendra Chola, apparently the son of King Rajendra Chola II. It is very interesting to observe that his name never figures in the latter's inscriptions, neither in the 4th year (which shows various members of the family visiting in different regions) nor in the 9th year (which elaborates only one member of the second generation).
During the period of invasion by King Malik Kufuor and his forces in 1310–1311, the Main idol of the Lord Ranganatha was stolen and transported to Delhi. In daring exploit the devotees of Lord Srirangam ventured to Delhi and enthralled the emperor with their histrionics. Moved by their talent, the emperor was pleased and agreed to gift them the presiding deity of Srirangam, which was requested by the performers. Unexpectedly it was learnt that Surathani, kings daughter had fallen in love with the deity and travelled with the Idol of lord to Srirangam. She prostrated herself to the God in front of the sanctum sanctorum and was believed to have attained heavenly abode immediately. Even today painting of "Surathani" (known as Thulukha Nachiyar in Tamil) can be seen in her shrine near the Arjuna Mantap adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum for whom, chapattis (wheat bread) are made daily. The Kalyana utsavam or wedding of Lord Ranganatha with Surathani is performed with great pomp every year.
Having assumed that the magical power of the deity had killed his daughter, there was a more severe second invasion to Srirangam in 1323 AD. The presiding deity was carried away before the Malik Kufuor’s troops reached Srirangam by devotee group led by the vaishnavite Acharya (Guru), Pillai Lokacharyar, who died enroute to Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. The Goddess Ranganayaki was carried in another separate procession. 13,000 Sri Vaishnava’s, the people of Srirangam had laid down their lives in the fierce battle to ensure that the institution was protected. In the end, one of the Devadasis, danseuse of Srirangam had seduced the army chief in order to save this temple.
After nearly six decades, the presiding deity returned to Srirangam and the same Swami Vedanta Desika, who had built brick wall in front of the sanctum sanctorum, dismantled this wall open. The deity and the priestly wardens wandered southwards towards Madurai, then northeast towards Kerala, Mysore, Tirunarayanapuram, and finally in the hills of Tirumala Tirupathi, where they remained until their reinstatement in 1371.
The Orlov diamond of 189.62 carats (37.924 g). Large diamond which is a part of the collection of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin. The origin of this resplendent relic - described as having the shape and proportions of half of a hen's egg. This diamond and similar gem served as the eyes of the deity in the temple. Legends hold that French soldier who had deserted during the Carnatic wars in Srirangam. Mention of the 2nd Carnatic war which was fought in Srirangam disguised himself as Hindu convert devotee and stole this diamond in 1747.
The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls (termed Prakarams (outer courtyard) or mathil suvar) with total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. This temple has 21 Gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, fifty shrines, Ayiram kaal Mandapam (hall with1000 pillars) and several small water tanks inside. The space within the outer two Prakarams (outer courtyard) is occupied by several shops, restaurants and flower stalls. Non-Hindus are only allowed up to the second Prakarams (outer courtyard) but not allowed inside the Main sanctum sanctorum.
The Vimanam (Temple over the sanctum sanctorum), the Ranga Vimana is shaped in form of Omkara (Om symbol) and is plated with gold. Sri Ranganatha reclines on Adisesha the coiled snake serpent. Adisesha has five hoods and is coiled into three and half rounds. The lord's head rests on a small cylindrical pillow and his right palm which faces upwards rests next to his head. Sridevi or Bhudevi are not present at the feet of the lord. Brahma is not present in the navel. Ranganayaki shrine is in the second precinct of the temple. The common reference to the goddess is padi thaanda pathni, meaning lady who doesn't cross the boundaries of ethics. Literally, the festival deity of Ranganayaki also does not come out of the shrine and it is Ranganatha who visits Ranganayaki. There are three images of Ranganayaki within the sanctum.
The complex houses Temples in numerous incarnations of Lord Vishnu including Chakkarathazhwar, Narasimha, Rama, Hayagreeva and Gopala Krishna. The Chakkarathazhwar temple is east facing on the South side of Akalanka precinct. The sanctum Santorum is approached through a Mukamandapa (six rows of pillars) built during the Kings of Chola Period and Mukamandapa with six rows of eight pillars built during the period of Vijayanagara Empire. There is circumambulatory passage around the sanctum Santorum. The image of Chakkarathazhwar is sculpted with Lord Narasimha on the rear side and can be viewed from the passage around the sanctum Santorum. There are separate Temples for Ranganayaki and the major saints in the Vaishnava tradition, including Ramanujam. The Lord Venugopala Temple is in the south-west corner of the fourth enclosure of the temple is the work of Chokkanatha Nayaks. An inscription of 1674 specifies this Nayaks king as the patron. The exterior of the Vimana and attached mantap (hall) have finely worked pilasters with fluted shafts, double capitals and pendant lotus brackets. Sculptures are placed in the niches of three sides of the sanctuary walls; maidens enhance the walls in between. The elevation is punctuated with secondary set of pilasters which support shallow eaves at different levels to cap larger and smaller recesses. The sanctuary is crowned in the traditional fashion with hemispherical roof. The double-curved eaves of the entrance porch on the east side are concealed in later columned hall. Dhanvantari renowned physician of ancient India is considered to be an avatar of Vishnu – there is separate shrine of Dhanvantari within the temple.

