by Suhasini on 20/03/10 at 8:39 am
Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangapatna, which was built in 9th century AD is one of the most important temples of South India.
After you visit Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo, Chamundi hills, and Brindavan Gardens in Mysore, the heritage city of India, you should visit the nearby towns such as Somnathpur and Srirangapatna, the historical cities of Karnataka state of India. Srirangapatna town, which is popular due to its Tipu Sultan connection and history, got its name due to the huge ancient temple of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple located here.
Ranganathaswamy temple is the dominating site of Srirangapatna, even though there are other historically important sites such as Tipu’s Summer Palace aka Daria Daulat Palace, Juma Masjid, Tipu’s tomb, and Tipu’s fort. Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangapatna was built by a Ganga chieftain named Tirumalayaraya in 894 AD. Even though this temple was built by Gangas, you can find a lot of contributions and expansions to the structure by Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings, and Mysore Wodeyar kings.
Sri Ranganathaswamy is the presiding deity of the temple. The main shrine of the temple has the idol of Ranganathaswamy, the form of Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture on the coils of the serpent Adi Sesha. Ranganathaswamy idol of this temple is the largest Ranganathaswamy idol in the entire state of Karnataka. The main entrance of the temple has four pillars sculpted with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu. It was constructed during Vijayanagara period. Apart from this, most of the pillars of this temple are in the unique Hoysala style. You know, the pillars of Hoysala kings are always unique and stylish. In front of the main shrine you can find the ancient monolithic Garuda stambha of Vijayanagara period.
Ranganayaki is the main goddess of the temple. She has a separate shrine in the temple. Apart from the shrines of Ranganath and Ranganayaki, there are other shrines such as Narasimha and Sudarshana back to back, Gopalakrishna, Srinivasa, Rama with Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Ramanuja, and Garuda.
The temple is big in size with big prakara (corridor surrounding the temple) and big complex wall surrounding the temple complex. The temple tower (Rajagopura) which is visible from almost any part of the town has a stunning figure and it is architecturally very beautiful.
Go and visit this beautiful temple of 9th century when you happen to visit Bangalore or Mysore.