Srirangam (formerly Vellithirumutha gramam and Thiruvarangam in Tamil) is an island and a part of the city of Tiruchirapalli, in South India.
Srirangam is bounded by the Kaveri River (also known as Cauvery river) on one side, and the Kaveri distributary Kollidam (Coleroon) on the other side.
Srirangam is home to a significant population of Srivaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu, one of the triumvirate of Hindu Gods the other two being Lord Siva, the Destroyer and Lord Brahma, the Creator).
Srirangam is famous for its Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus (especially Srivaishnavites) and the largest temple complex in India.
According to the temple's website, Srirangam can be considered the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world, as it covers an area of about 631,000 square metres (6,790,000 sq ft) with a perimeter of 4 km (10,710 ft). Srirangam claims to be the biggest functioning temple.
Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. In the Vaishnava parlance the term "KOIL" signifies this temple only. The temple is enormous in size. The temple complex is 156 acres (0.63 km2) in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor. this temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon.
The Srirangam temple complex is composed of 7 concentric walled sections and 21 gopuram. The gopuram of the temple is called the Rajagopuram and is 236 feet (72 m) tall, the tallest in Asia.
The temple has seven prakaras (elevated enclosures) with gopurams articulating the axial path, the highest at the outermost prakara and the lowest at the innermost. In historic times, just after the construction of this temple, the city of Srirangam lived completely within the walls of this temple and hence is quoted as an example of Hindu religious utopia - during its peak of existence.
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