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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Island of Kaveri

Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy:-



Tiruchy was originally known as Tiruchirappalli. It is on the bank of the river Cauvery. Tiruchy is a one of the important place of heritage and tradition. Most famous Landmark is Srirangam and Rock fort. In the puranas Ramayana is closely related to the Tiruchy place. Then, in the historical day, Woraiyur was the capital city of Cholas.  So many Tourist spot and temples are in and round Tiruchy.

Srirangam has the distinction of housing the first of the eight shrines of Lord Vishnu. These self-manifested temples are known as Swayam Vyakta Kshetras in Hindu mythology. This shrine of Lord Vishnu at Srirangam is not only the first among the lot but is also considered the main shrine of all the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This Vishnu shrine is huge in size and has been built over an area of 156 acres.


The setting of the temple is also unique; the temple has been constructed in an island created by the rivers Kaveri and Coleroon. There are seven enclosures in the temple, and the devotees make it a point to walk through all the enclosures that are referred to as ‘prakaras’ in local language. The enclosures consist of thick and enormous walls that run in a circular pattern around the sanctum. The enclosures have 21 towers that stand out majestically. The entire structure of the enclosures is an architectural marvel.

According to Sri Vaishnava philosophy, the eight Svayam Vyakta Ksetras of Lord Vishnu are Srirangam, Srimushnam, Venkatadri, Saligram, Naimisaranyam, Totadri, Pushakara and Badrinath Temple.

Trichy Srirangam Temple is also known by the names Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam and Bhogamandabam. Sri Ranganatha Temple at Srirangam lies on an island, enclosed by the Kaveri River and Kollidam River. Lord Vishnu is enshrined as Ranganatha - the reclining position of Lord Vishnu over the Shesha Nag (serpent Adisesha). It is believed that this is the form in which Lord Mahavishnu is open to listening to all of his devotee's woes, and blesses them. Lord Ranganatha or Ranganathar is also called by various names such as Nam-Perumal and Azhagiya Manavalan by the devotees.

Dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, Sri Rangam Temple is a major shrine that receives millions of visitors and pilgrims every year. Lord Ranganatha is a reclining form of Lord Vishnu on the Shesha Nag. Sri Rangam Temple is also known as Sri Ranganathar Kovil. In the Tamil Language, "Kovil" stands for temple and it is used by many Vaishnavites. The presiding deity of Lord Ranganatha is extolled by various names like Nam-Perumal and Azhagiya Manavalan by his devotees.

Apart from the main shrine of Ranganathar, the temple has several shrines dedicated to various forms of Lord Vishnu like Sakrathazhvar, Narasimha and Rama. In the company of these, there are numerous shrines that are dedicated to some of the renowned saints of the Vaishnava cult. From morning to evening, the temple observes various worship rituals every day. People from all over the globe come to Srirangam Mandir to pay their obeisance to the Lord.

 Divyadesams are those temples where the alwars have sung songs or pasurams in praise of the presiding deity. All of them together form the naal ayiram divya prabandam. Sri Ranganatha temple of Srirangam is the first among the 108 divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and one of the oldest temples. It is a part of the choza naadu divyadesams. It is spread over an area of 156 acres and has 7 prakarams with 21 gopurams. There are huge walls surrounding the periya kovil. In the main sannadhi is Lord ranganatha in a reclining pose on the serpent bed. The utsavar in the main sannadhi is known as Namperumal. The temple is also called Booloka Vaikuntam.

 The seven streets in the 7 prakarams are called

1) Dharma Varman Thiruchuttru
2) Raja Mahendran thiruveedhi
3) Kulasekaran Thiruveedhi
4) Aalinaadan Thiruveedhi
5) Agalangan Thiruveedhi
6) Thiru vikraman thiruveedhi
7) Chitthirai Thiruveedhi

Sthalapuranam of srirangam:-

Srirangam is one of the eight Svayamvrutha Kshetram:-

Many years ago, lord Brahma performed penance on lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu, by seeing lord Brahma's devotion, appeared in front of him and gave an option to ask for a boon (varam). Lord Brahma, being a pure devotee, asked for an idol of 'shree ranganaadhar' (the sleeping posture of lord Vishnu on Adhi shEsha) for his worship. So lord Vishnu granted the boon.


