Thousands of devotees thronged the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple over the weekend in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirapalli district to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu on the occasion of the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival.
Devout Hindus paid obeisance to Lord Ranganathaswamy, one of the reincarnations of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver.
Vaishnavism (the worship of Lord Vishnu) culture holds the belief that Vaikunth Dwaram, the gate to Lord's inner sanctum opens on this day.
'Vaikunta Ekadasi' is celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi. It is said that those who offer prayers on Vaikunta Ekadashi will get salvation.
A devotee, Vaishali said that it is one of the historical places where one offers prayers to eternal life after death.
"The main specialty of this temple is this is one of the best temples of India and it is one of the historical places that plays an important role to attain the eternal life after death," said Vaishali.
Vaikunta Ekadashi occurs in December and Vaishnavite (Worship of Lord Vishnu) culture believes that 'Vaikunta Dwaram' or 'the gate to Lord's Inner Sanctum' is opened on this day.
The followers of Lord Ranganathaswamy throng the temple during Ekadashi festival as it marks the only occasion when the idol of the God bedecked in diamonds is taken out of the sanctum sanctorum to be placed at Thirumamani Mandapam (thousand pillared hall).
The hall of 1000 pillars is the most splendid part of the temple.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the first to be built for the Vaishnavite sect in southern India.
This temple, like many other temples in South India, is a fine example of the Dravidian style of architecture and is remarkable for its lofty gates known locally as Gopurams.
It is said that Lord Rudra narrated the origin of the temple to Narada Muni. (ANI)