Sriranga Vimana, Ranganathswamy Temple

While in Srirangam I lost track of the number of gopurams I crossed. Sriranganathswamy Temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls and along the walls are gopurams, there are 21 of them. (Gopurams are towers at the entrance of the temple.) You have to take a walk of 6 miles along the walls if you wish to photograph all the gopurams. Small vehicles are allowed till the third wall and from here on you have to walk bare feet in the temple premises. May be I will make a trip again, this time to systematically capture all the gopurams with my lens.

I posted on two of the gopurams, Rajagopuram and Vellayi Gopuram previously. This post is on Vimanam, shrine over the sanctum sanctorum, Ranga Vimana. It is shaped like omkara (om symbol) and is plated with gold. In 1976 a special cover was issued by the Indian Postal department. You can have a look at it in Dokka Srinivasu’s post: Srirangam Temple Gopuram special cover.

The Vimana has a very interesting story.

It was given to Vibhishana (Ravana’s brother) by Lord Ram as a token of thanks for helping him win the war with Ravana. Lord Ram instructed Vibhishan not to place it on ground till he reached Lanka (present day Sri Lanka). On the way he paused at the banks of Cauvery and placed the Vimana there. On hearing this news, the King there and his people arrived at the scene and offered prayers. Later when Vibhishan decided to take off for Lanka, he couldn’t dislodge the Vimana as it got rooted there. Vibhishan was upset, but God told him He was happy to reside there and Vibhishan had to return to Lanka empty handed. Due to another episode God had to give River Cauvery a higher status, one which is almost equal to River Ganga. So He decided to recline here facing Lanka.

This is one of those rare temples where God is facing south direction.

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26 Responses

  1. eileeninmd says:

    Thanks for sharing the history and this beautiful temple, Indrani. Have a great day!

  2. TexWisGirl says:

    wow, the 6 mile trek would be worth it, i think. 🙂

  3. ladyfi says:

    How very gorgeous!

  4. Sylvia K says:

    A beautiful temple and definitely worth the trek!! Great post for the day as always, Indrani! Thanks for sharing. Hope your week is going well!! Enjoy!

  5. Excellent post on Sriranga Vimana, Ranganathswamy Temple.

  6. So much of interesting information on Sriranga gopurams and Ranga Vimana.Thank you.

  7. Regina says:

    Exquisite!
    Have a great day!

  8. Karen says:

    Gosh, it shimmers!

  9. Beautiful temple , Thanks for sharing.

  10. Gattina says:

    Interesting story and what a beautiful temple !

  11. Another temple, and what a temple it is, beautiful.

  12. Bibi says:

    Beautiful… worth returning to, for sure.

    What does the suffix 'puram' mean? I understood 'pur' (Jodhpur, Udaipur, etc.) to mean 'city' or 'town'.

  13. DeniseinVA says:

    Magnificent! I enjoyed learning today. Thank you Indrani!

  14. Antonina says:

    Indriani,these temples are amazing!
    Enjoy the weekend,

  15. Great contribution to the theme day. Enjoy your weekend!

  16. Beautiful works. Nice shot!

  17. Ileana says:

    Great work ! Have a nice Weekend!

  18. Indrani, you have such a fascinating blog. It is always a learning experience to visit. 🙂

  19. Thanks so much for your comments friends.

    Hi Bibi, 'puram' means a town but in this case puram is part of the word 'Gopuram' it is not suffix. The word 'Gopuram' means tower.

  20. Pallavi says:

    Beautiful picture and well written description Indrani. I love how you showcase India's hidden wonders 🙂

  21. All our temples are treasure houses of such stories… Loved the post and thanks for sharing the story.

  22. beautiful pic. accompanying history info is great.

  23. Shwets says:

    nice shot! I like the way you present well written and short descriptions…

  24. Your country has so many beautiful temples! Thanks for including the history here.
    Visit u back, happy weekend 🙂

  25. Six miles !! It speaks a lot about an unmentioned thing here ! THE DIVINE RIGHT THEORY OF KINGSHIP – Right to rule derived from the God himself and people had no say whatsoever ! The priestly class supported this claim and sang praises of the divinity of the king and in return the king lavished valuables to them. In this case its the land and money for Gopurams ! A quid pro quo ! In the west it was between the CHURCH and the MONARCH ! Its true all over the world !!

    Good post !!

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