Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ranganatha Swamy Temple stands beautifully in Srirangapatna (Mandya District), a culturally rich town near Mysore city. The name of this town has also been derived from this temple.
The main deity here is Lord Ranganatha who is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Idol of the Lord is in resting posture on a bed of serpent Aadi Sesha. Aadi Sesha is said to have seven heads and if often depicted with the Lord Vishnu. It is said that this is one of the biggest idols of Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture. Idol of Goddess Lakshmi b the side of Lord’s feet can also be seen. Goddess Ranganayaki is considered to be the principal goddess here. Other shrines inside the temple complex are Srinivasa, Ranganayaki, Rama, Narasimha, Sudarshana, Panchamukha Anjaneya and Gopalakrishna.
The beauty of the Lord’s idol and the architectural excellence of the temple captivate every devotee. It's mesmerising carvings and structure is alluring. Although first built in 894 AD; this temple went through many renovations and expansions under varied reigns such as Hoysalas, Hyder Ali, Vijayanagar and Wodeyars Dynasty.
Architecture of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
One of the prominent Hindu shrines, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple also presents a brilliant example of architectural magnificence. Its architecture can be traced back to Vijayanagar as well as Hoysala style.
The entrance of the temple with four majestic pillars which have been beautifully crafted with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu is an example of Hoysala architectural style which gives importance to artistic side of any creation. It is said that as Hoysalas appreciated art and crafts as well as supported artisans in their creations. The exquisite works on the temple reflect the same style of architecture. Another example is the temple’s prakaram which has been painted with wide array of mythological stories. At the same time, one can also see influences of Vijayanagar style of architecture. Gopuram of the temple with intricate carvings reflect Vijayanagar style. Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple also has magnificent walls, similar to those around forts. There is a navaranga mandapam, surrounding the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
History of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Sri ranganatha Swamy Temple was built in 894 AD. However, it underwent many structural changes during varied rulers belonging to Vijayanagar dynasty, Hoysalas, Mysore Wodeyars Kings and Hyder Ali. These kingdoms contributed to a large extent in the expansion of the temple. The current structure with its entrancing architecture is also a result of the changes during these reigns. This temple was built by the Vijayanagara Empire while later Hyder Ali and Hoysala rulers brought some changes to it. Even Mysore Maharajas contributed a lot for its expansion.
According to mythology, Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is one of the key temples visiting which devotees can attain spiritual salvation. It is believed that Cauvery River while on her way formed three islands namely Shivanasamudra, Srirangapatna and Srirangam. Devotees who visit three temples at these places on the same day are sure to attain moksha.
Ranganatha Swamy Temple Timings
Timings of Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple are from 07.30 am to 01.00 pm. It again opens for devotees in evenings from 04.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
While visiting Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple from Mysore, tourists can also go explore other popular places in and around Srirangapatna. Tipu Fort, Nimishamba temple, Gosai Ghat and Jumma Masjid are a few popular sightseeing places here.
Reaching Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Located to the western end of the Srirangapatna town which boasts of great historical and religious significance, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is about 14 km from Mysore. From Bangalore this town is at a distance of 125 km.
The best time to visit Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is during Kotarothsava festival. This festival which is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, is celebrated with great vigour and grandeur.
One can reach this town via road from Mysore and Bangalore as it lies on the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway. There are many buses that run regularly between these places. One can also hire taxis to reach the temple from Mysore. To reach Bangalore and Mysore, tourists can travel via trains and even fly to Bangalore as well. Mysore is the nearest railway station to Srirangapatna.