The district's most important pilgrim centre is located in an island just 7 kms from Tiruchi. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of river Cauveri on one side and its tributary kollidam on the other, is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sriranganathaswami Temple.Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. The largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987, and now measures 73m.
The main temple is dedicated
to Vishnu. Even muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall
of the Vijayanagar Empire. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the gold
- topped sanctum, but they are allowed into the sixth wall. The whole
place is fascinating. Bazaars and Brahmins' houses fill the space between
the outer four walls, and you don't have to take your shoes off or deposit
your bicycle until you get to the fourth wall. Just past the shoe deposit
is an information centre, where you buy the ticket to climb the wall
for a panoramic view of the entire complex. A temple guide will unlock
the gates and tell you what's what. It's worth engaging one of these
guides as there is much to see and you could easily spend all day wandering
around the complex. There's also a small museum containing sculptures.
Opening Hours : 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Entry Fee : Re.1.00 for all