The Place Srirangpatna had the name of the Srirangapuri in the early ages later it got the name of the Srirangapatna. The town is an island being surrounded by the river Cauvery. In this town there are temple of sriranganatha. Sri Lakshinarasimha, Sri Gangadereshwara, Sri Jyothirmaheshwara and other small temples. Among them the main temple is that of Sri Ranganatha. The inner apartment of SriRanganatha temple was built in 817 A.D by a lady by name Hambi, of the class of dancers in the yea ar 894 A.D. When a king of the Ganga dynasty was the ruler, a person by name Thirumalaraya got constructed the Navaranga mantap and the temple of Lord Thirumala(Srinivasa) at the left side portion of the great Mahadwara. In the year 1117 A.D when Sri Ramanuja came to this part after escaping from the chole country here a join by name Hoysala Bittideva was the ruler, Sri Ramanuja got him converted to a Vaishnava and named him Vishnuvardhana.
Sri Ramanuja got from this ruler much wealth and the lands of eight villages. He nominated certain office bearers named as prabhus or Hebbars to administer over the service of the lord in the year 1454 A.D. Then the hebbar Thimmanna by name went to Vijayanagara and became an official called as Dayanayaka in the court of the king of Vijayanagara.He returned from Vijayanagara and got constructed the fort for the town and the big wall for the temple and the big gate in front. Later the town of Srirangapatna came under the direct control of the Vijayanagara King. One of the representatives of these kings, Sri Ranganatha by name enlarged the town and got constructed the inner prakara in the temple five steps at the big gate and 2 stone elephants on both sides.
His wife Alumelamma was a great devotee and righteous women. A good number of ornaments were made by her, and they would be made to be worn by the Goddess on every Tuesday and Friday .Alumelamma would have a darshan of the Goddess with ornaments on. Srirangaraya began to suffer much from a wound in the back, so he could not look after the administration of the state. He had no Children. As then the Mysore king was efficient he sent word for the Mysore King Sri Rajawaderyar and gave over the administration of the kingdom to him. He then retired to Malangi near Talakad and ended his life there after some time. Even after the death of Sri Rangaraya the practice of putting the ornaments to the Goddess on Tuesday and Friday continued . One Friday Shri Raja wodeyar came to the temple for darshan. On learning the ornaments would be returned to alumelamma after the end of the day, Sri Raja wodeyar insisted that they should not be returned to her but should b eon the Goddess at all time.
But by this time, Alumelamma had not returned some ornaments. Sri Raja wodeyar demanded her of these ornaments. Alumelamma thought it would be unwise to stay there and sitting on a rode away to Talakad. Some soldiers followed her. In order to escape from them she jumped into the deep water of Cuvery near Malangy uttering a curse that Talakad should become very deep water and the Mysore Kings should have no children. Immediately the Malangi became very deep. And around it great sandy desert arose. The Soldiers could not find her out.Even now one can see that Talakad is in the midst of a great sandy area and that Malangy water are very deep.
On hearing the curse uttered by Alumelamma and her ending at Talakadu.Sri Raja wodeyar became greatly grieved and arranged the construction of an idol of Alumelamma in his place and offered to worship magnificently on a large scale during Dasara. This custom has continued even to the present day. One can see the idols of Sri Rangaraya and Alumelamma near the Dwarapalakas in the temple. One of the ornaments given by Alumelamma the jewel for the nose, can be seen even now. This jewel is said is as big as lime fruit, but has been gradually decreasing in size. From the year 1610 to 1799 town of Srirangapatna was the capital of the Mysore state.In the year 1761 the Mysore King Sri Krishna Raja wodeyar appointed on Hyder Ali as the commander in chief. Hyder it is said was a great devotee to Lord Ranganatha, would appear to him in dreams and see him. Before Hyder would undertake any arduous task he would take the approval of the God –is told which brings out the devotions of Hyder and the greatness of Lord Ranganatha. Once when a enemies troop had entered into the border of the Mysore territory. Hyder started with an army to oppose the enemies in the fight. The enemies were having the upper hand and the Hyder’s army was between the river Godavary, on one hand and the enemy troops on the other. Hyder was confused and despondent. At the critical moment he prayed to Lord Ranganatha. Immediately the river Godavary dried up, so that the Mysore army could safely cross the river. when the enemy troop followed them the Godavary was in floods, so that enemies could not cross the river. Hyder now returned safely with his army to Srirangapatna and once again after offering prayers to the Lord he started with his army to oppose the enemies and returned successfully.
