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Srirangam Temple

Srirangam Temple is one of the eight self-manifested shrines of Lord Vishnu. Considered as the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples, it is known by several names like Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. Enormous in size, the Srirangam Temple has seven enclosures (prakaras). These enclosures are formed by huge fortified walls which run round the sanctum. The temple complex has a total of 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras, offering a unique view to the visitors.

Special details
According to popular beliefs, it was here that the emperor poet Kambar presented Ramayana for the first time (near Thayar Sannidhi). Srirangam is an island of 600 acres surrounded by the river Cauvery. The Rajagopuram of the temple is the tallest tower in South India, sporting a height of 72 metres. Various mandapas and gopuras have been constructed over a span of many centuries, but the architecture of the Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the best illustrations of Hindu temple planometric geometry per agama design texts in the Tamil tradition.

Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is rich in legend and history. The annual 21 day festival conducted during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) attracts about a million visitors every year. The Hall of 1000 pillars in the temple is the perfect example of a planned theatre like structure. The pillars in the hall are decorated with sculptures of wildly rearing horses bearing riders on their backs. Opposite to the hall is the “Sesha Mandap”, which is a delight to look at for its intricacy in sculpture.

Festivals of the temples
Maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Govt of Tamil Nadu, the temple celebrated numerous festivals around the year including processions. These are called utsavam (celebrations).

Vaikunta Ekadashi –
The first ten days of the festival are referred to as Pagal-Pathu, and the second half as Ra Pathu.
During the festival various dance and song rituals are performed that transforms the palce into heaven on Earth.

Jyestabisheka –
Jyestabisheka is the annual gold ornament cleaning festival which is celebrated during the Tamil month of aani (June-July).
The idols of all deities are cleansed with water brought in large vessels of gold and silver.

Brahmotsavam –
This festival is held during the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April).
On the second day, the deity is taken to a garden inside the temple in a palanquin. On the third day, the deity is taken through the river Kaveri to a village on the opposite shore.

Other Festivals celebrated within the temple are the annual chariot festival, called Rathothsavam, Chitra Poornima, and Vasanthothsavam celebrated during the Tamil month of vaikasi (May–June).

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