Many years after this, ikshvaaku the forefather of raghu dynasty,  performed a very long penance on lord Brahma. So lord Brahma was pleased with the king ikshvaaku's devotion and gave an option to ask for a boon. So king ikshvaaku asked for Sri  Ranganathar's  idol which Brahma had and he was worshipping. But still lord Brahma gave that Sri  Ranganathar's  idol to King ikshvaaku, since the penance was sincere

So Sri  Ranganathar's idol was passed to his descendants and at last came in to the hands of king dhasharatha and finally to his son Sri Rama. Hence the idol was worshipped by the entire raghu dynasty and finally stayed at Sri Rama's hands.

After the completion of war between Sri Rama  and Ravana, VibheeShana and all other accompanied Rama in VibheeShana's   Pushpaka Vimaanam, Then Sri Rama' Coronation took place. In the End  shree Rama asked vibheeShana to request a boon since he was his devotee

Now it was shree VibheeShana's turn. He took the chance and asked the idol of shree ranganaadhar, which was worshipped by shree Rama himself. shree Rama granted his wish and handed over shree ranganaadhar idol by warning that if the idol should not be kept down until he reaches Sri Lanka  . If he places it down then , it will remain there itself.

When shree vibheeShana was taking the idol to sri Lanka, he wanted to perform sandhya vandhanam, as it was evening. By that time he was in Srirangam and on the banks of river kaaveri And Kollidam. And then appeared lord Vigneshwar in the disguise  of a cowherd boy, and stood in front of  vibheeShana. By seeing the cowherd boy, shree vibheeShana requested him to hold the idol until he finishes the sandhya vandhanam, and he should not keep it down. The cowherd  accepts and puts  a condition that if he is not able to hold the idol due to its weight then he will call  vibheeShana three times . And after calling three times , and if  vibheeShana doesn't come, he will place the idol down. Our cowherd boy calls shree VibheeShana's name 3 times continuously and immediately places shree ranganaadhar idol on the banks of river kaaveri.

vibheeShaNar becomes so anger on our cowherd boy and tries to hit him. But the cowherd boy ran and sat on top of the near by small hillock  and takes his own form -Vigneshwar,  vibheeShana chases and , hits on the head of Vigneshwars head, where even now we can see a slight bump on Vigneshwars idol there (uchchi pillayaar koil).

shree vibheeShana returns to the place where shree ranganaadhar idol was placed and felt very sad that he was not able to even lift the idol from that place. At that time, Sri Rangarajar  appeared before him and said that whatever has happened is for the sake of world's good and there is no need to worry and also shree ranganaadhar says that though he is in this Bhartha kandam, he will be watching his land - sri lanka. And every day it is said vibheeShana comes to Srirangam in the night to do pooja and returns to Lanka in the morning.

A chola ruler by name Dharmavarma is said to have created a temple here.

Among the Alwars Thondaradippodi Alwar did Nandavana Pushpa Kanikaryam and Our Thirumangai Alwar also known as Kaliyan did Thiru Madill Kanikaryam.

Here Kavi Chakravarthi Kambar did the Ramayana Arangentram  in the Mandapam, Then Azagiasingar  ( Narasimha Murthy) He is said to have blessed  him, this Metu Azagiasingars Sannidhi  is  near Thayar Sannidhi .

It is the place where Lord Ranganatha Conferred the tittle of Udayavar to Bhagavan Ramanuja. It is the same place where Swami Desikan was Conferred the Kavitharki Simham and Sarvathantra Swathantrar.

It is the place where Manavala Ma Munigal was asked by Nam Perumal to do the Thiruvai Mozi Kalashepam , then Nam Perumal came in form of a child and recited Sri Saila Dayapatram Dhaniyan on Manavala Munigal.

History of Sri Ranganathar Temple:-


Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu . It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. In the Vaishnava parlance the term "KOIL" signifies this temple only. The temple is enormous in size. The temple complex is 156 acres in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor. this temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon.

The temple of Sri Ranganathaswami at Srirangam boasts an historic past of great kingdom and a civilization thousands of years old. The reign of the Pallavas was marked by the creation of a solid religious foundation, for example the encouragement given by the dynasty appears to have contributed to the growth of Aryan institutions in Southern India more particularly in the Carnatic. Cholas reigned for about three hundred years over the Coromandel Coast and the greater part of Eastern Deccan, where they helped an advanced Hindu Culture to flourish.

