The great Ranganathaswamy temple may not be well known in the West, but the shrine is the greatest of all those devoted to Vishnu in Tamil Nadu. It is officially the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world and it is visited by millions of Hindu worshippers each year.

Seven sets of perimeter walls, or ‘prakaras’, enclose its main shrine, where a whole township of Brahmin priests, cooks, flower sellers and incense makers will be hard at work from the time the first pilgrims arrive dripping wet from the river at dawn.

You can add this experience to any tailor-made itinerary that includes a night in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy)

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