Srirangam temple is the foremost of Divya Deshams and a prominent seat of Srivaishnavism in India. This temple is also called as Periya Koil because of its massive size. Everything in this temple is big right from Bali Peetha to the Lord Himself. Read these ten less known facts about this temple.
1. Largest functioning Hindu temple
Srirangam temple is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. The largest temple being in Cambodia in which the Deity is no longer worshiped. Srirangam temple is built in the area of 157 acres approximately with more than fifty smaller shrines within the temple complex. There are shopping complexes, residential buildings within the temple complex. In fact it is a city within the temple. (Also read: Srirangam temple – the largest Hindu temple in the world)
2. Only temple to have 7 prakaras
Srirangam temple is the only temple in India to have seven prakaras (enclosures). The cumulative length of these seven prakaras is more than 6 miles. These prakaras are further beautified by 21 gopuras.
3. Largest Gopura in Asia
The rajgopuram of Srirangam temple is the largest gopura in Asia. Its height is 236 feet and it is 13 tiered. It was built by the 44th Jeeyar of the Ahobilam Mutt and the kumbhabhisheka was performed on Mar 27, 1987.
4. Largest Deity of Garuda
Srirangam temple is the only temple to have the Deity of Garuda which is more than 25 feet tall. It takes 30 meters of cloth to make a dhoti for the Deity of Garuda.
5. Largest Mantapa for Garuda
The temple complex houses the largest mantapa for Garuda – the carrier of Lord Vishnu amongst the 106 Divya Deshams on this planet. It has more than two hundred beautifully carved pillars and is the most beautiful mantapa in the temple.
6. Only temple to have Dhanavantri Sannidhi
Srirangam temple is the only temple complex to house the shrine for Lord Dhanavantri. Anyone who prays to the Lord is blessed with the ailment for an illness. The illness could be of body or of soul.
7. A Muslim princess is Lord’s consort
This is the only temple apart from Melkote where a Muslim princess is worshiped as the consort of Lord Ranganatha. Thulukka Nachiyar is worshiped in the form of a painting respecting the Muslim tradition of not worshiping the Deities. She is offered the Mughal style food.
8. Ramanujacharya’s body is being preserved
In Srirangam temple, the Thirumeni (the body) of Saint Ramanujacharya – the spiritual master of Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya is being preserved for more than eight centuries.
9. 322 days of festival in temple
Srirangam temple in the only temple to celebrate festivals on 322 days out of 365 days in a year. This temple is known for its festivals and the grand festivities which take place here.
10. One of the few temples to have Sudarshana Sannidhi
This is one of the few temples in Tamilnadu to house the Deity of Sudarshana. The others being Thirukovilur, Thirumohur and Kanchipuram.1