The cholas were defeated in the thirteen century by the Pandyas of Madurai and Hoysalas of Mysore. Hoysalas had taken particular interest in the building of the Temple of Srirangam, leaving behind both the inscriptions and buildings. The Hoysalas were then driven away by the Pandyas in the early part of fourteenth Century. Later, the Mohammedans began frequently raiding the Deccan facing strong resistance from the Hindu Kingdom, which was established in Vijayanagar in 1336. The Kingdom maintained its independence until 1565.

During this time, the Europeans had appeared in the south of India. In the sixteenth century a number of foreign travelers and traders passed through but taking least interest in the hinterland except for the routes it provided for their trade with the Kingdom of Vijayanagar. In 1600, the English East India Company was formed, and 1664 the French company.

In 1680, King Aurangazeb (1658-1707), launched a campaign in western Deccan. After long sieges and a great loss of life, the fortress cities of Bijapur and Golconda fell to him, and the campaign lasted until his death.

In Europe, however, the war of Austrian succession set the English and the French at each other’s throats. Duplex captured Madras (1746), which was given back to the English two years later. The French were forced to surrender in 1752 and Duplex was disavowed and recalled in 1754.

In 1760, a further French attempt, led by Lally-Tollendal, was unsuccessful and the French trading post was dismantled in 1763. From then on, the English Company gradually annexed the whole of the territory of India. Though the French came near to victory, later on they were defeated in 1798 by the English led by Wellessley and who invaded Mysore and in 1799 captured the fortress of Srirangapatnam. There after all of the Southern India came under the supremacy of England. The Carnatic was included in the direct administration of the Madras Presidency where it remained.

Legend:-


 In Srirangam, myths, legends and history are inextricably blended into apocryphal stories, which the residents tell you as you walk down the corridors of the enormous temple. At one spot, for instance, there are five strange holes drilled into the solid stone floor, in front of a pair of elegantly carved feet.
Once, the story goes, Ranganatha decided to dress himself as Thayar and appear before his devotees because he wanted to understand why people only appealed to him through his wife. As he came down the corridor, dressed like a woman, Thayar is said to have stood in that corner of the passage hidden by the wall. As he neared, she inserted her fingers into those holes for grip and bent to peer around the wall to watch him coming.
The Lord of Srirangam has been endowed with some very human traits, which make it easier for the devotees to identify with him. During festive celebrations, for example a unique quarrel is enacted between the Lord and Thayar at the Woraiyur temple close by.

 According to legend it is said that weeks before the day, which had been fixed for their marriage, Sriranga (Ranganatha) was nowhere to be seen. Thayar, heard stories of his wandering around, meeting other women and so, when he finally appeared on their wedding day, she became very angry and threw out all the fruit and butter and eatables prepared for the feast. He, however, finally pacified her and convinced her that he had only gone hunting and that a wild animal made the scratches on his back.


About Temple:-


 The gigantic temple of Sri Ranganatha, occupying 613,000 sq meters (156 acres), is the pride of this island.  It has seven prakaras or enclosures.  These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum.  The temple has a number of firsts to its credit, the latest being the 73 metre (240 feet) tall, 13 tiered Rajagopuram, built in the 1980s, said to weigh nearly 25,000 tonnes.  There are 20 other gopurams in this temple complex, and as many shrines.  For ‘Vaikunda Yekaadesi’ pilgrims come from all over the World, it’s a 20 days celebration. Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras)  of Lord Vishnu.


      At the rear end is the shrine of the divine consort, Sri Ranganayaki.  There are a number of shrines in the huge courtyard, including one for Sri Rama and another for Vibishana.  A side entrance leads to another massive courtyard, at the end of which is yet another towering gopuram. The various vahanas for the annual Brahmotsavam are kept in a mandapam here.  The pillars in the mandapam are rich with sculptures.  The front of the mandapam is embellished with those Vijayanagar Nayak specialty horsemen fighting lions.  So detailed are the sculptures that the craftsmen have left nothing to the imagination.  The carvings above and below this tapestry in stone are equally rich in detail.  The base depicts women in various postures.  One of the pillars shows a rider, with the horse reared up, while below are a number of foot soldiers.


