Srirangam

:"This article is about a notable Hindu pilgrimage location in Tamil Nadu, India. For information about the famous Hindu temple situated there, see Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Srirangam) page"

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Srirangam| type = city| latd = 10.87 | longd = 78.68
locator_position = right | state_name = Tamil Nadu
district = Tiruchirappalli
leader_title =
leader_name =
altitude = 70
population_as_of = 1991
population_total = 70,109| population_density =
area_magnitude= km²
area_total =
area_telephone = 91-431
postal_code = 620006
vehicle_code_range = TN-48
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =

Srirangam (Tamil: ஸ்ரீரங்கம்), also known as Thiruvarangam, is an island and a zone in the city of Tiruchirapalli ( also known as Trichy or Tiruchi), in South India. Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River (also known as Cauvery river) on one side, and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam (Coleroon) on the other side. Srirangam is home to a significant population of Vaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu, one of the triumvirate of Hindu Gods the other two being Lord Siva, the Destroyer and Lord Brahma, the Creator).

Srirangam is famous for its Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus (especially Vaishnavites) and one of the largest temple complexes in India. According to the temple's website, Srirangam can be considered the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world as it covers an area of about 6,31,000 m². (156 Acres) with a perimeter of 4 km (10,710 ft). [ [http://www.srirangam.org Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple website] ] Srirangam claims to be the biggest "functioning" temple, because Angkor Wat is the biggest but non-functioning Hindu temple in the world. The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram and is 236 feet (72 m) tall, the tallest in Asia. Myth has it that the coast of Sri Lanka can be seen from the top of the gopuram. The temple is constituted by seven "prakaras" (elevated enclosures) with gopurams articulating the axial path, the highest at the outermost prakara and the lowest at the innermost.

The three sacred Ranganatha temples on the banks of the Kaveri are:

#Adi Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangapatna
#Madhya Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Shivanasamudra
#Antya Ranga: the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam

Srirangam is the foremost of the 108 "Divya Desams" (divine centers) mentioned in "Nalaira Divya Prabhandham", composed by the Tamil saints known as Alwarss (also pronounced as Azhwars). It is also the foremost seat of the teachings of Ramanuja, who spread the doctrine of Visishtadvaita (qualified monism), considered to be one of the cornerstones of Hindu philosophy. Srirangam temple is the only temple praised in song by all the Azhwars and visited by all Acharyas (the major devotees who followed the Alwars). There are 247 pasurams (divine songs) about "tiruvarangan" in Nalaira Divya Prabandam. Some of the famous pasurams include the "Pachai Mamalai Pol Meni" by Tondaradipodi Azhwar, "Kangulum Pagalum" by Nammazhwar, "Amalanaathipiraan" by Thirupanaazhwar and so many others. It is widely believed that Lord Ranganatha appeared as a child and sang the famous "Sree Sailesa Dayapathram" thaniyan about Sri Manavala Mamunigal. This temple is also noted in Ayyavazhi mythology.

Economy

Due to the famous temple, Srirangam has a thriving economy based on tourism. Tourists come from all around India and abroad. The number of tourists to the town increases greatly during the festivals like "Vaikunda Ekadesi" which falls on the Tamil month of "Marghazi".There are many other famous temples near Srirangam. They include Rockfort temple, Samayapuram temple, Tiruvaanaikovil temple, Kumara Vaiyalur temple etc.

Srirangam town is also home to several hundred people who work in offices and industries located in Trichy. The public transport linking Srirangam to Trichy (route #1) is very frequent.

Schools

There are numerous schools, both private and public, in the town. The Higher Secondary School for Boys was founded in 1896 and is the oldest one in the town. There is also a Higher Secondary School for girls which is almost as old as that of the boys. Srimad Andavan College, Sri Akilandeswari Vidyalaya, Chinmaya Vidyalaya Matriculation School,sri Sathya sai vidyalaya, Sri Ranga Matriculation School etc., are other institutions in Srirangam. Most of the schools have English as a medium of instruction. Some have Tamil as a medium of instruction, and some have both. There are many school children who travel to nearby Trichy also.

Transport

Air

The nearest airport is Trichy international airport, that has connections to Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvanathapuram, Singapore, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Colombo.

Rail

Srirangam has a railway station that can be reached from Chennai through any of the major trains travelling in the Chennai-Kanyakumari railway track and the approximate journey time from chennai is about 5 hours (320 km). The Tiruchirappalli fort and Trichy junction which are the distance of 2 km and 8 km serves as connection point to most places in South India such as Thanjavur, Chidambaram, Madurai, Tirupathi, Tuticorin, Tenkasi, Quilon, Rameswaram, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kochi, Kanyakumari and Mangalore. It also connects to some places to north india like Howrah,Delhi,Kashmir.

Bus

Trichy Central bus stand has direct services to most parts of Tamilnadu. From the bus stand, tourists can avail local buses, taxi, autorickshaw to reach Srirangam.

City Bus service to all places of tourist interest from Central Bus Stand and from Chinthamani -Main Guard Gate Bus Stand (Both in Trichy). Tourist Taxis, Auto Rickshaws are also available at reasonable rates. Route No. 1 of the City bus service plies between Srirangam and Central Bustand. This route starts from Trichy Central Bus Stand and goes via Trichy Junction Railway Station, Palakkarai Rettai pillaiyar Kovil street, Main Guard Gate, Chatram Bus Stand, Cauvery River Bridge, Mambazha salai, Thiruvanaikkovil and ends at Srirangam Bus Stand near the Srirangam Therkku vaasal (South entrance to the temple. Frequency is one bus every 5 minutes and there are late night trips also one every hour or so.

Climate

The climate of Trichy (and Srirangam) is Tropical. Temperature Range (°C): Summer- Max. 37.1 °C Min. 26.4 °C; Winter- Max. 31.3 °C Min. 20.6 °C; Rainfall: 835 mm

Politics

Srirangam assembly constituency is part of Tiruchirappalli (Lok Sabha constituency). [cite web
url = http://archive.eci.gov.in/se2001/background/S22/TN_ACPC.pdf
title = List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies
accessdate = 2008-10-11
work = Tamil Nadu
publisher = Election Commission of India
]

References

External links

* [http://www.thiruvarangam.com/ Full information about the Srirangam temple and nearby temples]
* [http://www.srirangapankajam.com/ All about the Srirangam temple and its rituals]
* [http://www.divyadesamonline.com/hindu/temples/trichy/srirangam-temple.asp Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Sri Rangam]
* [http://www.srirangam.org/ Temple Official Site]
* [http://www.pariharam.com Online Hindu Service in Srirangam Temple]
* [http://rammesh.kaaninilam.com/tlogs/srirangam/index.htm Srirangam Temple in Architectural Perspective]


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