Sriranga Vimana, Ranganathswamy Temple
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.