      It is said that this is the only temple in India to have seven prakaras.  The seven prakaras (enclosures), represent the seven centers of yoga the seven elements that make up the human body, at the heart of which is the soul.  The seventh is the outer wall, more like a fort, built in the aftermath of the Islamic invasion.  The Sri Venugopala Krishanan shrine is in the fourth court.  The walls are adorned with carvings of women in various attire.  There is also a museum here.  To the couth is the Sesharayar Mandapam, opposite of which is the 1000 pillared hall, which has exquisite sculptures of gods and goddesses, alwars and acharyas.  In the first prakaram dwells the Lord in his famous reclining posture.   The moolavar faces south.  He goes by several names, though He is famously known here as Sri Ranganathaswamy.


      This Srirangam temple, as well as the Jambukeswaram shrine, suffered terrible blows during the Muslim invasions of the 14th century.  The first one was in 1311 by that iconoclast general of the Khiljis, Malik Kafur.  The second one was in 1323 under Ulugh Khan (the later Mohammed Bin Thuglak), the son of Ghiyasuddin Thuglak.  The two Muslim raids crippled the temple to such an extent that worship ceased.  The 1323 invasion was particularly devastating.  Worship was restored only in 1371 when the forces of Vijayanagar stormed the temple complex.  From then on for the next 350 years the Vijayanagar kings and the Nayaks lavished their riches on the temple, which has been hailed as Bhoolaka Vaikuntam (Heaven on Earth). Many are the savants and saints who have sung in praise of this deity.


Shrines:-

The vimanam (shrine over the sanctum sanctorum), the Ranga vimana is shaped like omkara (om symbol) and is plated with gold. Sri Ranganthar reclines on Adisesha, the coiled serpent, and at his feet sits Ranganayaki. Images of Vibhishana, 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 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 Ranganthar who visits Ranganayaki. There are three images of Ranganayaki within the sanctum.

The complex houses shrines of dozens of forms of Vishnu including Chakkarathazhwar, Narasimha, Rama, Hayagreeva and Gopala Krishna. There are separate shrines for Ranganayaki and the major saints in the Vaishnava tradition, including Ramanuja. The Venugopala shrine in the south-west corner of the fourth enclosure of the temple is the work of Chokkanatha Nayak. An inscription of 1674 specifies this Nayak king as the patron. The exterior of the vimana and attached mandap (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 that support shallow eaves at different levels to cap larger and smaller recesses. The sanctuary is crowned in the traditional fashion with a hemisphrical roof. The double-curved eaves of the entrance porch on the east side are concealed in a later columned hall. Dhanvantari, a great physician of ancient India is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu – there is a separate shrine of Dhanvantari within the temple.

Halls:-

Hall of 1000 pillars with 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, "Sesha Mandap", with its intricacy in sculpture, is a delight.[according to whom?] The 1000-pillared hall made of granite was constructed in the Vijayanagara period (1336–1565) on the site of the old temple. The pillars consists of sculptures of wildly rearing horses bearing riders on their backs and trampling with their hoofs upon the heads of rampant tigers, seem only natural and congruous among such weird surroundings. The great hall is traversed by one wide aisle in the centre for the whole of its greater length, and intersected by transepts of like dimension running across at right angles. There still remain seven side aisles on each side, in which all the pillars are equally spaced out.The Garuda Madapa (hall of the legendary bird deity of Vishnu, garuda) located on the south side of the third enclosure is another Nayak addition. Courtly portrait sculptures, reused from an earlier structure, are fixed to the piers lining the central aisle. A free-standing shrine inside the hall contains a large seated figure of garuda; the eagle-headed god faces north towards the principal sanctum. The Kili mandapa (Hall of parrot) is located next to the Ranganatha shrine, in the first enclosure of the temple. Elephant balustrades skirt the access steps that ascend to a spacious open area. This is bounded by decorated piers with rearing animals and attached colonettes in the finest 17th-century manner. Four columns in the middle define a raised dais; their shafts are embellished with undulating stalks. The most artistically interesting[according to whom?] of the halls that the Nayaks added to the complex is the Sesha Mandap on the east side of the fourth enclosure. The hall is celebrated for the leaping animals carved on to the piers at its northern end.

