April 26, 2013

Lesser Known Temples of Sri Rangam

Site Name: Sri Rangam  
Site Type: Hindu Temples
Location:  Sri Rangam, near Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Lesser known temples in the well known holy city of Sri Rangam
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road
Hotel: A lot of options in Trichy city 
Restaurants: Few small but traditional restaurants can be found near the temple; for more options, go to Trichy

Koorathalwan's Home
Sri Rangam is a well known town located in South India. Sri Ranganath temple located in this town is one of the most popular shrines of Lord Vishnu and it is considered as the first and foremost Divya Desam temple. Everyone knows about this popular temple; however there are few important temples in the same town which are lesser known. The objective of this blog post is to introduce those temples.

Sri Rangam is a unique place where a lot of Vaishnaivite seers and Gurus lived. Tirumangai Alwar stayed in a house in North Chitrai Street. The devotees are allowed to visit this holy place. Similarly the houses where the other Vaishnaivite Gurus such as Koorathalwan, Mudaliyandan and others are located in the streets around the Ranganath temple.

Mudaliyandan's Residence
There is a small lesser known temple located in North Chitra Street - Dasavatar temple. There can be temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and even to his incarnations such as Rama, Krishna or Narasimha. However, it is very rare to find a temple where all the ten main incarnations of Lord Vishnu are found as the main deities. 

The Dasavatar temple which is believed to be 1000 years old (the current structure is of modern day) is an east facing small temple with a tower. The main shrine has the idols of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu - Matsya (fish), Koorma (tortoise), Varaha (swine), Narasimha (partially lion and partially human), Vamana (the dwarf man), Parasu Rama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna and Kalki. All the idols are small. The utsava idol of Narasimha is also located in the main shrine.

The sub-shrines of Tirumangai Alwar and Desikan are also located in this small temple. As per the legend, Tirumangai Alwar personally monitored the construction of Ranganath temple. Lord Ranganath was happy with him and he presented himself as ten incarnations to his devotee. This temple relates that story.

Tirumangai Alwar's Residence

Dasavatar Temple
When you visit Ranganath temple in Sri Rangam, ensure that you visit these lesser known shrines too.

Happy travelling.

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