Sri Ranganatha Perumal Temple, Tiruneermalai, Tamil Nadu – Divya Desam

Male deity: Sri Ranganathar (Neervannar, Ulagalantha Perumal, Bala Narasimhar)
Female deity: Thaayaar Ranganaayaki (Animamalar Mangai)
Sthala vriksham: Veppala Tree
Sthala Teertham: Siddhateertham, Swarnateertham, Karunyateertham, Ksheera Pushkarini
Significance:  Divya Desam (Paasuram : Tirumangaialwar)
Shri Ranganatha Perumal Temple,
Kanchipuram dt,
Tamil Nadu 600044,
Phone:+91- 44-2238 5484, 98405 95374, 94440 20820


There are multiple mythological events associated with this temple complex.

It starts with Rishi Valmiki once wanting to have a darshan of Lord Rama and his consort as they were during their marriage ceremony (Kalyana Raamar). Towards this, the Rishi performed various penances with deep devotion and sincerity. Pleased with his dedication, Rama appeared before him, along with his consort Sita, and his brothers. Exulted, Valmiki requested Rama to stay put in this place, for the benefit of devotees for all time to come. Rama agreed, and thus the temple at the base.

One fine day, Tirumangaialwar, one of the 12 alwar-saints, came to this location for a darshan of Sri Rama. However, the hill was surrounded by waters, making the shrine inaccessible to him. Rather than go back and come another day, he decided to stay put till the waters receded. This took a few months, and finally as the waters receded, he was rewarded with the punyadarshan.

The Temple

This is more of a temple complex, than a single temple. At the base of a hill is the main shrine, where Lord Rama (one of the avataras of Lord Mahavishnu) stands, surrounded by a water body (tiruneer). He is called Neervannap Perumal here. The name Tiruneermalai translates to “hill surrounded by holy water”.

At the top of the hill, reached by a flight of 200 stairs, is another shrine where Rama gives darshan in three different postures – reclining (as Ranganathar), sitting (as Narasimhar) and walking (as Ulagalantha Perumal).

The temple tank is behind the Ranganathar shrine, and it is considered to be a confluence of the four teerthams listed above.

A small shrine devoted to Rishi Valmiki is adjacent to the temple at the base of the hill.

Moolavar (presiding deity) is at the top of the hill, while ursava moorthy (procession deity) Azhagia Manavalar is at the base temple.

The ursava moorthy (Azhagia Manavalar) is taken in a procession to the hill temple during dhwajorahanam (flag hoisting) and dhwajavarohanam (flag lowering) days during the Chittirai (April/May) Brahmmotsavam and Panguni Uttiram (March/April) festivals. During these three days, devotees have a darshan of all the deities at one place.

Pleased with this devotion, Mahavishnu blessed him with his darshan in three other different forms, in different postures, atop the hill. Thus, shrines for

  1. Narasimhar (both as Shanta, or peaceful, and Ugra, or vicious) in a sitting position,
  2. Ranganathar (reclining), and
  3. Ulagalantha Perumal (walking)

at the top of the hill.

There is another interesting story behind Narasimha being in the shanta (peaceful) form here. Mahavishnu, as Narasimha, killed the demon Hiranyakashipu and saved his devotee Prahlada. This battle saw him taking a ugra (ferocious) form, which however did not leave him even after the demon died. This scared the small boy devotee, Prahlada, to please who, Vishnu calmed down and adopted the shanta roopam! Devotees can worship Narasimha in both the forms here.

Isn’t that interesting?


Architecturally, this temple complex does not count among the better ones in Tamil Nadu. In fact, there is nothing at all, if one is looking for the traditional Dravidian temple architecture, save for the Rajagopuram of the shrine at the foothill. Further, unlike other temples built in the Dravidian style of architecture, the Balipeetha and Dhwaja are at some distance from the gopuram.

The temple complex is spread over approximately 15 acres of land.


  1. Giri Valam (circumambulating the hill) is observed on Poornima (full moon) days.
  2. Abhishekam is not offered to the moolavar, except as an annual “thaila kaappu” (application of herbal oil on the deity) during the month of Kaarthikai (November/December).
  3. Also known as Thoyatri (milk) Malai (hill).  Lord is under the Thoyatri Vimana.  One can witness special Pushpangi alankaram (floral decoration) on Saturdays for Sri Ranganathar.


  1. Brahmmotsavam, Chittirai (April/May)
  2. Panguni Uttiram, Panguni (March/April)
  3. Vaikuntha Ekadashi, Margazhi/Dhanurmasam (December/January)
  4. Garuda Seva, Maasi Magam (February/March)
  5. Narasimha Jayanti, Aani (June/July)
  6. Every Saturday – Pushpangi Alankaram

Temple Timings
8:00 am to 12:00 am
4.00 pm to 8.00 pm

Best Pooja Time to Visit:
Kalasanthi Puja 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Sayaratcha Puja 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

How to Reach

Tiruneermalai is located at about 20 Kms from Chennai, 5 kms from Pallavaram suburban railway station, and around 7.5 kms from Chennai airport.

By Rail Nearest train station – Tambaram, for south bound trains and suburban trains. For all others, Chennai Central

By Air Chennai International Airport (7 kms)

By Road Well connected by government run buses to Tambaram and Pallavaram.

Click here to Visit the Official Website of this Temple

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