Lord Vishnu is one of the prime Gods in Hinduism. He is worshipped in different forms and several temples are dedicated to all his forms (avatars). Sri Ranganathaswamy is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is one of the most revered deities in India. One can actually find several temples dedicated to Ranganathaswamy in Southern India.
Sri Ranganathaswamy is usually found in the reclining posture in many temples. In fact, some most largest temples are dedicated to this avatar of Lord Vishnu. Among them, the Pancharangams in South India are considered as the most prominent shrines. 'Pancha' means five and 'Rangams' means temples dedicated to Ranganathaswamy.
A reclining statue of Ranganathaswamy
These are a set of five temples located on the banks of River Kaveri in South India. Hence, they are also called as Pancharanga Kshetrams. Beginning from Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna (which is the Adi Ranga - first temple among the five) to Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu (which is Adya Ranga - last among the five).
Let us take holy tour around the five Ranganathaswamy Temples on the banks of the River Kaveri!
Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna
PC: Manu narayanan
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna was established during the time of Western Ganga Dynasty. It became popular when the Sri Vaishnava Saint Ramanujacharya came to this place. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna is the first among the Pancharangams in South India. It is also one of the popular temples in Karnataka.
Appakkidathaan Perumal Temple in Koviladi
PC: Ssriram mt
Appakkidathaan Perumal Temple is one of the Divya Deshams - 108 Vishnu Temples listed by Alwars. It is located at Koviladi on the banks of River Kaveri around 28km from Thiruchirappali. It is an 18th century architecture built during the time of Aditya Chola.
Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple
PC: Ssriram mt
Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple is one of the unique Vishnu temples as it has architectural influences of three different dynasties that ruled South India. Hence, it is known for its architectural design. Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple is also one of the Divya Deshams. The shrine is located in the town of Thiruvilandur in Tamil Nadu.
Sarangapani Temple is one of the biggest Vishnu Temples in Kumbakonam. According to the legend, Vishnu came here by carrying a bow. Hence, he is worshipped as Sarangapani. This Vishnu Temple is one of the Pancharangams in South India.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam
PC: Ssriram mt
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam is considered as Adya Ranga (last among the Pancharangams). Srirangam Temple is said to one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Srirangam is an island situated on the River Kaveri at Thiruchirappali district. The tour of Pancharanga Kshetrams ends with a visit to Srirangam temple in Tamil Nadu.
Note: In some religious texts, Vatarangam Temple is mentioned as one of the Pancharangams instead of Sarangapani Temple. However, the Sarangapani Temple is popular as one of the Pancharanga Kshetrams.
It is considered very sacred to visit the Pancharanga Kshetrams. These Vishnu temples are definitely some of the top temples in South India.