Photographer's Note

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam, towards the southern tip of India, is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus, especially the Vaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu). This temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers, Cauvery and Coleroon. The temple covers an area of about 6,31,000 mē (156 Acres) with a perimeter of 4 kms (2.2 miles) and is the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world.

The temple consists of seven concentric prakaras (elevated rectangular enclosures) formed by thick and huge rampart walls around the sanctum sanctorum. This temple is the only one in India with seven enclosures, a sacred symbolic number that, for present day Vaishnavites, represents either the seven centers of Yoga, or a reference to the seven elements making up the human body, in the center of which dwells the soul. There are 21 magnificent gopurams (monumental towers) in the prakaras, the highest at the outermost prakara and the lowest at the innermost.

This is the ornamental entrance to the 'Ayaramkaal Mandapam' (1000 pillar assembly hall).

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Additional Photos by Sridhar Rao Chaganti (SridharRao75) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 34 W: 6 N: 89] (280)
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