Srirangam History

Sri Ranganathaswamy was worshiped by Brahma. He presented to Indra king of Devas and he presented to God Suryan and Surya Vamsa Ikshavaku kings (ancestors of Rama) worshiped Sri Ranganathaswamy. At the time of Rama's Pattabhishekam (take Responsibility as a king), Vibhishana obtained the Ranga Vimana (a special chariot-like conveyance carried by Veda Murtis with Vishnu inside) from Rama as a contribution. While carrying it to Srilanka Vibhishana halted at Srirangam. Contrary to the injunction he had received. Vibhishana placed it on the ground and it got fixed here.

In 1616, the Madurai Nayaks shifted their capitalto Tiruchirappalli and the Srirangam temple thus came to receive their immediate attention. The Nayaks were Vaishnavites and adopted the Vaduladesikas of Srirangam astheir gurus. Their numerousinscriptions on thewalls of the Srirangam temple speak of their mani fold benefactions, mostly lands, villages and jewels.Cokkanatha Nayak (1659-1682) laid out many streetsand agraharas in Sriremgam, constructed mandapas in the prakaras, repaired many of the structures made a gift of 96 villages.Vijayaranga Cokkanatha (1706-1732) was, according to local tradition, the most magnificentbene factor of the templein recent times. Hebuilt the Vedaparayanamandapa in the thirdprakara and the Kannadiyarai(room of mirrors). Three life-size statues inivory of himself and hisfamily kept in the westernpromenade of the first enclosure,conunemorate hisgifts and devotion to the temple.

The two gopuras, 0ne in the Vaishn ava temple ar Srirangam and the other is the Saiva temple at Jambukesvaram, owe their existence to the Hoysala-Pandya collaboration.

The Koil Olugu states that Kaliyugaraman (Jatavarman I Veera Pandya III - AD 1318) built the Thirumangai Azhwaar mutt and other mutts in the Chitra street and its prakara wall. High up on each of the four doors of the big gopura in the middle of the East Chitra Street is found the label

Kaliyugaramaa in Grantha characters of the 13th century This is engraved above a standing composite image of Gandabherunda, a human body surmounted by two birds facing away from each other. As the latter was the emblem of the Hoysalas (it is also known that the gopura of seven stories at Jambukesvaram was constructed by Somesvara), it may be assumed that the construction of Kaliyugaraman gopura was started by Veera Narasimha (Somesvara). a Hoysala king, and completed by Jatavarman Veera Pandya, known as Kaliyugaraman. It may also be noted that the figures of a pair of fish flanking an ankusa are sculptured in relief on two of the ceiling beams of this gopura.

The same Pandya symbols are found sculptured on the gopuram of the Jambukesvaram temple. It is interesting to note that these two gopuras, one in the Vaishnava temple at Srirangam and the other in the Saiva temple at Jambukesvara, owed their xistence to Hoysala-Pandya collaboration, though at different times. Paintings (on the left) are kept near the Garuda mandapam.

Gorotha moolai

Reason for the name Goratha moolai : Most inhabitants of Srirangam would know the Goratha Moolai at the Junction of East Chitra street and North Chitra street. Here is an interesting anecdote about the Goratha moolai. ln the olden days the Granary of Srirangam had a cattleshed which held the cows for supplying milk for the Thaligai prasaadham of Lord Ranganatha. Sri Ramanuja used to visit the cattleshed everyday and find out about the wellbeing of the cows. He had the knack of finding out whether a cow or buffalo was ill by his touch. He was not only a seer and philosopher but a[1o a therapist. lf he found out that a cow or buffalo was sick he would instruct the concerned person to substitute the sick animal with a healthy one from the alternate cattleshed at the Goshaala and treat the sick cow for its illness.This alternate arrangement ensured uninterrupted supply of Milk for the Lord. The Goshaala was located in the corner of the North chitra street and east chitra street. lt is here that the Present Panguni car (Goratham ) is stationed during the non festival days. Hence the name Goratham (The Ratham i.e. Car present in the place where the Goshaala once stood) This is the origin for the term Goratha moolai.