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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.
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
This temple is glorified in the divya prabandha, the early
tamil literature canon of the alvar saints from the 6th to 9th
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.
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
Hall of 1000 pillars with its intricate sculptures
of riding horses.
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
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
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
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,
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
The sanctuary is crowned in the traditional fashion with a hemispherical