A visit to Srirangam temple had been on my mind for quite some time. There has been a special reason why I wanted to visit this temple. Before going there, let me tell you where Srirangam is. Srirangam is a small town situated next to Trichirappalli in Tamil Nadu. It gets its popularity for being the home to the world famous Ranganatha Temple. It is a small town that sits between the Cauveri and Kollidam rivers, making it as an island.
The temple is marvellous and vast. I didnt get to visit all the places that day. I went with family on a weekend. So the temple was fully crowded. We had to endure a 2 hour-wait to see the lord Ranganatha only for a few mins. Even that was a hurried up visit due to the large crowd.
The temple has a beautiful front tower with rich architectural carvings. This tower is huge and serves as one of the entrances for the town. The tower is a bit away from the temple and in the path that leads to the temple are shops on either side. The market area is located on the way.
We crossed the market and went near the entrance. We had to leave our shoes in the shoes counter and collect the tokens. It was mid day, the sun was shining high but there was lot of crowd. There was a queue in every shrine inside the temple. One by one we worhsipped all gods. On the way to Ranganatha’s shrine, there was a beautiful big lamp holder statue almost as tall as 4ft. It was simply gorgeous, I haven’t seen one so closer till now. It is called as ‘paavai vilakku’ in our language, meaning lady with a lamp. Here it is:
After coming out of the Ranganathar shrine, I saw a beautiful temple tower that was painted all white. This is called ‘Vellai gopuram’ or white tower because its always painted white.
Next to that tower was the 1000 pillars hall, where there was a display of Navrathri idols. As it was mid day- the hall was locked so couldnt go inside. A sneak peak from the outside told me that there are more excellent carvings to be seen inside.
As it crossed mid day, we couldn’t visit the Goddesses Lakshmi and Andal’s shrines. So we had to wait inside the temple. We were hungry and looked around for food and water. Inside the temple they have arranged many food stalls and water pipes. I felt that they are a bit too many inside a holy place. We took food from one of the stalls and rested there until 4 pm, the time the shrines will re-open.
Meanwhile during the rest hour, we visited the little passages along the way to the Goddesses’ shrines. Needless to say they are beautiful! They provided great cooling shelter in that scorching heat. I was amazed with the brilliance of construction.
Time went so fast while admiring them and it was 4.15 pm when we realized that its time to complete the visit. We visited Goddesses Lakshmi and Andal’s shrines and returned back with a peaceful heart.
It took us nearly more than an hour to complete the visit -discarding the wait time in the queue. But it was worth the wait. The temple is so huge that we can easily spend a day in admiring it.
Visit it during late Sep – March if you want to avoid the hot weather.
Now – you might be thinking why I wanted to go to srirangam. Back in my school days I opted for a day trip that covered Trichy and Srirangam. A day before the trip I was down with fever. I couldn’t go. I missed the fun! I felt very bad. After that incident, there was never a reason to go to Srirangam though we lived nearby within a 3 hour travel. I got that chance only after nearly 20+ years. I had to make the choice to visit it.
Whenever you get chance to visit a place, don’t miss it. We will never know when the next chance would be!