Shtala Purama

Srirangam Mahathmiyam is the compilation of religious scriptures of the temple which explains the origins and history. Accordingly Lord Rama an Avatar of Vishnu, worshiped the idol extensively, and when he returned victoriously from Sri Lanka after killing Ravana, he offered it to King Vibhushana as token of appreciation for supporting him against his own brother Lord Ravana. When Lord Vibhushana was travelling to Trichy enroute to Sri Lanka, the deity desired to stay in Srirangam. Lord Ranganatha, captivated by the devotion of King called Dharma Varma, who was performing penance to have the Lord Ranganatha permanently stay in Srirangam, who decided to stay at this location, also promising to cast his benevolent gaze eternally on Sri Lanka. Hence the deity of Lord Ranganatha Swamy is facing south. (Is in reclining posture) .

As per different hypothesis, lord Vibhushana was carrying the Deity (idol) all the way to his kingdom of Sri Lanka and in midway decided to rest for a while and he placed this Deity/Idol on the banks of river Cauvery. After performing his routine Pooja rituals, he tried to lift this Deity/Idol to Vimana; however he could not lift the same. Mahavishnu appeared to him and said that he desired to stay as Ranganatha in this place, now to be known as Srirangam. Lord Vishnu also desired to watch the Brahmotsavam at Tirucherai. The festivals of the temple are thus considered sacred. It should be noted that in the Valmiki Ramayana reference that Lord Vibhushana received gift from Lord Sri Rama while returning to SriLanka, however does not specify the name of the gift. It is in the parameshvara Samhita which identifies that this gift as the idol of Lord Sri Ranganatha.

As per another legend, Sanaka, the four young sages, were trying to worship Ranganatha in Srirangam. They were attempting to enter this Temple, but were not allowed to enter by Jaya and Vijaya, the guardians (Dwarapalakas) of the temple sanctum Santorum. In spite of resistance the sages attempted to enter and were repeatedly stopped. In fit of anger all four of them cursed the guardians in one voice that they would be born as demons on earth. The sages disappeared soon after the curse, leaving the guardians trembling in fear. They approached Lord Vishnu and requested him to propitiate them from this curse. Lord Ranganatha informed that he cannot reverse the curse, however provided them with two options: One to be born as demons opposing Vishnu in three births or good human beings in the following hundred births. The guardians accepted being demons and are believed to have taken birth in form of Hiranyaksha & Hiranyakashupu, Ravana & Kumbakarna and Sisupala & Dantavakra. Vishnu took three avatars to kill these demons in each one of their births.

