Temple: Sri Ranganatha Temple
Sri Ranganatha Temple
The Sri Ranganatha Temple is located in Srirangapatna in Mandya district, Karnataka.
Sri Ranganatha Temple – Overview
The Sri Ranganatha Temple is in a small island on the river Kaveri, in Mandya District. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has an idol of the Lord in his reclining form, called Ranganatha. It is one of the three Ranga Kshetrams, all located in small islands along the River Kaveri. This is the Adi Rangam or First Ranga, the Madhya Rangam is in Shivanasamudra also in Karnataka, The third, Antya Rangam or last temple in the trinity is in Srirangam, in Trichirapalli, Tamil Nadu.
Sri Ranganatha Temple – History
The Sri Ranganatha Temple was built by a Ganga Chieftain, Thirmalaiyya, and a devotee of Lord Vishnu. It was later added to by later rulers like Hoysala and Vijayanagara Kings. This temple was also highly revered by Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Sri Ranganatha Temple – Mythology
According to mythology, the river Kaveri once suffered a severe affliction. She used to be so pure, that she cleansed all the sins of those who bathed in her, she even cleansed River Ganga of pollution caused by people washing off their sins in her. Eventually, though, she too became affected by the accumulated pollution of the millions of people who were washing off their sins in her. She performed penance to Lord Vishnu to grant her a way to cleanse her of all the sins and pollutions. Lord Vishnu appeared before her and blessed her.
He granted her a boon saying He would Himself descend to Earth and take residence along her course and she would be protected from pollution caused by people bathing in her. One such prominent residence of Sri Maha Vishnu along Kaveri’s course is Srirangapatna, known as Adi Ranga. Maharishi Gautama is also said to have performed penance here and had Darshan of the Lord in his reclining or Sayana pose. So, this place is also known as Gautama Kshetra.
Sri Ranganatha Temple – Architecture
The large temple premises are enclosed within fort-like walls. The Temple Gopuram is really big and has beautiful sculptures all over it. The Sanctum is surrounded by a hall with round and star shaped pillars. The Chaturvimsati pillars are decorated with carvings of the 24 forms of Lord Vishnu. Inside the Sanctum Lord Ranganatha is in a reclining posture on Adi Sesha. There is an idol of Lakshmi Devi near his feet. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess Ranganayaki, the consort of Ranganatha. This temple also has a shrine of Lord Krishna besides images of Alwars and Acharyas of the Sri Vaishnava tradition. This temple has a huge Garuda Sthamba.
How to Get to Sri Ranganatha Temple
Sri Ranganatha Temple is actually in Mandya district, but it is just 19 km away from Mysore. You can get bus services from Mysore to Mandya district. This temple is a very important pilgrimage center. There are many special times in the year to visit this temple, including but not limited to Pongal (Shankaranti), Ugadi and the summer festival following Ugadi.