001. Thiruvarangam - (Srirangam) Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Sri Rangam

About the Temple  & Location:
Situated in Trichy district near Trichy in Tamil Nadu. 3/4 miles away from Srirangam railway station in between Vizhupuram - Trichy railway lane. Plenty of buses and lodging facilities.

The appearance of the Sthalam:
There are 7 big walls found around this temple covering Sri Rangam - Sri Ranganathannext to next each other. The 7 walls are referred to as the 7 worlds. The 7th wall is the outer wall which can be seen Sri Rangam - Raja Gopuramand it is 3072 feet in length and 2521 feet in breadth. For 7 prakaarams, 7 thiruveedhi (streets) are found. 7th thiruveedhi is called "Chitthirai Thiruveedhi" where big houses and bungalows are found. Sixth Veedhi, which is found in Sixth prakaaram is called "Thiru vikraman thiruveedhi" fifth veedhi om 5th prakaram is Agalangan Thiru veedhi". Fourth veedhi in 4th prakaram is "Aalinaadan Thiruveedhi". Third veedhi in 3rd prakaram is "Kulasekaran Thiruveedhi". Second veedhi in 2nd prakaram is "Raja Mahendran". And in the first prakaram, Emperumaan Sri Ranganathan in Kidantha Kolam gives seva and this is called "Dharma Varman Thiru chuttru (circle).

The total area of this temple is almost 155 1/2 acres and 6 miles in area.

Sri Rangam - Sri Ranga NayakiThere is a total of 21 gopurams in this temple. The weight of the Gopuram is 24,880 tons and the entrance is 11 3/4 width and height is 24 3/4.

Explanation of Raja Gopuram:
The Gopuram of Sri Rangam is popularly called as "Raja Gopuram" and it is the biggest gopuram in the Asian Sub - Continent.

It took almost 7 years to complete the Gopuram. When coming out of the 7th Veedhi, all the 4 entrances of the Gopura Vaasal.

The height of the Gopuram is 236 feet high with 13 Nilays. 12 Kalasams are kept on the top of the Gopuram.

The biggest Temple Tower is known as Gopuram in Asia.

All the 11 Alwars did Mangalasasanam here.

Udayavar (Ramanujar) guru periyanambigal, Buttar Vadakuthiruveethi Pillai, Pillai Lokachariyar - Birth Place.

Kula sekara Alwar, Thondaradipodi Alwar, Soodikodutha Naachi Aandal, Thuluka Naachiyaar, Udayavar (Ramanujar) Thirupaan Alwar - Paramapatha Sthalam.

Sri Ranganathan. Other names of their God is Periya Perumal, Nam Perumal, Azagiya Manavalan. Moolavar in Kidantha Kolam facing south direction. Prathyaksham for Dharmavarma, Ravindharman, Chandran, and Vibeerhanan.

Thayaar : Sri Ranga Nayaki (Renga Nayakiyaar).
Utsavar : Namperumal.
Sannadhis : Veli Aandal, Periyazhvar, Kanna peruman, Manavala Mamunigal, Alwargal
Naathamunigal, Aalavanthaar
Thiruvaranga perumalarayar
Amirtha kalasa Garudan

Sri Rangam - Sri RanganathanThondaradipodi Alwar
Thiru Paan Alwar
Sriranga Naachiyaar
Ul Aandal
Metty Azhagiyasinger
Vedantha Desikar
Periya Garudan
Nammazhwar and

Except for Mathurakavi Alwar, all the other eleven Alwars have done Mangalasasanam here.

Periyalwar - 31 Paasurams
Sri Andal - 10 Paasurams
Kulasekara Alwar - 31 Paasurams
Thirumazhisai Alwar - 14 Paasurams
Thondaradipodi Alwar - 55 Paasurams
Thirupaan Alwar - 10 Paasurams
Thirumangai Alwar - 72 Paasurams
Poigai Alwar - 1 Paasuram
Boothathalwar - 4 Paasurams
Pei Alwar - 2 Paasurams

Total - 246 Paasurams.

Chandira Pushkarani

Pranavaakruthi. It took almost 7 and a half years to build this huge vimanam (Gopuram). It is also called as "Raja Gopuram". This Raja Gopuram is 236 feet high with 13 Nilais (Partition) and 12 Kalasams at its top.

Sthala Puranam:
Once on the base of Himalaya, River Ganga, Cauvery, Yamuna, and Saraswathi are playing in the sky one Gandharva (person who belongs to Deva logam) saw these rivers playing and worshipped them. Seeing this all the 4 river women started saying themselves that he worshipped them only. They started arguing on whom actually he worshipped. The argument continued but didn't stop. Yamuna and Saraswathi stopped their quarrel. But to Ganga and Cauvery it continued. Finally, they both went to Sriman Narayanan.

River Ganga told to Narayanan since she was originated from the feet of Narayanan, she is bigger and mightier than Cauvery. Sriman Narayanan accepted it. But, Cauvery doesn't accept it and she did tapas on Sriman Narayanan. Finally, Narayanan gave seva to her and told him that he will sleep on the bank of Cauvery, and at that time, river Cauvery will be the garland (Maalai) in his chest, which will the better position than Ganga, who is found in his feet. This is the sthalapuranam said here.

Emperumaan gave the Vimaanam of Srirangam to Brahma Devan. Brahma Devan gave this to "Itsuvaghu" who is one of the King of Sooriya family. From Sri Rangam - ChakrathalwarItsuvaghan to Lord Rama time, this Vimaan was worshipped and belonged to Ayodhya Kings.

