Cauvery, the life line of Karnataka and Tamilnadu holds many facets. Divine, Ecological and Economical.
The divine river and its tributaries hold a rich agricultural belt spanning Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu. Farmer economy is directly linked to how richly she flows every year.
It is also home for wildlife and bird sanctuaries. A fine balance between man and the beast on either side makes her an important part of everyones life.
This river emerging from Kodagu holds 3 divine Ranganathar Temples before it merges into bay of Bengal. This is a pilgrimage circuit for devotees during Dhanurmasam (December – January) as the temples open early and close late. The three Ranganathar temples are located in Sriranga Pattana called the Adi Ranga, Shivanasamudra called the Madhya Ranga and finally in Srirangam called the Antya Ranga.
This year we were blessed to trace this circuit with great ease. Here I present some facts and tips that would help future circuit tracers.
First things first, dress up traditionally. This makes the journey more meaningful and also in the temple, the staff will be more courteous.
When there is a crowd, its natural that the temple staff push the devotees and its hard to get a good darshan. So, if you are travelling with family, keep the offerings to the god separately and that gives you more time with the god.
We started from Mysore, so that was a very big advantage as Srirangapatanam is near by.
Start early, the temple opens at 6 am and it is possible to get the darshanam of Ranganathar and Tayar. One can leave Srirangapatanam by 6.45 am and start the scenic journey towards Shivana Samudra.
The drive through the Cauvery belt is beautiful. The cool breeze and the scenic beauty out the window is mesmerising. One can spot a lot of peacocks in the fields and if lucky on the road side itself.
The water follows us all the way and we can witness the land of Shivanasamudra transforming into an island. Approximately an hour of journey from Srirangapatnam to Shivanasamudra ends up in a small temple town. Here we don’t see too many people on normal days unlike Srirangapatnam.
Its a beautiful temple with a lot of space around. Ranganathar here is around 6 feet tall. This is called the Madhya Ranga, as its the second of the three Ranganathars in the circuit. One can have a very close darshan here and the surroundings tempts one and all to spend more time there. But alas, there is a long journey pending ahead to reach the antya ranga, so better hurry up. On the positive note, its a motivation to return to the temple once more.
Leaving this beautiful town by 8:30am will enable us to reach Srirangam by 4:00 PM. Although a 7 to 8 hour journey, it can be enjoyed as we drive through the forest areas. One can spot various animals such as Deers, Boars, Peacocks etc very easily. If lucky elephants could also be seen.
Srirangam is yet another island created by Cauvery river.
As described by Parashara Bhattar, there are 7 prakaras inside which we have the Ranganathar sannidhi. Each prakaram has a Gopuram and has many houses and shops.
Zoom in to see details of art on the gopuram.
Zoom in to see details of art on the gopuram.
The Rajagopuram in the entrance of the town, built by HH 44th Jeer of Ahobila Matham is a wonderful structure. At 236 feet tall, its apparently visible from Sri Lanka.
Out of the 7 gopurams, 6 are in various colours and just one is in White colour. This is the one built by the first Jeer of Ahobila Matham, Shri Adivan Shatakopa Maha Deshikan.
The Srirangam temple allows online bookings, thus booking tickets of 250/- per person, helps in shortening the queue to darshan. Srirangam temple is a huge complex and there is a lot of walking involved. In the complex there are more than 25 Sannidhi’s dedicated to various deities such as Ramar, Brahma, Anjaneyar etc.
The main sannidhi’s in Srirangam one should visit are 4 of them.
- Ranganathar : A diety bhagawad Ramanujar did sharanagati to.
- Tayar : This is a special sannidhi as it has 2 Moolavars and one Utsava Moorthi.
- Ramanujar : The Ramanujar sannidhi houses a very special moorthy here. It is said that the moolavar is made of the real bones of Ramanujar. The archakar explains that the Nails in the hands and the hair in the Shikai are the real ones. However, many people contradict this and say, its an idol made by the shisyas to console themselves from the loss of their acharya.
- Sudarshanalwar sannidhi
One can easily spend at least 3 hours in this temple complex. Yummy Prasadam’s are available inside the complex that can be purchased.
Many hotels and restaurants are available to stay and eat. A stroll through the shopping streets can be pretty relaxing after such a long journey.
HAPPY JOURNEY 🙂