Srirangam – Sri Aranganathar Perumal temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Aranganathar Perumal temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Aranganathar

Thayar: Ranganayaki

Pushkarani: Chandrapushkarani

Vimanam: Pranavaakruthi

Mangalaashaasanam: Among the 12 Azhwars only 11 made Hymns on the Lord  and Madhurakavi Azwar made his Hymns only about his Guru Nammazhwar and he Never Sung any  Hymns on the Lord


Srirangam is very much attached to Azhwars. This is the birth place of “Thiruppan Azhwar” who attained Moksham at this temple. There will be a celebrations on the Tamil Month of Panguni in which Thayar will have a dispute with Ranganathar as he married Kamalavalli without her permission. This celebration is known as “ Pranaya Kalaham”, where Nammazhwar comes and pacify both of them. Thirumangai Azhwar raised huge Prakarams and Gopurams. Thondaraipodi Azhwar was maintaining a flower Graden exclusively for Ranganathar. Madurakavi Azhwar brought his Guru Nammazhwar to thjis temple. Srirangam is the birth place of the famous Sri Vaishna Acharyars Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai, Periya Nambi, Pillai Lokacharya and many others.

Once on the base of Himalaya, River Ganga, Cauvery, Yamuna and Saraswathi are playing in the sky one ghandharvan (person who belong to Deva lokam) saw these rivers playing and worshipped them. Seeing this, all the 4 river women started saying themselves that he worshipped them only. They started arguing on whom actually he worshipped. The argument continued but didn’t stop. Yamuna and Saraswathi stopped their quarrel. But to Ganga and Cauvery it continued. Finally, they both went to Sriman Narayanan. River Ganga told to Narayanan since she was originated from the feet of Narayanan, she is bigger and mightier than Cauvery. Sriman Narayanan accepted it. But, Cauvery doesn’t accept it and she did tapas on Sriman Narayanan. Finally, Narayanan gave seva to her and told him that he will sleep on the bank of Cauvery and at that time, river Cauvery will be the garland (Maalai) in his chest, which will the better position than Ganga, who is found in his feet. This is the sthalapuranam said here. It is a traditional belief that Adi Sankara installed at Srirangam, a Yantra called Janakarshana Yantra (to attract pilgrims) to this sacred temple, just as at Tirupati he installed the Dhanakarshana Yantra (to attract wealth). Sankara infused immense power to this Yantra, which has proved by its action perfectly true to its name. Tirupati is the richest temple in the South, may be in whole of India, and Srirangam is the most visited temple in the South.

Though it is primarily a Vaishnavite temples, believers in different tenets of faith do pay their homage at the temple of Ranganatha, the Adi Purusha in blissful slumber, floating on the Banyan leaf during cosmic deluge. The Adi Purusha in his eternal happiness remained afloat on the Milky Ocean, for how long nobody can say. He wanted to create the Universe. Lord Vishnu appeared before Brahma in the form of a swan. Brahma questioned its identity, to which the swan replied with two monosyllables ‘OM’ and ‘THAP’ and disappeared. Brahma construed this bewildering reply as a direction to start penance uttering the word ‘OM’. After long years of penance, the four Vedas appeared. After years of further penance, Bhoomi (land, the earth) appeared then the fire, the sky and Devaloka, the heaven where angels stay, and human beings, animals, etc., gradually appeared. At that time, a demon, by name Madhu Kaitabha, appeared from the ear of Brahma and snatched the Vedas from him and disappeared into the ocean. This incident annoyed Brahma, who also plunged into the ocean to search for the miscreant.

Vishnu took the form of a horse (Hayagriva) and annihilated the ace of Madhu Kaitabha and recovered the Vedas and taught the same to Brahma. After the initiation by Lord Vishnu himself, Brahma started creating the Universe, which is made of the five elements, Prithvi (earth), Jal (water), Vayu (air), Tejas (fire), Vyoma (ether) and sixteen spheres of the Universe and gave a start to the natural law of the Universe.Creation only being his main port folio, when he set the natural law in motion, his work was completed and the Universe would go on in the cycle of Karma, i.e., and action done by the created beings. As one’s karma becomes the decisive factor for the continuance of the universe under the influence of natural law, Brahma realized in his observation that a time might come when his own action will be put to judgement. He felt the necessity of getting advice from Narayana. To invoke him, he started penance in the Milky Ocean. After long years of penance, Lord Narayana appeared before him on Garuda and asked him what he wanted. Brahma requested Narayana to show him his real form. Lord Narayana replied that nobody has seen his real Jyothi (effulgent) Swarupam. He said further: “It is I who appeared before you as a swan. It is I who brought you the Vedas. It is I who took the form of Hayagriva and annihilated the demon. And now I have come on my Garuda. I have taken up the responsibility of protecting the Universe and if you want to visualize my real form, you will have to utter the Ashtakshara Mantra in deep veneration.

