Visiting the Ranganathaswamy temple can be a fascinating experience for history enthusiasts as well as devotees.
Here, they can get a glimpse into the temple’s history, which goes back to 3rd century B.C. as per some historians. Alternate views suggest it was built later in the 9th century A.D. by the Gangas, the ruling dynasty based at Talakkadu on the banks of the Kaveri. Nevertheless, the temple became an important hub for both, religion and culture over the next few centuries.
Though its location on an island lodged between two rivers saw it being invaded several times, it remained an influential centre for the growing Bhakti movement. Today considered among the largest Hindu temple complexes in the world, it was rebuilt in the late 14th century. It also saw additions to its original structure in the 16th, 17th and 21st centuries.
The temple offers testimony to the cultural diversity and exchange that was prevalent during its early period; modern day visitors can expect to find historic inscriptions not just in Tamil, but also Sanskrit, Telegu, Marathi, Oriya and Kannada. The scripts used for these inscriptions include Tamil as well as a Grantha – a script used by Tamil and Malayalam scholars to write Sanskrit since 6th century A.D.