Sriranga Mahathmiyam

Srirangam Vimanam

Lord Sri Ranganathar’s temple in Srirangam is considered as the most sacred and important place of worship for Sri Vaishnaviites. Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River on one side, and its distributary Kollidam (Coleroon) on the other side.

The roots of this temple can be traced all the way to the Ramayana Epic. The idol of Lord Vishnu, Namperumal was worshipped by Lord Rama and his ancestors. After the battle in Sri Lanka, a victorious Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya. To show his gratitude to King Vibishana, Lord Rama gifted Vibishana the Namperumal idol. When Vibishana was travelling back to Sri Lanka, he stopped at Srirangam. When he tried to lift back the Namperumal idol he found he could not move it. It was the Lord’s intention to reside in Srirangam. The Chola kings of that period built the temple for Namperumal, with the reclining Lord Ranganathar facing Sri Lanka in the Southern direction.

Since then, the temple has undergone many changes, with successive rulers adding more prakarams and sannidhis. Today, the temple is spread over 156 acres and has seven concentric walls (prakarams). The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram and is 236 feet (72 m) tall, the tallest in Asia.

Srirangam has remained the cradle of Sri Vaishnaviite sect and its history is intertwined with the lives of important Acharyas. Lord Ramanuja is credited with setting forth the rituals and festivals to be celebrated in the temple as well as creating administrative roles and responsibilities to oversee day-to-day pujas.