Gopurams:-

Vellai gopurams(tower):-

There are 21 gopurams (tower gateways), among which the towering 236-feet Rajagopuram (shrine of the main gateway) is the second tallest temple tower in Asia. The 73m high 13- tiered rajagopuram was built in 1987 by Ahobila Mutt and dominates the landscape for miles around, while the remaining 20 gopurams were built between the 14th and 17th centuries. The gopurams have pronounced projections in the middle of the long sides, generally with openings on each of the successive levels. The Vellai gopura (white tower) on the east side of the fourth enclosure has a steep pyramidal superstructure that reaches a height of almost 44m.

Rajagopuram (Main tower):-

The structure of the rajagopuram remained incomplete at the base ('kalkaram', 17 meters high), for over 400 years. Started during the reign of Achyuta Deva Raya of Vijayanagar, the construction was given up after the king's death and apparently was not resumed owing to some political preoccupations or crisis. The Rajagopuram (the main gopuram) did not reach its current height of 73 m. until 1987, when the 44th Jeer of Ahobila Mutt initiated the process with the help of philanthropists and others. The whole structure was constructed in a span of eight years. The Rajagopuram was consecrated on 25 March 1987. The length and breadth at the base of the Rajagopuram is 166 feet and 97 feet, while the length and breadth at the top is 98 feet and 32 feet. Befitting the gargantuan dimensions of the structure, every one the 13 glistening copper 'kalasams' atop the tower weighs 135 kg and measures 3.12m (height) by 1.56m (diameter).

srirangam Temple Timings:-

Viswarooba seva 06.00 am to 06.30 am
Seva 6.30 am to 7.30 am
* Pooja time - No seva 07.30 am to 08.45 am
Morning Seva 08.45 am to 1.00 pm
Pooja time – No seva 1.00 pm to 2.30 am
After noon Seva 2.30 pm to 4.15 pm
* Pooja time – No seva 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm
No seva after 9.00 pm
Viswarooba seva – Rs.200/- per head
General Entrance – Free in all Seva time
Special Entrance – Rs.50/- per head


Festivals:-

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. A paradise on Earth indeed!

Viruppan ( Chithirai Ther ):-

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.

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.

Nagarasothanai (Street Investigation):-

Vishvaksena is being brought to all the four Chithirai streets. He inspects the entire four streets before Lord Visits. This inspection is to ensure that there is no untoward incidents happened. It called as Nagarasothanai.

First day (Flag hoisting):-

In the first day the flag (Garuda picture drawn in the Canvas cloth) is brought to the four Chithirai streets in early morning. Then it is hoisted in the presence of Lord to indicate temple festival going on. After the flag hoisted Lord is brought to the Mirror Chamber (Public worship can be allowed only in 1st and 7th day of the festival). In the evening the Lord with Ubayanachiyar brought to the Chithirai streets. In presence of Lord Poigaialwar songs are being recited.

Second day:-

Namperumal is being brought in Palanquin in four Chithra streets in morning. In the same day evening Namperumal comes in Karpagavritcham (A wish yielding tree) vahana in four Chithra streets. In presence of Lord Boodhathalwar songs are being recited.

Third day:-

In Morning used Leonine (Simha) Vahanam and evening in Yali (Imaginary animal) vahanam. In presence of Lord Peyalwar songs are being recited.

Fourth day:-

Morning Namperumal brought in Double prabha vahanam and in the evening in Garuda vahanam. In presence of Lord Thirumazhisaialwar songs are being recited.

Fifth day:-

Morning Namperumal brought in Serpentine (Sesha vahanam), evening in the Hanumantha vahanam. In presence of Lord Nammalwar songs are being recited.

Sixth day:-

Morning Namperumal brought in the Hamsa (Cygnet) vahanam, and in the evening coconut water being offered to Lord then Namperumal being brought in the Elephantine vahanam. In presence of Lord Nammalwar songs are being recited.

Seventh day:-

In the morning devotees allowed to have seva in the Mirror chamber. In the evening Namperumal with goddesses visit Thirukottaram (Granary) heaps of paddy being verified as a customary practice. Then Lord takes procession in the Chitra streets and reaches Thayar sannathi Thirumanjanam being performed. Then reach the Mirror chamber in midnight. In presence of Lord Thirumazhisaialwar songs are being recited.