Do's & Dont's

Dress Code :
Male : Dhoti around waist and Shirt / Towel on the shoulder. Female: Saree or Half saree with blouse or Chudithar with Pyjama and upper cloth.

Darshan Timings

  • Morning - 9:00 A.M. to Afternoon - 12:00 P.M.
  • Afternoon - 1:15P.M. to Evening - 6:00 P.M.
  • Evening - 6:45 P.M. to Night - 9:00 P.M.
  • *Timings might change on festival days*


Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Srirangam Taluk,
Tiruchirappalli District,
Tamil Nadu.
Pincode : 620006


The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Vishnu, located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
24 / 7 Bus Services (Route No. 1) is available from Tiruchirappalli Railways Station / Central Bus Stop / Chatiram Bus Stop.

Travel Mode

By Road :
Tiruchirappalli is well connected with Road, Rail and Air Routes.
“Rent a Car” facility is available from Trichy Railway Station / Bus Stand / Air Port.
By Rail :
Srirangam Temple is located 9 Km. from Tiruchirappalli Rail Junction
Srirangam Temple is located 0.5 Km. from Srirangam Railway Station.
By Air :
Srirangam Temple is located 15 Km. from Tiruchirappalli Air Port

Other Amenities

Special Entry for the Physically Challenged
1. Persons who are physically / mentally challenged, aged or terminally ill and who cannot walk will be allowed for Darshan through special entrance at Sanctum. One dependant will be allowed along with them.
2. Battery car is in service for physically challenged and aged persons inside the temple premises at free of cost.

Annual Uthsavas

  1. Jestabishekam
    Celebrated in Tamil month Aani (June-July) in order to rid the accumulated impurities. In that day sanctum sanctorum is being cleaned, specially made herbal oil prepared in the temple is being applied on Periya perumal. Namperumal and Goddesses golden plates (Kavacham or Angil in Tamil) are being cleaned by goldsmith. More priests and devotees visit to Cauvery to take holy water in Gold and Silver pots. Gold pot is brought over the elephant. Gold pot has been donated by Vijayaranga Chokka Nayakar in 1734. In meanwhile it was looted by some robbers, then by gods grace it was recovered. This inscription has been engraved in Telugu language in this gold pot. More silver pots being filled up with Holy Cauvery water and brought to the temple. On the way from Cauvery to temple Vedas are being recited. Then pots are put in the Western side, all the idols installed in “Thiruvennaiyali Praharam”. Golden plates removed from the idols and handed over to Jeer Swamiji and Vadhula Desikar Swamy. Then plates are being cleaned by goldsmith. After public worship plates are being fixed up in evening.
  2. Brahmotsavam
    Grand Festival in Tamil month Panguni (March-April), which can purify the professional blemishes. In the Vijayanagara dynasty one of the king name Viruppanna udayar established the Chithrai festival in 1383. After Muslims invasions Lord Ranganatha brought to sanctum sanctorum in 1371 (17th day Vaikasi month). In that time temple was under very much dilapidated condition. On 1377 the King Viruppannan donated Seventeen thousand gold coins for renovation of temple. In the year of 1383 after renovation Chithrai festival started after 60 years. Viruppannan handed over 52 villages for Temple welfare. In 1383 Chithrai festival being celebrated nearest villagers thronged in the Srirangam. In this festival 8th and 9th days are being celebrated by villagers very much. Villagers used to donate more number of cattle and cereals from their fields. This festival starts eight days earlier to Revathy asterism. The Chithrai car festival is being celebrated on that day.
  3. Ekadesi
    The most important festival celebrated for full twenty one days during Tamil month Margazhi (December-January), is divided to two ten days as pagal pathu and ra pathu, with all pomp and pageantry.On Ekadesi day, Lord Ranganatha, attired in splendid garment, proceeds in a magnificient procession through Paramapada Vasal, arrives at Thirumamani Mandapam in the Thousand in a pillared hall to the thrill and joy of the devotees gathered in lakhs who have come from all over India and abroad. This occasion is the peak point of all festivals conducted in the Temple, on this day of days; Sri Ranganatha becomes a virtual king and is known as Sri Rangaraja. He holds his Divine Durbar in that huge hall which is further extended by a specially erected and tastefully decorated pandal, throughout the day Nalayira Dhivyaprabandham is recieted, and gets back to the Temple only late in the night. Milling crowds of devotees constantly keep moving from dawn to midnight. Teams of devotees, engaged in non-stop bhajans, fast throughout the day and keep endless vigil during the whole night, singing and dancing to the beat of cymbals. Verily, it is the sight for the gods to see."

