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Our Visit to Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Srirangapatna, Karnataka

In Dec 2023, we went on a 5-day trip to Bengaluru. It was the first time we traveled in Vande Bharat Express from Kacheguda Rly station in Hyderabad to Yeshvantpur Rly station in Bengaluru. It was a good experience travelling in Vande Bharat express.

We stayed in a decent hotel near IIM, Bengaluru. We reached Bengaluru on Dec 15, 2023 and spent the evening by strolling around the serene locality. On Day 2 evening we visited Meenakshi temple and spent the night in Meenakshi Mall. On Day 3 i.e. on Dec 17th 2023 we planned a day trip to Mysuru. We booked a round-the-trip cab from Bengaluru - Srirangapatna-Mysuru and back to Bengaluru.

We started from our hotel at around 9 a.m and had a pleasant drive to Sri Rangapatna on the express way. We reached Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple at around 11.30 a.m. On reaching the temple road, we could see the striking gopuram from a great distant. There is a row of shops selling local items on either side of the road and some local vendors with mules / horses. Few children of the visitors are enjoying a ride on the mules. It's a way of earning by the local people.

There is a shoe stand on the left side in front of the entrance gate. As it was the beginning of Dhanur Masam which is special for Vaishnavaites, there are many devotees in the temple including school students who came along with their teachers on a school field trip, I guess. We took special darshan tickets for time saving. We walked in line and within no time we had an awesome darshan of Sri Ranganatha Swamy. Actually I wanted to stay in front of Sriranga for few minutes and stare at the mesmerizing idol of but it is not allowed due to heavy rush of devotees.

Sri Rangapatna is a culturally and historically rich town located in Mandya district of Karnataka. It is at a distance of 30 minutes drive from Mysuru. It was the capital of the Mysuru Kingdom during the early 17th century and later after the death of Tipu Sultan, the capital was shifted to Mysuru in late 18th century.

The town got it's name from the ancient temple of Sri Ranganatha Swamy which is highly sacred for Vaishnavites. It is one of the and the foremost of the Pancharanga (five) Kshetrams which include:
  1. Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Srirangapatna
  2. Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Srirangam
  3. Sri Sarangapani temple, Kumbhakonam
  4. Sri Appakudathan temple, Trichy
  5. Sri Parimala Ranganatha Swamy temple, Thiruvilandur
Out of these five Pancharanga Kshetras, three are highly sacred and important and are called:
  • Adi (foremost) Ranga in Srirangapatna
  • Madhya (mid) Ranga in Shivanasamudra
  • Antya (last) Ranga in Srirangam near Thanjavur
These punya kshetras are located on the islands along river Kaveri.

Locals say that Gautama Maharishi did tapasya in a cave at this place and was blessed by Sri Ranganatha Swamy.
Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple was built by a Devadasi named Hambi. As per historical records, the temple was built by Tirumalaiah, a chief of the Western Ganga dynasty in the late 9th century CE (Common Era) and was later developed by the Hoysalas, Vijayanagaras and Wadiyars.

The temple architecture reflects both Vijayanagara and Hoysala style and is astounding with intricate rock carvings and beautiful sculptures which can be noticed right from the entrance gopuram of the temple.
After entering through the gopuram there is a prakara and navaranga mandapa surrounding the garbha griha of the temple.
In the middle of the mandapa there is dhwaja sthambha wherefrom the garbha griha can be seen.

Devotees can have the darshan of Sri Ranganatha Swamy, inside the garbha griha, in a peaceful sleeping posture on the coiled bed of seven-hooded Adiseshu with Lakshmi Devi in seated position at His feet. As this is the Adi Ranga, it is said that devotees should first see the head of Sri Ranganatha and then the feet. While the reverse is the case at Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangam near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, where devotees should first have the darshan of the feet of Sri Ranganatha and then the head.

In the inner prakara there are small shrines of several gods that include Vinayaka, Subramanya, Anjaneya, Srinivasa and in the south-west corner which is at the feet of Sri Ranga, there is the shrine of Ranganayaki, the consort of Sri Ranganatha. The black stone idol of Sri Ranganayaki is very powerful and mesmerizing. Devotees can perform puja at this shrine by purchasing tickets for the specified puja.

After darshan of Sri Ranga, Sri Ranganayaki and other gods in the shrines, we bought laddu prasadam which was very fresh and super tasty. We spent some time at the outer prakara click snaps and enjoying the ancient South Indian architecture. As we stepped out of the temple the local vendors selling small black idols of Sri Rangantha Swamy and few sandalwood items surrounded us and pleaded to buy. As we thought of encouraging the poor local vendors, we bought one Ranganatha Swamy idol for my Bommala Koluvu and a sandalwood Buddha which was really too good with soothing fragrance, at a reasonable price. There are shops on either side of the road where tourists can make purchase of the local items. We bought wooden Yakshagana dance dolls and home-made chocolates which were really super tasty. These chocolates stay for 3-4 months without refrigerating and without getting sticky sticky provided these are stored in proper containers.

Srirangapatna is a lesser visited place by tourists as it is shadowed by the nearby Mysuru where there is a heavy flow of tourists. Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple is worth a visit and it would be nice if tourists visit these places which helps in the economic growth of the place.

After some shopping of local items we headed to Mysuru and our next stop was Chamundi temple. Those who are interested in exploring ancient temples of India should not miss Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple.

Also Read My Next Posts of this Trip:
  1. Chamundeshwari temple
  2. Our Visit to Mysore Maharaja Palace
  3. Inside Mysore Maharaja Palace


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