Lord Vishnu

Temple History

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple stands on the banks of Penna river in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is consecrated to Lord Vishnu in the divine form of Sri Ranganathaswamy in a reclining posture. Originally a village of paddy fields, the name of the town of Nellore is derived from Tamil (nellu: unhusked rice or paddy; ooru: village).

This temple is also called as Talpagiri Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple or Ranganayakulu Temple. This temple is known as Uttara Srirangam(its significance is mentioned in the Skanda Purana (ancient Sanskrit texts)) after the main Vaishnava center in Tiruchi, this temple was improved upon later in the 12th century CE by the Chola king, Rajaraja Narendra who also added the sanctum to the premises. It is one of the oldest temples in Nellore. Ranganthaswamy Temple is believed to have been built between the 7th century and 8th centuries CE by the kings of Simhapuri, the Pallavas.

The local legend says that Lord Vishnu with his consort Sridevi wanted to visit Bhoolokha (earth). He had asked Adi Sesha (the five-headed serpent) to transform into becoming Vishnu’s residence on earth. Consequently, Adi Sesha became a mountain. The serpent king, Phani Raju and his consort paid their respects to Vishnu. The lord was delighted with Phani Raju’s worship and blessed him by saying that this place would become famous as Talpa Giri Kshetram (holy place).

Another story is told about the time when Sage Kashyapa was on a pilgrimage. When he reached Talpagiri Ranganathaswami Temple, he performed the Poundarika Yaga (sacred fire ritual) and on the day of Ekadasi (11th day after new and full moon), the lord appeared before him and blessed him. The sage expressed his desire that Lord Vishnu should shower his grace on all devotees.

The temple is known as the divine place where Mahakavi Tikkana translated the great epic Mahabharatha into Telugu.

The major attraction of this temple is the huge 29 meter tall galigopuram and is seven storied which has seven gold kalasams. Temple gopuram (tower) can be seen from far away. The Galigopuram is decorated with images of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, various goddesses and sages. Sculptures of dancing women in different poses and done well with art work that influences age previous southern architectural brilliancy. Inside the temple, on the walls of the sanctum sanctorum is written “Sri Vishnu Sahasra Namavali” – The one thousand completely different names of Lord Maha Vishnu and devotees encircle the temple vocalizing the one thousand names of the lord.

Every year Sri Vari Brahmotsavam festival is grandly celebrated during the month of March – April. Vaikunta Ekadasi/Mukkoti Ekadashi has also celebrated annually which is witnessed by large number of devotees. Devotees have Vaikunta Dwara Darsanam (opening of the doors to Vaikuntam - the abode of Vishnu) which happens around 4.30 AM. The temple is well decorated and each day the processional image is adorned with different alankaras (forms of embellishment) that is a beautiful sight to behold. a. Rath Yatra is the most popular ritual held in the temple
annually and people from all over India comes to celebrate rath yatra here.


Additional Information

Devotees must visit the Addala Mandapam in the temple. The unique feature of the temple is the Addala Mandapam (hall of mirrors). This hall is decorated with very expensive Belgian mirrors. When the processional images of the lord are placed on an elevated seat in the middle of the hall on special days, hundreds of images of the deity are reflected in these mirrors. This is a marvelous sight and reaffirms the concept of the divine being infinite. Devotees love to see the painting of Lord Krishna on the ceiling of the mandapam. The unique feature of this painting is that if eight people stand at the eight corners of the mandapam and look at the painting, each one will think that the Lord’s eyes are on him or her. Watch out for the marvelous Tanjore-style paintings of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu in the hall. The gold borders of the paintings shine brilliantly when the light falls on them.

For the convenience of the pilgrims there are choultries of the Devastanam and TTD and also private choultries. There are many luxurious hotels and lodges are available in Nellore city for the visitors.

Nellore city is well connected by all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh by road and railways. Nellore Bus stand is 3.2 kms and PSR Bus Stand is 1.1 kms from the temple.

Nellore city railway station is just 1.1 kms away. City buses and taxi services are available to access the temple.

Tirupati International Airport is the nearest airport which is 125 kms from the temple.
  • 06:00 am to 12:00 pm & 03:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Contact Person: Executive Officer
  • Contact Number: (+91) 0861 2331156,