|Rameshwaram is an island situated in
the gulf of manner at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important
pilgrim centre of the Indians. Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord
Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her
abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to
cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites
visit this pilgrimage which is known as the Varanasi the south.
Rameshwaram is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras is
incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The presiding deity is the
Linga Of Sri Ranganatha, which happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas
of India. Rameshwaram is also popularly referred to as the 'Benaras of the
south'. In order to attain Moksha it is believed that the visit to
Rameshwaram is mandatory.
According to the Hindu mythology i.e. the story of Ramayana Lord Rama
performed thanksgiving rituals to Lord Rama after the battle at Sri Lanka
and his triumph over the demon king Ravana. Owing to this Rameshwaram
attracts Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and Saivites (worshippers
of Lord Shiva) alike. Sri Lanka is at a distance of 24 kilometers from
Rameshwaram. In fact the entire area of Rameshwaram is associated with
various incidents from the Ramayana. Rameshwaram happens to one of the most
visited pilgrim sites in India.
Location and Area
The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kilometers and
happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies
major area of Rameshwaram. The masterpiece of Dravidian architecture boasts
of the largest temple corridor in India. Different rulers built the
Ramanatha Swamy Temple over a period of time starting from the 12th century.
The temple comprises of twenty-two wells where the taste of the water of
each well is different from the other.
Attaractions of Rameshwaram
- Ramanathaswamy Temple
temple was built in the 17th century. Situated close to the sea on
the eastern side of the island, this temple is famous for its 1200
gigantic granite columns. The 54 metre tall gopuram (gate-tower),
1220 metres of magnificent corridors and the flamboyant columns
embellish and render fame to the temple. The water in each of the 22
sacred wells in the temple tastes different.
100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama
worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself from the killing Ravana.
- Gandamadana Parvatham
The imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a Chakra (wheel) is found
in this shrine which is at the highest point on the island at 2 km
Dhanushkodi named after Rama's bow, is at the eastern end of the
island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram. The boulders around
the sea between Srilanka and this place known as Adam's bridge, are
believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Srilanka.
Dhhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964.
Kothandaramaswamy temple is the only salvage of the cyclone. Idols
of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (brother of
Ravana), surrendered to Rama, here.
An important site for Muslim pilgrims, Erwadi houses the tomb of
Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. At a distance of 24 kilometers from Rameshwaram
is Erwadi. Muslims from across the globe visit Erwadi especially
during the month of December to participate in the annual festival
celebrated as a tribute to the saint.
This ancient town is the district headquarters. The Ram Vilas
Palace of the Sethupati Rajas is a must visit place. The oil
portraits of the Rajas of the past centuries and the articulately
designed ceilings and walls embellished with eighteenth century
murals, the subjects of which vary from business. Meetings with the
English to battles with the Marathas, make this place more
Outside the island, there are three other sites traditionally
connected with Sri Rama's expedition to Sri Lanka. A big temple in
Tiruppullani commemorates the tradition that there the Lord obtained
a bow and arrows to use in the impending war from its presiding
Deity and also that the Lord of the Ocean who had refused to help
Him finally submitted.
16-km southwest of Ramanathapuram stands the renowed Shiva temple
of Uttarakosamangai. Manikkavachagar has sung of it. The Lord is
Mangaleshvara and the Goddess Mangalesvari. The temple has inspired
many Tamil works of devotion. So, of course, has the Ramanatha
temple in Rameshwaram.
5-km south of the temple is Sethu, where there is a celebrated
temple of Sri Anjaneya, and where, tradition holds, Sri Rama built a
bridge to Sri Lanka. In Devipatnam, or Navapashanam, also by the
sea, there are nine stones visible at low tide. It is believed that
they were set up by Sri Rama to represent the nine planets, the
The nearest airport is Madurai, 173 kms away. Rameswaram has rail
connections with all major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy
and Tanjavur. Connected with all the important towns of Tamil Nadu, buses
and taxis ply regularly. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation
also operates buses to Rameswaram.
India Temple Tour
: 14 Nights / 15 Days
: Chennai - Kanchipuram
Mamallapuram - Pondicherry Trichy - Thanjavur - Madurai -
Rameshwaram - Coimbatore - Ooty - Nagarhole - Mysore - Hassan -
India Pilgrimage Tour
: 15 Days
: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram -
Chidambram - Gangekondcholapuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai -
Periyar - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Cochin - Kovalam - Chennai