Faith

Rajagopuram — pride of Srirangam

View of the Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple Rajagopuram. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

View of the Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple Rajagopuram. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam  

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If Srirangam occupies the pride of place in the Srivaishnavite anthology and geospace scheme of things, then the pride of Srirangam, leaving aside for a moment the immaculate Lord Himself and His Divine Consort, is the towering Rajagopuram that is the cynosure of all eyes for the past 27 years. Adding lustre to the grandeur of the hallowed island, the Rajagopuram is veritably a symbol of Srirangam's

resurgence in the recent past. The tower is at once the realisation of the dream of the 44th pontiff of Sri Ahobila Mutt Srimad Azhagiya Singar Jeeyar Swamil as much as the indomitable will of a human being who undertook a superlative endeavour racing against time and of course consummating it to the awe of all.

. At least 200 workers toiled day and night for nearly eight years to construct the temple tower. The forthright Jeeyar never swayed to any force other than the Lord Himself and stood his ground against all odds to complete the task. Rising to the skies at 236 feet height with its 13 tiers, the Srirangam Rajagopuram is the tallest temple tower in the universe. The gopuram's base measures 166 feet by 97 feet while the crown's dimension is 98 feet by 32 feet making it a modern construction marvel and embellishing something more than just cement and mortar to the devout and the technocrat alike. The remarkable feature of the Rajagopuram is the participative effort exhibited in the construction of the structure, with contributions pouring in from several quarters diverse as they are. Contributions from Sri Ahobila Mutt, Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashram, Sri Kanchi Mutt, governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, donations from personalities such as music composer Ilayaraja and several other individuals featured the construction of the temple tower. The marvelous rajagopuram was consecrated on March 25, 1985 in the presence of spiritual and political luminaries amid a sea of humanity thronging the island town to be a part of the historic occasion.

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Printable version | May 22, 2019 8:04:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/rajagopuram-pride-of-srirangam/article2774764.ece

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