Eighth day:-

In the morning Lord comes in the Silver Equestrian (Horse) vahanam. And in the evening Lord comes in the Golden Equestrian vahanam. When it comes near Chithra car shed unique event being witnessed, Namperumal seated on horse ridden in galloping speed. In presence of Lord Thirumangaialwar songs are being recited.

Ninth day (Car Festival):-

Early morning Namperumal is installed in Chithra car, car being pulled in the four Chitra streets. Then Lord brought to the Revathy mandabam, thirumanjanam being performed. In presence of Lord Thirumangaialwar songs are being recited.

Tenth day (Sabthavaranam):-

Morning in Sandhanu mandabam Thirumanjanam is being performed to Lord. In the evening Namperumal’s procession takes place in quite manner (avoiding musical instruments being used for the obvious reason) of Lord hearing Ramanuja’s songs. Namperumal visits to Ramanuja’s temple, there cordially welcomed by Ramanuja. And Ramanuja offers coconut water to Namperumal. After Namperumal offered it’s being offered to Ramanuja.

Eleventh day:-

Morning in Garuda mandabam Thirumanjanam is being performed to Lord. In the evening Namperumal’s procession takes place in the decorated palanquin with full of flowers rounds in Chitra streets.

This festival narrates Lord will bless not only human being but animals also. An elephant named Gajendra daily picks flowers from a pond then it offers to lotus feet of Lord and prays without any expectation. Elephant is very much fond in this service. So it doesn’t ask anything from god Lord Vishnu likes the elephant very much. Unfortunately one day elephant’s leg was caught severely by crocodile while it picks flowers. Even though elephant is not able to tolerate the pain it feels worried the absence of service to Lord. It begs the Lord to do service continually, but it didn’t ask the Lord to relive from the pain and pangs. Lord rushed to the spot and pierced the crocodile and blessed the elephant. This incidental memorandum is being performed in the holy Cauvery river bed.

Celebrated in Tamil Month Chithirai (April–May) in order to cleanse the impurities of the flowers used in adorning the Lord.

Even though this festival being celebrated as a memorandum of Incarnation of Rama, In Srirangam being celebrated distinguishes. One of the alwar and disciple of Rama Kulasekaralwar made wedded lock his daughter to Ranganatha. This festival is being performed in Arjuna mandabam. Lord Ranganatha and Cherakulavallinachiar (daughter of Kulasekaralwar) both are seated near and Thirumanjanam is performed to them.

Celebrated in the Tamil month Vaikasi (May-June). In Vijayanagara dynasty the name of the king Annappa Udayar established Vasantha Mandabam in 1444. Mallidevan puthur village has been donated to conduct Vasantham festivals.Vasantham festival starts 8 days before Pournami (Full moon day) In Pournami festival comes to end Lord comes in Equestrian vahanam rounds in Chitra Streets then comes to Vasantha mandabam. Thirumanjanam will be performed in the vasantha mandabam. First and Seventh day of festivals Lord accompanies two goddesses visit to vasantha mandabam. Remaining days Lord alone visits the vasantha mandabam. When Lord comes back to sanctum sanctorum everyday he visits Kambar mandabam. Everyday alwar songs are being recited in the presence of Lord. In the Goddess Ranganayaki temple also the Vasanthothsavam is being performed.

How to reach:-

By Air:-
The nearest airport is at Trichy (10-km).

By Rail:-
Srirangam is an important railway junction on the meter-gauge of Southern Railway and is well connected with the towns and cities of the state.

By Road:-
Srirangam situated on the National Highway No.45 on Tiruchirapalli-Madras route is well connected by road with the major towns and cities within and beyond the state. For local transportation taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and city buses are available.

3 comments:

  1. Nice blog, I wanted more information about that temple. I visited last December with my family. Very impressive I just couldn't remember the name of the rivers. Thanks for the information.

    Maria del Pilar
    http://www.chroniclesofpilli.wordpress.com

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  2. Interesting fact! The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganathar, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Vishnu located in Srirangam. It is believed that people who get darshan in this temple during the Vaikunta Ekadasi and Dwadasi days signifies entering Vaikuntam (Heaven) and attaining Moksha.
    http://www.ishtadevata.com/blog/srirangam-ranganathaswamy-temple.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing. your links is very informative.

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