Ranganatha Swami temple (Manifestation of Lord Narayana) at Srirangapatna is several millennia old and is a famous Vaishnava center in India. Over the years, the deity of this temple has influenced great philosophers, writers, poets, and others to excel in life.
People believe that Ranganatha Swami removes all the obstacles in life if one submits to HIM 100% and does seva (selfless services) of the lord. This article is written to briefly introduce the deity to the readers.
ಕಂಗಳಿದ್ಯಾತಕೋ ಕಾವೇರಿ ರಂಗನ ನೋಡದ is the song composed by the 14th-century saint SriPadara Raja with reverence to lord Ranganatha. This song is sung with intense devotion even now at the temple.
The song glorifies the lord and claims “What is the use of our eyes if they are not put to see and enjoy the sight of lord Ranganatha swami”? Lord Ranganatha has been so popular with the people of the region that they treat HIM as their father and seek HIS blessing on all occasions by visiting HIS temple regularly.
As per the Puranas, Gautama Maharishi had performed severe penance in this place to view Maha Vishnu in a reclining position. To bless his devotee, Lord Vishnu portrayed himself as Ranganatha swami in reclining form at this place. Gautama Maharishi asked the lord to stay here forever so that devotees could pray to him in the upcoming ages, so god stayed there in the form of an idol.
Lord Ranganatha, in his reclining form, symbolizes the cosmic dream of Lord Vishnu, signifying the preservation and sustenance of the universe. The idol of the reclining Lord is on the bed of the serpent Aadi Sesha. Aadi Sesha is said to have seven heads and is often depicted with the Lord Vishnu.
It is said that this is one of the biggest idols of Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi by the side of the Lord’s feet can also be seen. Goddess Ranganayaki is considered to be the principal goddess here. Other shrines inside the temple complex are Srinivasa, Ranganayaki, Rama, Narasimha, Sudarshana, Panchamukha Anjaneya, and Gopalakrishna.
The Temple is surrounded by River Kaveri where pilgrims take a dip before entering the Temple complex.
A little bit of History
The Ranganatha Swami temple is Classified as one among the 108 Abhimana Kshethrams of the Vaishnavate tradition. It is one of the five important pilgrimage sites of Sri Vaishnava centers along the river Kaveri for devotees of Ranganatha. These five sacred sites are together known as Pancharanga Kshetrams in South India. Since Srirangapatna is the first temple starting from upstream, the deity is known as Adi Ranga.
Temple of antiquity
According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Ranganatha Swami temple is of much antiquity. An inscription at the temple reveals it was constructed in 984 CE by a local chief called Tirumalaiah, a vassal of the Western Ganga dynasty.
However, some inscription mentions the existence of the deity at Srirangapatna much before Thirumaliah built the temple. This indicates that a temple was likely built atop an already existing shrine of Raṅganātha swāmi.
Grants given to the temple for renovations
In the early 12th century, Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana granted the village of Srirangapatna to the Vaishnava saint Ramanujacharya as an agraharam (place of learning). An inscription of the great Hoysala King Veera Ballala II (1210 CE) confirms that additions and renovations were made to the temple at that time.
Vijayanagar and Mysuru Kings too gave grants
The tower over the entrance bears features consistent with Vijayanagara architecture indicating relationships with the Vijayanagara kingdom. According to historian George Michell, Wodeyars of the Mysuru kingdom gave grants to the temple.
While the Ranganatha Swami temple is visited by people throughout the year, the best time to visit is during the various festivals celebrated here. They are as follows
- Bangarada Garudotsava,
- Sriranga Jayanti,
- Sudha Poornima,
- Kotarothsava festival
During these celebrations, there are huge lines of pilgrims coming here from different parts of the country to seek blessings.
Visit when the river Kaveri is in its full grandeur
You can also plan your visit in the monsoon months of July and September. During this season, River Kaveri can be seen in its full grandeur, making the sight even more breathtaking.
Lord Ranganatha swami has been the inspiration for dasas like Purandara dasa, Vyasaraja theertha, Sripadaraja, Vaadiraja theertha, Mantralaya Raghavendra swami and many others like them. Worshipping this deity of considerable antiquity can cleanse our sins. Our sins are the root cause of all our anomalies (mental and physical). It is only by being spiritual, that we can rise above everything and live happily. The Lord Ranganatha is the god we all can trust to bring happiness in life.
Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple Entry Fee
No fee for General entry
Rs. 250 per person for Quick Darshan
Rs. 50 per person for Viswaroopa Seva
Temple Contact number
The office contact number is 081974 43378
Timings of Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple are as follows
07.30 am to 01.00 pm.
04.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
How do I get there?
One can reach this town via road from Mysore and Bangalore as it lies on the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway. Many buses run regularly between these places. One can also hire taxis to reach the temple from Mysore. To reach Bangalore and Mysore, tourists can travel via trains and even fly to Bangalore as well. Mysore is the nearest railway station to Srirangapatna.