The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple near Trichy is India's largest temple complex, enclosed by 7 concentric walls with 21 gopurams (gateway towers). The sheer size of it is impressive and it has a sort of village feel to it, with many shops and even a railway ticket office found inside the walls!
Located on the island of Srirangam on the banks of the Cauvery River about 7km from Trichy, this 13th century temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is the most revered of all the Vishnu pilgrimage sites.
The gopurams are decorated with brightly coloured carvings. The gopuram found at the main entrance measures 73m and is the largest in India, it is an awesome sight! Many dynasties took part in the construction of this temple, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagars and Nayaks. As such it is a very interesting place to see all the different artistic styles belonging to each dynasty.
It is highly recommended to hire a guide here, as he will be able to tell you all about the fascinating history and show you what was built when. The 1000 pillar hall is particularly impressive. Make sure to hire an official guide from the kiosk inside the 4th wall. Our guide was great and also took us to the banks of the Cauvery River where we saw many Brahmins performing rituals and people bathing in the holy waters of the river. Be prepared to haggle hard for the guide fee, as they tend to ask too much (this is the case in many Hindu temples), 100-150 rupees for an hour is reasonable.
With a special ticket you will be able to climb up the wall for a fantastic panoramic view of the entire complex. This is the only way you will catch a glimpse of the marvellous gold-topped inner sanctum, as non-Hindus are not allowed in.
I found this temple utterly fascinating and totally beautiful, a truly unique experience.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.