Sri Ramar who took the avathaar as an ordinary human being worshipped Sri Ranganathan, the God is also named as "Periya Perumal". After his pattabishekham (crowned as king), he gave the Thiru Aranga Vimaanam to King Vibeeshan, which belongs to Ayodhya Dynasty .

Coming along with the Thiruvaranga temple vimaanam, he kept the vimaanam in the midst of Cauvery river to worship it. During the worship, Chozhan Dharmavarman and lots of Rishis also joined. After finishing all the poojas, he tried to take the vimaanam along with him to Lanka, he was unable to take it and he could not even move.

At that time, Sri Aranganathan told since he had given boon (varam) to River Cauvery and since he has to purify her, he has to be all along the Cauvery River. And told that he will not be in a position to move from there. But on hearing this, King Vibeeshan became sad, for which Sri Aranganathan says that in spite of not coming to Lanka, but he will be facing the direction of Lanka. This is the historical explanation of Sri Rangam.

The position, in which Sri Ranganathar is found in this sthalam is one of the great things that has to be explained.

In this Kshetram, Aranganathan is found inside the Aranga Vimaanam, Keeping 5 headed Aadhi seshan as the bed, his legs stretched along the direction of the sun's upcoming side (East) direction from where the moon in the evening rises and Lord Yaman, who is the demon king and cool breeze and wind which are said to be found from the South direction are seen by Aranganathan and he sees Lanka. Behind him, is Guberan (North Direction) and Selva Magal (Sri Lakshmi) is found. His right hand is kept under his head as a "Pillow" and the left hand is on his lap and it is pointed to his feet. This position explains to the world that all the Jeevathmas are finally getting terminated only in his feet.

Till now, if we stand at the top of Srirangam Temple Gopuram, we can find that the Eyes of Arangan as still seeing the south direction of Sri Lanka.

As the year goes history is said that Srirangam Gopuram and Sri Ranganathar got into the river and when Dharma Varman came along that side, a parrot came to him and told that the Gopuram is lost in the river and finally it is taken out from it is one of the stories said here but not sure, how much true it is and since the parrot helped him to get out the temple, a mandapam for that parrot is built.

Srivilliputtur Pattarbiraan periyaalwar's daughter Sri Aandal, who sang Thiruppaavai and called as "Soodi Kodutha Sudar Oli", Kulasekara Alwar's daughter Cherar Vali, Nandha Chozhan's daughter Kamalavalli and Delhi Badhusa's daughter Thullaka Naachiyar all loved Sri Aranganathan and finally, they got into Sri Aranganathan's Body.  

Thirumangai Alwar built the temple's outer walls and Nandhavan (Park) was constructed by Thondar Adippodi Alwar.  

In this sthalam, Mettu Azhagiya singar (Narasimar) Sannadhi is found and in front of it is found the 4 pillared mandapam (Nallu Kaal Mandapam). In this mandapam, Kambar explained for the first time, his great work "Kamba Ramayanam" and in that "Iranya Vadhai Padalam" is also included in that. (Iranyavadhan is the story about the killing of Iranyan by Lord Narasimha). But on hearing the inclusion of it, all the people around the Mandapam protested against it. At that time, voices that belong to Lord Narasimha arose and it said there should be no Protestation on that and He accepted the inclusion of it. It is also one of the said stories here. Nowhere is found a separate sannadhi for Sri Dhanvanthri (doctor for god and god of medicine) in this temple.  

Thiruppaan Alwar got his paramapadha mukthi (left his life and went to paramapadham) here.

Arayar seva, which is one of the types was created by Naadha muni in this sthalam. It is the type by which Naalayira Divya Pprabhandham is sung in a musical manner.  

Krishna saynar, Thulasi dhasar (TulsiDasd), Maadhavar (Madhvachar) had also sung songs on Sri Ranganathar. Manavaala Maamuni did Kaalatshebham here. (Kaalatshebham means explaining some good things on the basis of God to everyone).  

When explaining about Sri Ranganathar and the temple, one more special person has to explain and he is Sri Ramanujar.  

Sri Ramanujar says that Gnanam is Arangan and Gnana Teacher is Arangan and the follower is also Arangan and the person who follows it as also Arangan. And finally, on the command given by Arangan, he left the earth and terminated into Aranganathan. Even though his soul was out from the world, his body was still found inside a sannadhi. Inside it, he is sitting and his eyes are opened and he giving his blessings to the world.  

The temple servers are applying a kind of Oil (thaylam) all along his body to protect it from not being destroyed. Like this same way, in Russia, Lenin's body and in Goa Saint Fransis Saviours applying proper oils also protect bodies.  

Sri Ramanujar is given some names such as Udayavar Ramanujar, Yathirajar, Emperumaanar, when he was in Melkottai, Karnataka district, his bhakthas, and relatives kept a statue like him to remember him and because of his memory. Its name is "Thamar Ugandha Thirumeni".

And then, he himself wanted to make a statue and ordered it. Finally, after seeing it, he gave the approval for it, and its called "Thaan Ugandha Thirumeni" and it is kept in Sri Perumbhutoor. (Thaney Aana Thirumeni).

All the devotees are said to wash their feet when going into the Sannadhi of Sri Ranganathar, because the artistic works on Sri Ramanujar are found in the floors here.

Sri Desikar sang a song on Sri Ranganathars Paadhukai (feet) and its called "Paadhukasahesram". To appreciate this, he was given the name as "Kavitharkkitha simhan" by the God Himself and as "Sarvathantira Swathanthar" by pirattiyaar.

Sri Rangam is more special than Paarkadal and Vaikundam. It is called as "Bhooloka Vaikundam". (Sri Mahavishnu's abode in the earth).