When we were driving around a bend to reach the Shimsha falls, We read the board of Madhya ranga and on our way back stopped to see the temple. It is also called Sri Jaganmohana Ranganatha temple. A pretty huge temple, Simple but very divine. The villagers told us the priest had gone to a nearby place for the wedding and so the sanctum was closed. I walked to the huge wooden double door and found their was a peep hole for darshan. I peeped through to find the divine lord clad in dhoti and garlands, absolutely stunning through the filtering light of the oil lit lamps. There are very few idols which can send such vibrations. This was one such. The image and calmness is finely embedded in my memory, that it is flashing every now and then.
Devout Hindus travelling towards Mysore can mark this place called 'Madhya Ranga' at Shivanasamudram.
The 3 major riverine Islands formed by River cauvery are Srirangapattina, Shivanasamudram and Srirangam. Apart from having historical significance and natural beauty, these 3 islands are also major pilgrim centres.
All the 3 Islands have a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu popularly called as Sri Ranganatha. The reclining pose of Vishnu on the multiheaded serpent Adisesha is called Sri Ranganatha and his consort Lakshmi is called Ranganayaki.
Sri Rangapattina is called Adi ranga (the first one)
Shivanasamudram is called Madhyaranga ( the middle one)
Sri rangam is called Antya ranga (the last one).
Of all these Srirangapattina and Sri Rangam are famous but not much is known about Madhya ranga. This is supposed to be a 1500 year old temple built by the cholas, who were known for unique architecture and the idol is made of black fossil stone( saliigrama). A legend goes that Sri Hari gave darshan to Lord Indra here. The Idol is also small compared to adi and antya ranga, . Visiting all the 3 Rangakshetras ( adi, madhya and antya) between suryoday(dawn) to suryasth( dusk) is considered auspicious and called Brahmanda darshan or triranga darshan. The belief of devouts is that this darshan washes away your sins and gives peace and plenty.
A tidbit: All of us know that the Pilgrim center SriRangapattina was the capital of Tipusultan, The ruler of Mysore who gave the British nightmares but very few of us know that he was a devotee of Sri Ranganatha. He is supposed to have had conversations with the Lord. He also rose to the morning chants of ' O Ranga' . My parents 80+ old neighbour @ bangalore told me that there was a 'Sri Ranga' temple beside all Tipu's palace. There is one at Bangalore city market too. Besides Tipu's wooden summer palace is a Fort temple dedicated to Vishnu.
Interested, may check a video on Madhyaranga here.