There are two holy places known as Pāpanāśana: one is located eight miles southwest of Kumbhakonam, and the other lies near the river Tāmraparṇī, in the district of Tirunelveli, twenty miles west of the city of Tirunelveli (Pālamakoṭā).
Śrī Raṅga-kṣetra (Śrī Raṅgam) is a very famous place. It lies in the district of Tiruchchirāpalli, about ten miles west of Kumbhakonam and near the city of Tiruchchirāpalli, on an island in the Kāverī River. The Śrī Raṅgam temple is the largest in India, and there are seven walls surrounding it. There are also seven roads leading to Śrī Raṅgam. The ancient names of these roads are the road of Dharma, the road of Rājamahendra, the road of Kulaśekhara, the road of Ālināḍana, the road of Tiruvikrama, the Tirubiḍi road of Māḍamāḍi-gāisa, and the road of Aḍa-iyāvala-indāna. The temple was founded before the reign of Dharmavarma, who reigned before Rājamahendra. Many celebrated kings like Kulaśekhara and Yāmunācārya (Ālabandāru) resided in the temple of Śrī Raṅgam. Yāmunācārya, Śrī Rāmānuja, Sudarśanācārya and others also supervised this temple.
The incarnation of the goddess of fortune known as Godādevī or Śrī Āṇḍāl was one of the twelve Ālvārs, liberated persons known as divya-sūris. She was married to the Deity of Lord Śrī Raṅganātha, and later she entered into the body of the Lord. An incarnation of Kārmuka named Tirumaṅga (also one of the Ālvārs) acquired some money by stealing and built the fourth boundary wall of Śrī Raṅgam. It is said that in the year 289 of the Age of Kali, the Ālvār of the name Toṇḍaraḍippaḍi was born. While engaged in devotional service he fell victim to a prostitute, and Śrī Raṅganātha, seeing His devotee so degraded, sent one of His servants with a golden plate to that prostitute. When the golden plate was discovered missing from the temple, there was a search, and it was found in the prostitute’s house. When the devotee saw Raṅganātha’s mercy upon this prostitute, his mistake was rectified. He then prepared the third boundary wall of the Raṅganātha temple and cultivated a tulasī garden there.
There was also a celebrated disciple of Rāmānujācārya’s known as Kūreśa. Śrī Rāmapillāi was the son of Kūreśa, and his son was Vāgvijaya Bhaṭṭa, whose son was Vedavyāsa Bhaṭṭa, or Śrī Sudarśanācārya. When Sudarśanācārya was an old man, the Muslims attacked the temple of Raṅganātha and killed about twelve hundred Śrī Vaiṣṇavas. At that time the Deity of Raṅganātha was transferred to the temple of Tirupati, in the kingdom of Vijaya-nagara. The governor of Gingee, Goppaṇārya, brought Śrī Raṅganātha from the temple of Tirupati to a place known as Siṁha-brahma, where the Lord was situated for three years. In the year 1293 Śaka (A.D. 1371) the Deity was reinstalled in the Raṅganātha temple. On the eastern wall of the Raṅganātha temple is an inscription written by Vedānta-deśika relating how Raṅganātha was returned to the temple.