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Sri Rangam

Description about the temple complex, with the history and its architectural features.

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Sri Rangam

  1. 1. SRIRANGAM TEMPLE TOWN
  2. 2.  Srirangam (formerly Vellithirumutha gramam) is an island and a part of city of Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu, India.  It is bound by Kaveri river on one side and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam on the other side.  Srirangam is home to significant population of Srivaishnavites followers of Lord Vishnu.  The temple complex is the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world as it covers an area of about 631,000 sq m (6,790,000 sq ft) with a perimeter of 4 km (10,710 sq ft). The still largest Angkor wat being the largest exisiting temple.  The temple complex is 156 acres (0.63 sq km) in extent.  The complex is composed of 7 concentric walled sections and 21 magnificent towers or gopuram.  The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram and is 236 feet (72m) tall, is the tallest in Asia.
  3. 3.  It also consists of 39 pavilions, 50 shrines, a hall of thousand pillars and several small water bodies inside.  The Srirangam temple complex follows Dravidian style of architecture.  This temple is glorified in the divya prabandha, the early tamil literature canon of the alvar saints from the 6th to 9th century AD.  This temple is also counted as the first and the foremost among the 108 Divya desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  The annual 21 day festival conducted during the Tamil month of margazhi (december-january) attracts one million visitors very year.  The construction of the main gopuram was started during the reign of Achyuta Deva Raya of Vijayanagar, the construction was given up after the king’s death and was apparently not resumed owing to some political preoccupations or crisis.
  4. 4. The main gopuram of Sriranganatha swamy temple, Srirangam, Tamilnadu, India.
  5. 5. There are 21 gopurams among which is the towering 236 feet Rajagopuram (shrine of the main gateway). The 73m high 13 tiered rajagopuram was built in 1987 by Ahobila Mutt dominates the landscape for miles around, while the remaining gopurams were built during 14th to 17th centuries. The structure of the rajagopuram remained incomplete at the base 17m high for 400years. It was consecrated on 25th march 1987 after a span of 8 years. The dimensions at the base of the gopuram is 166ft x 97ft, while at the top is 98ft x 32ft. Befitting the gargantaun dimensions of the structure , everyone of the 13 glistening copper ‘kalasams’ atop the tower weighs 135kg and measures 3.12m (height) and 1.56m (diameter).
  6. 6. White gopuram at Srirangam temple
  7. 7. Hall of 1000 pillars with its intricate sculptures of riding horses.
  8. 8.  The hall of 1000 pillars (actually 953) is a fine example of a planned theatre-like structure and opposite to it is “sesha mandapa” with its intricacy in sculpture, is a delight.  The hall is made of granite and was constructed in vijayanagara period (1336- 1565) on the site of the old temple.  The pillar consists of wildly rearing horses bearing riders on their backs and trampling with their hoofs upon the heads of rampant tigers.  The great hall is traversed by one side aisle in the centre for the whole of its greater length, and intersected by transepts of like dimensions running across right angles.  There still remain seven side aisles on each side, in which all the pillars are equally spaced out.  A free standing shrine inside the hall contains a large seated figure of garuda; the eagle headed god faces the north towards the principal sanctum.  The hall is celebrated for the leaping animals carved on to the piers at its northern ends.
  9. 9. Capital detail of the column
  10. 10. Swarga Vasam Pathway leading to Swarga vasam. This swarga vasam’s door is opened for darshan only during the vaikuntha ekadasi.
  11. 11. Panoramic view of the temple complex
  12. 12. SHRINES  The vimanam (shrine over the sanctum sanctorum), the ranga vimana is shaped like omkara and is plated with gold.  Sri ranganatha reclines on Adisesha, the coiled serpent, and at his feet sits Ranganayaki. Images of Vibhisana, Brahma, Hanuman, Garuda, The symbols of vishnu - conch and discuss are seen inside the sanctum. Ranganayaki shrine is in the second precint of the temple.  The complex houses shrines of dozens of forms of Vishnu including Chakkarathazhwar, Narasimha, Rama, Hayagreeva and Gopala krishna.  There are separate shrines for major saints in the vaishnava tradition, including Ramanuja.  An inscription of 1674 specifies this Nayak king as the patron.  The exterior of the vimana and the attached mandapa have finely worked pilasters with fluted shafts, double capitals and pendant lotus brackets.  The sanctuary is crowned in the traditional fashion with a hemispherical roof.
  13. 13. THANK YOU

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