This incident brings out well the great devotion of Hyder Ali towards Lord Ranganatha and the greatness of the Lord. Every year in the month of Dhanur from the twenty first onwards grand utsavas to the Lord were being called as the Kotarothsava for these celebrations a big Kothara was got constructed and during the days of the utsavas there it would be made to have a very magnificent appearance.By costly grabs bright lights and the green such a decorated Mantapa would be called the Kotara Mantap or the Ranga Mahal. During Kotarothsava each day the seva would be done by a royal family on the ninth day, the seva would be done by Maharaja when God would have the Mohini Alanakar.
Music by reputed musicians would be arranged.Dancing also would be had. To witness the utsava many people including Maharaja Hyder and people of Royal family and Hyder Zanana people would gather in the temple. In the year 1774 A.D when the Kotarothsava was being celebrated on the eighth day all of a sudden a fire caused a little danger. The Maharaja was grieved by the mishap. In order to please him and see that no inconvenience was greatly caused to the ustava. Hyder instantly ordered workmen to construct a stone mantap at the very same place. The next day the new mantap was ready by the time the ustava had to commence. the new mantap got the name of pathala mantap form then onwards. the Kotharothsava now are being celebrated in the Pathala Mantap.
After the death of Hyder in 1782 A.D his son Tippu became the commander in chief within a very short time. Tippu drove the king out and became the sultan himself. Then Mummadi Krishna Raja wodeyar was only five years old. In order to protect him from the Muslim he was closed in the fifth floor of the temple tower. Tippu came to power one of his courtiers, Mir Saqiq by name became a Prominent person in his court court and he got ruled a number of temple. Such as that of Sri Lakshminarisimha swamy and Gangadhara swamy. On seeing that the temple were got destroyed some of the authorities of the temple protected their Gods by putting on roots similar to that of houses for their temples. one of such temple is that of Sri Janaradhana swamy in the Poornaiah street in the town.
The archaka of some other smaller temples in the town brought the idols secretly to the Ranganatha temple and installed them within the big walls of the temples. such idols are those of Lord Krishna, Sri Pattabhi Rama and Sri Gopala Krishna playing on the flute. All these idols are quite handsome ones giving a feast to the eyes of the onlookers. However no one dared to cause any damage to the Sri Ranganatha temple as Hyder had been interested in it. during his life time.
In the fight with English, Tippu was defeated by them. He had to play a large sum of money as tribute to the English. But he had no sufficient money with him. He therefore took some valuable ornaments from the temple and gave them to the English. Later some of the ornaments went in to the hands of French which later went to the Russian and which can see even now in Kremlin.The remaining ornaments was that of Lord Ranganatha. There were considered to be donation of Tippu. On them are carved as donated by Tippu Sultan.
When Srirangapatna fell into the hands of English in 1799 A.D Mummadi Krishnaraja wodeyar made Mysore as his capital and appointed Poornaiah as his Dewan this king continued to get done Pooja on the 9th day of the Kotharothasava according to the usual practice. Not only his, he got created a Mantap in his birth place and arranged for the Processions of the Lord to the Mantap. Later fourth Krishnaraja Wadeyar got constructed the Sri Chamrajajendra memorial Choultry in memory of his father that the got constructed a flight of steps to Cauvery so that the people might easily get down to the river this place is called the Rajghat. The mantap which was originally constructed by the Mummadi Krishnaja Wodeyar was enlarged and around it a garden of flower and thulasi was got up for the use of Lord’s worship. The Lord would be taken in a procession to this mantap on the birthday of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar Viz the Ashada, Bahula, Bidige. The celebrations on that day would be called Sakkare Pongal ustava. After Sri Jayachamarajendra wodeyar came to the throne these ustavas were being celebrated even upto 1953-54 and on the day of the ustavas that was being done in memory of the mummadi King the Courtiers vidwans and other important persons of the Palace would attend the celebrations.
Thus the town of Srirangapatna with its glorious temples is a great pilgrimage center. It is learnt that originally Lord rested looking towards the east. And his face directed upwards with a little space left between the hand and the head. This change in the position of the Lord is very well witnessed by the pilgrims and can announced by the description of the sages in the past would.
On hearing such a greatness of Lord Ranganatha and of the river Cauvery who not like to visit place of much hollowness to make a bath in the river and to have a darshan of the Lord Hindus do well to visit this place and get the grace of the Lord. So that they be happy both in this world in the next.