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Rangaji Temple At Vrindavan – History

Rangaji temple is located at one end of Vrindavan and is
near to Brahma Kund and Govind Dev Temple. The temple is dedicated to
Ranganatha form of Vishnu, reclining on Adishesha. The temple is quite similar
to the Ranganatha temples seen in the south Indian towns of Srirangapatna and
Srirangam.

History Of Rangaji Temple At Vrindavan

Rangaji Temple at Vrindavan was built in 1850 AD. The local
people found it difficult to pronounce the South Indian name of Ranganathaswamy
so they shortened it to Ranga and added the respectful suffix ‘ji’ and named
him Rangaji.

The temple was built on the advice of Sri Rangadeshik Swamiji,
a great scholar of Sri Vaishnavism. The businessman who built the temple was Sri
Radha Krishnaji who belonged to a very rich business family of Mathura. He was  attracted by Sri Vaishnavism philosophy and
approached Sri Rangadeshik Swamiji for discipleship. Later, his younger brother
Sri Govinddasji also got initiated into Sri Vaishnavism by Swamiji. Both these
brothers were very impressed by Sri Vaishnava temples in South India and
expressed their desire of worshipping Sri Ranganathaswamy with Sri Ramanujacharya
in North India. Treating this as a divine wish, Swamiji showed them the map of
Sri Varadaraja temple of Kanchipuram and asked them to construct a temple on
similar lines. Artists and craftsmen were brought in from Kanchipuram and
construction of temple was started in the year 1843 A.D and got completed in
the year 1850 A.D.

Rangaji Temple – Details

A striking feature of the temple is the 100 feet high South
Indian style gopuram that adorns the temple. The tall gopuram is six storeys
high.

In front of the Gopuram is a huge gate, which is built as
per Rajasthani style of architecture. There is huge water tank and a
well-maintained garden on entering the gate.

The main sanctum sanctorum has a murti of the Ranganatha
form of Vishnu reclining on Adishesha. Next to the sanctum sanctorum is
another gopuram which leads to a huge open courtyard. At the center of this
courtyard is a 50-feet high Dwajasthambam which is gold plated.

The main festival observed in the temple is the 10-day Brahmotsavam
which alls in the month of March or April. Other festivals include Vasant
Panchami, Sri Ram Navami, Janmashtami and Karthigai Deepam.

There are many other well maintained temples in the Rangaji
Temple complex. There is a shrine dedicated to Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi and
Garuda. The murtis are made of Krishna shila or black stone. Their s another
shrine dedicated to Tirupati Balaji. There is also a temple dedicated to Rama,
Sita and Lakshman. This temple has both stone murtis and gold murtis of the
deities.

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