Amazing Temple-Vishnu Temple of Srirangam

Vishnu Temple of Srirangam: - The Temple of Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple), in the Indian city of Tiruchirapalli (or Trichy), is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Legend has it that a long time ago, a sage rested and put down a statue of Vishnu reclining on a great serpent. When he was ready to resume his journey, he discovered that the statue couldn’t be moved, so a small temple was built over it. Over centuries, the temple “grew” as larger ones were built over the existing buildings. The temple complex is massive: it encompasses an area of over 150 acres (63 hectares) with seven concentric walls, the outermost being about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long! The walls demarcate enclosures within enclosures, each more sacred than the next, with the inner-most enclosure is forbidden to nonHindus.

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. It is the first and foremost among the 108 Divya Desams, the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. The temple chariot festival is famous during the 21 day Vaikunta Ekadasi when the Vaishnavite text, Tiruvaimozhi is recited before Lord Vishnu. The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (6,31,000 m²) with a perimeter of 1,116m (10,710 feet) making it the largest temple in India[1] and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. In fact, Srirangam temple can be easily termed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world (Angkor Wat being the largest non-functioning temple). The temple is enclosed by 7

concentric walls with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. These walls are enclosed by 21 Gopurams (Towers). Among the marvels of the temple is a "hall of 1000 pillars" (actually 953). Non-Hindus can only go up to the sixth wall but not inside the gold topped sanctum sanctorum.[2]. Though the term Kovil is generically used in Tamil to signify any temple, for many Vaishnavas the term Kovil exclusively refers to this temple, indicating its extreme importance for them. The presiding deity Lord Ranganathar is praised in many names by His devotees, including "Nam-Perumal" (our Lord in Tamil), "Azhagiya Manavalan" (The beautiful groom in Tamil), while His divine wife Ranganayaki is affectionately called "Thayar" (Holy Mother). Apart from the main shrine of Ranganathar, the complex also houses shrines of dozens of forms of Lord Vishnu including Sudarshana Chakra, Narasimha, Rama, separate shrines for Ranganayaki and dozens of other shrines for the major saints in the Vaishnava tradition, including Ramanuja. The temple follows the traditional Thenkalai sect of Iyengars, who are mainly identified by a "Y" shaped mark in the forehead.

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