At this, Brahma started the penance. Like this a thousand years elapsed, and at the end, Lord Vishnu appeared in a Ranga Vimanam from the Milky Ocean. Ranga Vimanam is the name given to a special chariot-like conveyance carried by Veda Murtis on their head, having Lord Vishnu inside the Vimanam (vehicle). Nagaraja was holding the white umbrella in attendance. Senapati Vishwaksena was holding a cane and chamaram (fan). Narada with Tumburu, uttering the hymns in praise, along with Devas, Angels, Kinnarasi (heavenly beings) were in prayerful attention. Sages Sanat kumara and others, the usual mythological attendants of Vishnu, were following the chariot. In deep veneration Brahma went round the chariot four times chanting the four Vedas with his four mouths and stood before Lord Vishnu in prayerful pose representatives of all the worlds of the Universe, including Durga, Saraswati, Sapta Rishis, Navagrahas, constellations of stars and the Ashta Palakas (eight doorkeepers) and others were also in attendance. Being pleased with the penance of Brahma, for the first time the real Swarupam of Vishnu in Ranga Vimanam with his attendants was shown to him as desired. Since that day the Ranga Vimanam became most famous, as the real seat of the Universal God. Brahma wanted to worship Lord Vishnu in the Vimanam forever. Lord Vishnu agreed to his request and Brahma took him to his abode in Satyaloka. Brahma was happy to worship the Vimanam. News spread in course of time to Manu, the son of Sun God Surya, who was attracted and desired to have the darshan, for which he performed a penance and fulfilled his desire by a visit to Satyaloka and, paying homage’s to the Ranga Vimanam, then in the custody of Brahma, he attained liberation. Manu’s son Ikshwaku cherished the desire of possessing the Ranga Vimanam for the benefit of the people on earth. He consulted his family preceptor, Vasishtha (priest of the Surya vamsha), who advised him to start penance uttering the sacred Ashtakshara Mantra. Accordingly, Ikshwaku started a severe penance which puzzled even the devas, foreboding evil days for them. They attempted to spoil the penance by deputing Maninatha and the celestial nymphs to distract his attention. Indra took the lead in this affair and did not even hesitate to send the Vajraayudha (lightning weapon) to foil the penance. But all failed in their attempts. In disappointment, they prayed to Brahma, to save them from the baffling catastrophe. Brahma on his part approached Ranganatha for advice.

Ranganatha consoled Brahma by expressing his desire to go to Ayodhya where he would be worshipped by the descendant of the Solar dynasty for four Yugas, and at the end of the fourth Yuga he would go to the kingdom of the Cholas in the South, on the banks of the Kaveri, where he would stay for 700 years. At the end, of this period he would return to Brahmaloka. Brahma was directed to part with the Ranga Vimanam to Ikshwaku. From Ikshwaku to Lord Rama time, this Vimaan was worshipped and belonged to Ayodhya Kings. Sri Ramar who took the avathaar as an ordinary human being, worshipped Sri Ranganathan, the god is also named as “Periya Perumal”. After his pattabishekham (crowned as king), he gave the Thiru Aranga Vimaanam to King Vibeeshan, which belongs to Ayodhya Kings and their followers. Coming along with the Thiruvaranga temple vimaanam, the Chola king and the Rishis present requested Vibhishana to perform the Adi Brahmotsava there itself instead of in Lankha. Vibhishana agreed to this request. So he kept the vimaanam in the midst of Cauvery river to worship it. During the worship, Chozhan Dharmavarman and lots of Rishis also joined. In commemoration of this incident, the Brahmotsava is performed on the day of the full moon in the month of Panguni, Uttaram day. After finishing all the poojas, tried to take the vimaanam along with him to Lanka, he was unable to take it and he could not even move. This must have caused almost heartbreak to Vibhishana who went on praying to Lord Ranganatha to save him from the situation. At that time, Sri Aranganathan told since he had given varam (promise) to River Cauvery and since he has to purify her, he has to be all along the Cauvery River. And told that he will not be in a position to move from there. But on hearing this, King Vibeeshan became sad, for which Sri Aranganathan says that inspite of not coming to Lanka, but he will be facing the south direction of Lanka. This is the history explaination of Sri Rangam.

The temple is built on lands of 100s of acres with huge number of beautiful statues speaking volumes of the excellent sculptural skills of Tamilnadu having many halls, tanks and shrines. There are 21towers and inner rounds, the 4th being very popular and important. The main tower, Rajagopuram is the tallest in India. This is one of the biggest temples in India. The procession deity is Namperumal, Azhagia Manavalan, Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. There are 8 holy springs including Chandrapushkarani and Suryapushkarani. Vaikunda Ekadasi in Margazhi (December-January). During the month of October, the lower stem of a coconut tree is fixed as the first pole for the pandal to celebrate the Raapathu (10 nights) and Pagal Pathu (10 days) festival when more than 5 lakhs devotees would assemble and chant the Naalayira Divya Prabhanda hymns sitting before the Lord. The number of devotees would be in lakhs during the three Brammotsavam festivals. In Masi Teppa Thiruvizha (10 day boat festival) attracts large crowd. The temple is always in festive mood almost all days of the year with huge inflow of devotees from various parts of the state and the country including foreigners.

There are 21 magnificent towers in all the 7 prakaras, which represents the7 Lokhas and they are named starting from the “Karpagraham“  (Moolasthanam – the Place where the Main Deity blesses) as Sathya Lokahm, Thabo Lokham, Jano Lokham, Mahara Lokham, Suvar Lokham, Buvar Lokham and Boolokham

Apart from the presiding deity Lord Ranganathar, the temple complex comprises of about 53 upa-sannathis and which includes are Thayar Sannathi, Chakkarathazwar Sannathi, Sri Udayavar ( Ramanujar )Sannathi, Garudalwar Sannathi, Thanvanthiri Sannathi, Hygrevar Sannathi etc … height . It was started by the the Great King Krishna Raya Dhevar, a Vishnu Devotee and completed by the 44th Ahobila Mutt Jeeyar


Srirangam is just 6 km from Tiruchi city.

Temple Timings:

6.15 a.m. to 01.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91 – 431- 223 0257, 243 2246.

Temple Address:

Sri Aranganathar Perumal Temple,

Srirangam-620 006,


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