Monthly Rituals

  1. Chariot festival
    Rathothsavam is celebrated during the Tamil month of thai (January–February) and the processional deity, utsavar is taken round the temple in the temple car.
  2. Chitra Poornima
    It is a festival based on the mythological incident of Gaj-graha (elephant crocodile). The elephant suffered in the jaws of crocodile and god rescued the elephant. Vasanthothsavam is celebrated during the Tamil month of vaikasi (May–June)
  3. Pavithrothsavam
    Celebrated in Tamil month Aani (August –September) dedicated to the sacred thread worn by the Lord and for removing blemishes in daily rituals. First day the 365 times thiruvaradhanam is conducted to the utsavar in yagasalai and in the second day 1008 times thiruvaradhanam is condutced in the sanctum sanctorum for all the deities and are fully covered with holy thread which is named as boocandi sevai(Angobanga Sevai). This festival is to rectify the defects happened in daily poojas performed to Lord. This festival being conducted in Cheranai vendran mandabam alias Pavithra mandabam. This mandabam was established by Jadavarma Sundarapandian. After Muslim invasion Lord and goddesses entered after 60 years in 1371. Sanctum sanctorum goddesses installed in the above mandabam. This function first started by Brahma. Due to this festival Holy Cotton thread Garland (pavithram) being worn to all idols.
  4. Sri Jayanthi
    Lord Krishna’s birthday being celebrated in all Krishna temples, which are inside of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple campus. Particularly in Kili Mandaba Krishna temple, that idol Krishna with his parents, father Nandagopan, his mother Yasodha and Rohini will be installed in presence of temple. Sacred water is being poured. Krishna and Namperumal procession in the four Chithrai streets. Due this function Namperumal visits to Sri Pandaram. Their Thirumanjanam is being performed to Namperumal.
  5. Oonjal
    Held in Tamil Month Aipasi (October-December) to remove possible blemishes in the Swing. This festival is known as Dolothsavam. This festival was started in 1489 by Kandhadai Ramanujar. Now it is celebrated 9 days festival. In 1st and 7th day Lord comes to cradle with goddess, remaining days god alone in the cradle. In the presence of Lord daily Arayar recites songs, Last day Lord visits to Chandrapushkarani, theerthvari being performed. Then Namperumal comes to Oonjal mandabam, Thirumanjanam being performed. Then night goes back to sanctum sanctorum. This oonjal festival commences eight days before Ekadesi during the dark fortnight of the month Aipasi. The last day festival comes on Ekadesi day.
  6. Kaisiga Ekadesi
    This festival is being celebrated before thirty days of Ekadesi. Lord comes to Santhana mandabam, Thirumanjanam is being performed. Then evening goes back to sanctum sanctorum. Again in night Lord comes to Arjuna mandabam. Here 365 poojas being performed. 365 garments are adorned to Lord. Kaisika puranam is being recited in Midnight. While return to Sanctum Pacchai Karpooram (Refined camphor) will be sprinkled, and then entered to sanctum sanctorum.
  7. Ankurarpanam (Sprouting the seeds)
    The Vishvaksena (Chief of the Lords’army) and Anjaneya brought to the Thayar sannathi accompanying some priests. They perform poojas under the Vilva tree sand some priests go to the river bed to take sand with “BHUSUKTA” both sands are mixed in the stage of moisten kept in the pots. Seeds are sowed in that pots and then kept in Yagasala. Within few days it gets sprouted.