Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a beautiful ancient temple located in Srirangapattana which is in the district of Mandya.The place is about fifteen kilometres from the city of Mysore. Sri Ranganatha is Vishnu’s manifestation and thus the town gets its name from here.It is situated on an island on the banks of the Kaveri River.
Sri Ranganathaswamy is a part of famed Pancharanga Shetrams, a group of 5 temples dedicated to Lord Ranganatha on the banks of the River Cauvery. The others that make up this group are Sri Ranganathaswamy of Srirangam, Sarangapani Temple at Kumbakonam, Sri Appakkudathaan Perumal Temple in Thirupper Nagar and Parimala Ranganathar Temple at Thiruindaloor. Legend says that if someone manages to visit all the five temples in a single day, they attain salvation.
Architecture of Temple
The temple has a navaranga mandapam which surrounds the sanctum sanctorum. The principal deity is Sri Ranganatha in the sleeping posture with the Adi Shesha, the serpent with seven heads. Goddess Lakshmi is at Lord Ranganatha’s foot. Goddess Ranganayaki is the principal goddess of this beautiful temple.
It is believed that this temple is a very important Vaishnavite shrine of South India. The temple’s beautiful and exquisite architecture surely takes us way back to the Hoysala rule. The brilliant and beautiful architecture of the Vijayanagar style and the exclusive carvings are indeed a delight to the eyes. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha.
The temple has four strong pillars with twenty four beautifully sculpted Vishnu forms. You can see exclusive Hoysala style of architecture. It is said that the Hoysalas appreciated art and art forms and encouraged the artisans. The intricate work of the artisans is clearly reflected in the architecture of the temple. The entire prakaram of the temple is beautifully painted with mythological stories.
History of Temple
The temple of Sri Ranganatha in Srirangapatna was built in 894 AD by Ganga King Tirumalaiya. Several dynasties of Kings were its patrons and have helped in its upkeep over the years. Prominent among these royal patrons were the Vijayanagara Kings, Hoysalas, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and Wodeyars of Mysore.The credit of building the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple goes to the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, The Hoysala kings and Hyder Ali made additional expansions to the temple. The Hoysala kings, Mysore Wodeyar kings and the kings of Vijayanagara have contributed a lot towards the expansion of the temple structure.
Other shrines within the temple complex are those of Lord Srinivasa, Sri Krishna, Vaishnava Acharya and Vaishnavite Gurus. This idol is supposed to be the biggest statue of Vishnu in the reclining form. The temple’s main entrance has huge pillars and you can find twenty four different Vishnu forms.
As per mythological studies, river Cauvery on her way forms three big islands. These islands are the Shivanasamudra of Karnataka, Srirangapatna and Srirangam. It is believed that devotees who visit these three temples,all in one day will surely attain salvation. The Kotarothsava festival dedicated to Lord Ranganatha is celebrated with great pomp and splendour. Devotees from faraway places come here to be a part of these ostentatious celebrations. This is the best time to visit the temple.
Timings of Temple
Darshan timings at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple are 07.30 am to 01.00 pm and 04.00 pm to 08.00 pm
Festivals celebrated at Temple
Famous festival celebrated at the Sri Ranganatha temple is adorned with more than a hundred thousand lamps. Devotees take a dip in the Holy Cauvery River and then light up the lamps in the temple.
Many devotees visit the Sri Ranganatha temple from nearby places as well as from Bangalore after purchasing a new car or bike to perform Puja for safe motoring!
Places of Interest
Other places worth visiting are Tipu’s Palace, Gosai Ghat, Nimishambha temple, Jumma Masjid, Tipu fort and so on. The best time to visit is during March and April as Adibrahmotsavam is celebrated with great pomp and show here.
Getting there and around
The district of Mandya is about one hundred and twenty five kilometres from Bangalore and fifteen kilometres from Mysore. Devotees can either come by rail, road or air. The closest airport is Bangalore. There are a number of state run buses that ply from Bangalore to Mandya. Tourists may have to do train bookings well in advance as they are full during the season time.
Srirangapatnam is on the way to Bangalore and lies on the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway. The closest railway station is Mysore.
Many tourists just pass through Srirangapatna and stay in Mysore. However there are a few decent hotels right in Sri Rangapatna like Hotel Mayura (080-22212901), Young Island (08236-217351) and Amblee Resort (08236-206166)