The Indian culture is the birth of many religions and every person worships god and in every part of India. There are thousands of temples in India dedicated to several deities and people from all over the world come to take the blessings of the gods and goddesses. The great architecture, culture, traditions, mythologies, and cuisines attract lakhs or pilgrims and tourists to witness the greatness of these temples.
You can come here to see the ‘biggest temple in India’ which is Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, situated in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, which is a form of Lord Vishnu in a resting position. The temple is one of the most sacred places for Hindus where people take blessings from 108 deities depicting different forms of Lord Vishnu. The ‘oldest hindu temple in the world’, Mundeshwari Devi Temple, Bihar is also in India which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti.
The biggest temple in India, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, is indeed a great example of vintage architecture. The whole structure of the temple covers an area of 155 hectare. The temple is built with a Dravidian architecture style and situated on an island surrounded by river Cauvery and Kollidam (a tributary to river Cauvery). The Cauvery river is considered as the ‘Ganges of the South’ due to its holy nature.
The whole temple is surrounded by 7 big ‘prakarams’, formed by huge defensive rectangular walls that run around the temple in which all the deities reside. Apart from this, the temple has 21 sculpted gopurams, 39 pavilions, 50 shrines, 9 sacred pools, 1000 pillars mandapam and several water reservoirs inside making it the ‘largest temple of India.
The walls of this complex structure are also painted with herbal and vegetable dyes that tell you about the traditions and cultures of that time. The art of god and goddess gioves the new generation teachings about morals. Due to the influence of many rulers in the ancient times, the temple depicts the architecture style and taste of those rulers who ruled at that time and made some changes in the temple.
There is some evidence that proves the origin of the temple was in the 1st century CE during the sangam period. The temple is said to be first built by Dharma varma chola but later river Cauvery flooded and destroyed the temple which was then rebuilt by the Early Cholas King. Different rulers captured the place during different times and provided their personal taste to the temple that we see today. You can see the beautiful inscriptions and arts of Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagar dynasties in this temple.
The construction started by some early cholas from Uraiyur situated at the south and across the river in 1st century CE, then the later Cholas from 13th century CE from Pazhayarai and Thanjavur. Later the kongu rulers from the tamil west during the 6th to 10th century CE, and the Pandyas from the south during 13th-14th century CE took over the expansion of this temple.
The Hoysalas kings during the period of 10th to 14th century CE brought some serious changes to the architecture and after them the rulers of Vijayanagar dynasty in the 16th century CE contributed towards the great architecture of this temple. Later the Mysore Wodeyar kings, Hyder Ali added more towards the expansion of this enormous temple. The temple that we see today has even gone through many changes and adored it beautifully till date.
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Interesting Facts about Biggest Temple in India
- The Vaikunta Ekadasi is the annual festival celebrated annually for 21 days that attracts more than 1 million people every year.
- The paintings that you will see on the walls of the enormous temple are beautifully designed using the herbal and vegetable dyes.
- The river Cauvery divides the three big islands named Shivanasamudra of Karnataka, Srirangapatna and Srirangam and it is believed whoever visits these three islands in one day will definitely attain “Moksha”.
- The biggest temple in India currently stands at the height of 236 feet, covers 155 acres of land and is spread over a perimeter of 4 km.
- The temple has more than 800 inscriptions from the ancient period describing the religious beliefs and social influences of that time.
- The inscriptions are not only written in Tamil but other languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Marathi, Oriya and Kannada can also be seen. It is believed that these inscriptions belonged to the ancient rulers of Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara dynasties.
- The major attraction of the temple is the scripture of Lord Vishnu in a relicing position which is crafted artistically using stucco and thailam, a paste made of musk, camphor, honey, jaggery and sandal.
Temple Timings & Entry
The everyday timings of the temple is from 06:00 AM in the morning till 09:00 PM in the evening, However the timings for Seva and Darshan are included in the time frame with their specific hours. Timings are also subjected to change during the festival season, so make sure that you check the timing before visiting the temple.
Viswaroobam Paid seva 06.30 AM to 07.15 AM
Viswaroobam Free seva 07.15 AM to 08.00 AM
Pooja time 08.00 AM to 08.45 AM
Paid seva 08.45 AM to 12.00 PM
Free seva 12.00 PM to 01.00 PM
Pooja time 01.00 PM to 03.00 PM
Free seva 03.00 PM to 04.00 PM
Paid seva 04.00 PM to 06.00 PM
Pooja time 06.00 PM to 06.45 PM
Paid seva 06.45 PM to 08.00 PM
Free seva 08.00 PM to 09.00 PM
Note: During the pooja time, no seva is allowed.
The entry fees for the general public is free during the darshan time but if you want to avail some quick services you will be charged for that.
- Special Entrance – INR 20 per head
- Viswaroopa Seva – INR 50 per head
- Quick Seva – INR 250 per head
Frequently Asked Questions about Biggest Temple in India
Q1: How to reach Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple?
The nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli Airport which is 15 km away, nearest railway station is Tiruchirapalli railway junction, 10 km away, you also get 24 hour bus service and cab facilities.
Q2: Who initiated the construction of the temple?
Dharma varma chola started the initial construction and then other dynasties continued the construction later on.
Q3: To whom is the biggest temple in India dedicated?
The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, who is a form of Lord Vishnu.