Monday, January 3, 2011

Sights of Trichy - Part 3

For me, Trichy's icon is the Rockfort Temple. Trichy is however very famous for so many other temples and one of the most well-known ones is the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam, a district of Trichy.

Srirangam has a significant population of Vaishnavites, who are followers of Lord Vishnu. The temple structure is very vast and the towers really dominate the skyline of Trichy. The main tower, or gopuram, is known as Rajagopuram and stands at a height of 72 meters and is the tallest in Asia. It looks so grand, towering above our heads and is really a marvel.

The temple compound itself looks like a small village with small cafes and vendors selling flowers and fruits. Overall, there are 21 gopurams in this temple, each which is beautifully carved with colorful statues.

This temple is very strict and non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main prayer areas. It is often crowded with devotees at almost all times during the day and this time, we went with a guide to better understand the history behind the temple.

The story goes like this: One day, when Lord Brahma was in deep meditation, he received an idol of Lord Ranganatha (Vishnu). This idol was passed on to many holy people and finally ended in Lord Rama's hands. When the demon Ravana was killed with the aid of his own brother, Vibishana, Lord Rama offered the idol to him as a gift of appreciation and gratitude. When Vibishana was en route to his kingdom in Sri Lanka, the idol decided to stay put in Srirangam. The statue became covered by forests and was only discovered much later by a Chola king. This king then built the temple for the Lord.

I visited the temple with my hubby, parents and brother just a day before Deepavali and we had a good peaceful time there. We also spent time admiring the beautiful and intricate architecture. So impressive, especially when you think that the temple was constructed thousands of years ago!

And see how beautiful and colorful these paintings and statues are!

That's us exploring the temple. Notice the colorful door we are sitting in front of? That's the door to heaven!

I had a great time visiting this temple after many years. The district of Srirangam is also very nice so if you do plan to visit Tamil Nadu, don't forget to stop by here!

Next up, I'll share the great fun I had celebrating Deepavali a grand way with my family in India! Keep reading this space!


banoo said...

Srirangam is world famous for its beautiful temple and the entire Srirangam with river Cauvery flowing is definitely a feast to our eyes.
Luvly pictures....I cannot forget the old lady selling the groundnut and how money cautious she was!


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