Sri Ranganatha Temple of Srirangapatna is one of the most famous Vishnu temples of South India. Part of the famed Pancharanga Shetrams, the Sri Ranganatha Temple is located on the banks of the river Cauvery in the historical town of Srirangapatna. A remarkable fact about this temple is that Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, two of the great Muslim kings of India were Lord Ranganatha’s devotees. This temple looks magnificent during the festival of Makar Sankranti, lit up with a hundred thousand lamps.
Darshan timings are Sri Ranganatha Temple are 07.30 am to 01.00 pm and 04.00 pm to 08.00 pm
Srirangapatna is located on the Bangalore- Mysore Highway. It is just 13 Kms from Mysore. Some trains from Bangalore to Mysore stop at Srirangapatna.
Many tourists just pass through Srirangapatna and stay in Mysore. However there are a few decent hotels right in Sri Rengapatna like Hotel Mayura (080-22212901), Young Island (08236-217351) and Amblee Resort (08236-206166).
The temple of Sri Ranganatha in Srirangapatna was built in 894 AD by Ganga King Tirumalaiya. Several dynasties of Kings were its patrons and have helped in its upkeep over the years. Prominent among these royal patrons were the Vijayanagara Kings, Hoysalas, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and Wodeyars of Mysore.
Sri Ranganathaswamy is a part of famed Pancharanga Shetrams, a group of 5 temples dedicated to Lord Ranganatha on the banks of the River Cauvery. The others that make up this group are Sri Ranganathaswamy of Srirangam, Sarangapani Temple at Kumbakonam, Sri Appakkudathaan Perumal Temple in Thirupper Nagar and Parimala Ranganathar Temple at Thiruindaloor. Legend says that if someone manages to visit all the five temples in a single day, they attain salvation.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna is one of the most important Vaishnavite shrines in South India. The architecture of Sri Renganathaswamy Temple follows the style of Hoysalas and Vijaynagara Empire. The main entrance is beautifully engraved with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu. There is a sculpture of a couple of well ornamented and majestic elephants standing guard at the entrance. As you enter the queue to get into the main temple, two masterpieces not to be missed are a Gold Plated Garudavahana and Nagashesha.
The presiding deity Lord Ranganathaswamy is seen sleeping on Adi Sheshan the 7 headed serpent. The Goddess is Ranganayaki. The temple also enshrines the images of River Cauvery and Sage Gautama. The temple has several other deities including that of Lord Venkateshwara, Narasimha and Panchamukha Anjenaya
A famous festival celebrated at the Sri Ranganatha temple is adorned with more than a hundred thousand lamps. Devotees take a dip in the Holy Cauvery River and then light up the lamps in the temple.
Many devotees visit the Sri Ranganatha temple from nearby places as well as from Bangalore after purchasing a new car or bike to perform Puja for safe motoring!
Nimishamba temple is another popular temple in Srirangapatna where the devotees are expected to get their pain point relieved in a minute! The presiding deity is Nimishamba who is none other than Goddess Parvati.
Ranganathitu is a famous bird sanctuary in Srirangapatna. It is made up of 6 islets and you can take a boat ride across the islands to spot the winged inhabitants. Migratory birds arrive in December to lay their eggs in these islets. They live here till the eggs are hatched and the young ones are ready to fly back by August.
Srirangapatna was the capital of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. You can visit the ruins of their fort after the war with the British. Lal Mahal is the erstwhile palace of Tipu Sultan. Colonel Bailey Dungeon is the famous dungeon where Tipu imprisoned several British Officers during the war. Jama Masjid is a grand mosque built by Tipu sultan after he ascended the throne of Mysore. You can climb the 200 odd steps leading to the Minarets to get a splendid view of the surroundings.
Dariya Daulat Bagh is an island and was the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan. It is built in Indo-Sarcenic style and has a few magnificent murals depicting the war of Tipu with the British. The most famous exhibit here is the famous painting “Storming of Srirangapatna” by Sir Robert Ker Porter. The theme of the painting is the final fall of Srirangapatna on 4th May 1799 when the British defeat Tipu’s forces.
For a travelogue on a remarkable Go Shala in Tamil Nadu where cows are from the herds of Lord Krishna of Brindavan and Dwarka, visit Govindapuram.