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Re: Largest temple in the world

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 17:28:21 PDT

Akila wrote:
> Hello,
>   There was a posting recently saying,
> 'I also read in the guinnes book of
> >world records for year 2001 about srirangm. The book wrote
> >"The srirangam  temple complex in  Tiruchirappalli,  Tamil
> >Nadu, India  is  the  largest  Hindu  temple in the world.'
>   Since I wanted to get more info on this, I went to 
>    Surprisingly, there is no mention of 
> Srirangam in it(atleast in this context.).   There was a mention of 
> Largest buddhist temple and a largest Hindu temple outside India.  
> But, I would like to confirm the above info before I give this piece 
> of info to my kid.  Does anyone shed some light on this? 

Hi Akila,

Among Hindu temples in use, i.e., temples where worship and services
are actively conducted, Srirangam is the largest temple in the
world.  Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest temple if worship
is not a consideration.  

Some books mistakenly list Angkor Wat as a Buddhist temple
and make no mention of its original heritage. In actuality,
this magnificent structure was originally dedicated to
Lord Vishnu and was built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th 
century over a period of 30 years.  It contains some of
the most beautiful examples of Khmer Vaishnava art. Over
the years, with the decline of the Khmer empire, the temple
came under increasing Buddhist influence and shrines to the 
Buddha were also constructed within its premises.  The Cambodians
are not very religiously dogmatic so this posed no problem
for them.

Srirangam's size is often not very obvious because the temple's
seven prakAra-s include the town itself.  This masks the true
extent of the temple.  It is true that the core of the temple
itself is quite small.  The shrines of Lord Rangantha,
Sri Ranganayaki Thaayaar, Bhagavad Ramanuja, etc., can easily
be visited within a few minutes not taking into account
queues.  In this respect the temple feels smaller than say
the Madurai Meenakshi temple. However, since the actual temple's
seven prakAra-s include small shrines in the outermost reaches
of the town, it is easily the largest active Hindu temple in 
the world.


           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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