The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple located in the town of Srirangam in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu . The temple, as the name suggests, is dedicated to Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu, who is the creator according to Hinduism.
Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is said to have been built in around the 894 AD. In the later years under the rule of different rulers in the region (including Vijayanagar dynasty, Hoysalas, Mysore Wodeyars, Hyder Ali etc.), the temple went through various structural changes and expanded considerably, finally resulting in the size and structure that it has today.
The architecture of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is a blend of styles that were contributed to it by the various rulers who ruled the region and took an interest in adding some personal and traditional touches of their own to the temple’s look.
The temple, as it stands today, has a total of four majestic pillars with carvings that show 24 forms of Lord Vishnu, which was added during the Hoysalas rule and is an example of their architectural style. Inside, it has magnificent walls with artworks and a Navaranga Mandapam (i.e., a hall or pavilion where the deity is kept, and the temple rituals are conducted) surrounding the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The temple’s “Prakaram” (i.e., outer part around the temple’s sanctum) which has been painted with wide array of mythological stories from Hinduism and Vaishnavism (related to Lord Vishnu). The Gopuram (top) of the temple has intricate carvings that were added during the rule of Vijayanagara dynasty, and reflect Vijayanagara architecture.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is open to visitors between 6 AM and 9 PM every day, on all days of the week.
The entry to this temple is free - visitors are not charged any fee to simply enter the temple. However, people need to pay different fees for each of the “darshans” or different rituals within the temple. A fee of about of INR 250 per head is applicable for the “quick darshan”, whereas a fee of INR 50 applicable for a ritual called “Vishwaroopa Seva”.
Srirangam is close to the capital city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, and it can be reached by air, rail or road.