The Sri Ranganatha Temple: the Must-Visit Temple in Vrindavan
Visiting Vrindavan at least once in your life can be one of the most exciting and memorable trips of your life. There are many things to do and see in the famous town like sri ranganatha temple
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Significance of Vrindavan
Vrindavan is a holy town in Uttar Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the Yamuna river. According to Hindu mythological scriptures, Lord Shree Krishna spent his childhood in Vrindavan, making the town holy and a pilgrimage site.
In the town, you will find many temples. And most of them are dedicated to Lord Krishna.
One of the familiar sights in the town is people singing devotional songs in chorus, playing musical instruments, praising the Lord. In the traditional language, the songs are called Bhajans. So it can be an excellent experience for you to participate in a Bhajan when you are in Vrindavan.
Like Bhajans, the Parikrama is another crucial thing to do in the town. It involves moving around Vrindavan in a clockwise direction.
Many visitors consider it a mandatory ritual when they are in Vrindavan. Parikrama is done to pay respect to the place and the temples.
The Parikrama path is around 13 kilometers long. It can take about three hours to complete it on foot.
You will see many people of every age doing the ritual when you are in Vrindavan. So, when you are in the town, do not give the Parikrama a miss. The best time to start your Parikrama is early morning.
The atmosphere in Vrindavan is refreshing due to the aroma of camphor and incense sticks emanating from temples.
Sri Ranganatha Temple
Although Vrindavan is the home to around 5,000 temples, there is a temple—the Sri Ranganatha Temple—which is very special to deserve mention.
The temple is also known as the Rangji Temple, which stands on the Vrindavan – Mathura road.
According to mythological scriptures, the temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Goda Ranagamannar and Lord Ranganatha. While the former was a South Indian Vaishnava Saint, the latter was an incarnation of Lord Shree Krishna.
In the temple, the idol of Lord Shree Krishna is in the form of the groom of Goda (Andal), the bride.
The story behind the temple goes as Goda, also known as Andal in South India, was a Vaishnava Saint who existed in the 8th century. She is famous for composing the “Tiruppuvai”, a devotional hymn for her beloved Lord Shree Krishna.
According to the belief, her pure devotion compelled Lord Shree Krishna to answer her prayers by agreeing to become her groom. As a result, the husband-wife relationship is idolized at the temple, which is one of the largest temples in North India and one of the 108 Divyadesams of the Vaishnavas.
You will see numerous devotees visiting the temple during the Sri Brahmotsav festival in March-April every year.
The temple authority celebrates regular festivals throughout the year. And, they perform all rituals maintaining the sanctity of the prescribed Vedic norms.
Interestingly, you will find a unique blend of both south and north Indian traditions in the temple practices.
When it comes to festivals, you will see the celebration of many south and north Indian festivals in the temple that are part of the Vaishnava temple tradition.
Things to Know Before You Visit the Temple
Before visiting the temple, it will help if you get yourself acquainted with a few essential pieces of information about the Sri Ranganatha Temple.
You should remember that:
- The east gate is the main gate of the temple, but you can enter the temple from both gates
- Fridays are the milk Abhishek days
- The idol of the Lord is taken out of the main Sanctorum to the pond every Friday evening
- Entry is free
- The temple remains open throughout the year.
The temple timings differ slightly during the summer and winter seasons.
During summer, the temple remains open from 5:30 am to 10:30 am in morning. And, in the evening session, the temple opens at 4:00 pm and closes at 9 pm. In addition, the temple priests perform Aarti or prayer two times during the day—one, from 5:30 am to 6 am and two, from 6:30 pm to 7 pm, followed by bhog.
During winter, the temple opens at 6 am and closes at 11 am in the morning. And, it remains open from 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the evening session. Aarti timings are from 6 am to 6:30 am in the morning and 6 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening.
The Final Words
The Sri Ranganatha Temple is worthy of visiting when you are in Vrindavan. You can experience the unique fusion of south and north Indian cultures apart from paying your obeisance to the Lord. So, when you are in Vrindavan, do not miss out on the majestic temple.