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Rameshwaram

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Also known as: -
Shopping: Rameswaram silk sarees, decorative masterpieces and seashell-beads-palm leaf showpieces.
History of: Ancient times
Population: 40 thousand

Rameshwaram, a major pilgrimage centre is referred as the Varanasi of South India. Rameshwaram is an island situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the tip of the Indian peninsula in Tamil Nadu. The sacred island of Rameshwaram is about 173 km. from Madurai and only 80 kms. away from Sri Lanka. The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kms. and happens to be in the shape of a conch. This island was the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva in order to cleanse away the sins after he killed the Ravana, king of Lanka and also built the bridge across the sea to bring his consort, Sita back from Ravana. This place is sacred to the devotees of both Vishnu and Shiva. Rameshwaram is also one of the most visited pilgrimage place in India. It is also believed that the pilgrimage to Kashi is not considered complete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The highest point of the island has the footprints of Lord Rama. Rameshwaram is also a place from where the ferry to Sri Lanka (Talaimannar) departs.

Major Attractions

 

Ranganathaswamy Temple
Ranganathaswamy Temple is the famous temple at Rameshwaram. This temple is believed to have been built on the site where Rama worshipped Shiva in order to do penance for killing the Ravana, king of Lanka. This temple is one of twelve Jyotirlingas of India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of this temple is the Linga of Sri Ranganatha. This temple is one of the most beautiful shrines in terms of sculptures. This temple rises above a lake as a vast rectangle about 1,000 feet long and 650 feet wide and covers an area of 15 acres. This temple belongs to the 12th century and was built by the different rulers over a period of time and was completely built after three centuries. One of the remarkable feature of the temple is its corridor. This corridor is the longest corridor in the country that extends to 1200 metres and is flanked on either side by ornate pillars. Each pillar is an

individual composition carved out of solid granite. Some of the leading architects have also described the temples as the most evolved of all Dravidian temples. There are twenty-two wells in the temple and the taste of the water in each well is different from each other.

Kothandaramaswamy Temple
The Kothandaramaswamy Temple is another famous temple at Rameshwaram. This temple has idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman and Vibhishan, the main characters of the epic Ramayana.

Kurusadai Island
The Kurusadai Island is located close to Rameshwaram. The Kurusadai Island is one of a cluster of 16 islands in the region. The waters surrounding the islands are a biological paradise with rich and rare marine life and coral reefs.

Dhanushkodi
The Dhanushkodi is situated at the eastern end of the island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram. Dhnushkodi is named after the Rama's bow. The waters of the Bay of Bengal and Indian ocean meet here. Bathing at this place is considered very auspicious by the Hindus. The bridge here is known as the Adam's bridge and the boulders around the sea are believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Sri Lanka. Dhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964.

Gandhamathana Parvtham
This highest point on the island lies just 3kms. North of the shrine. A two storeyed mandapam her is believed to have an imprint of the Lord,Rama’s feet on a charka. On the way are Sukreevar Temple and Theertham.

Agnitheertham
Agnitheertham is about 100 metres away from the temple of Ranganathaswamy. This is the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to cleanse away the sins after killing the Ravana.

Ramanathapuram
The ancient town of Ramanathapuram is the district headquarters of Rameshwaram. The Ram Vilas Palace of the Sethupati Rajas is a worth visiting place in Ramanathapuram. The oil portraits of the Rajas of the past centuries and the articulately designed ceilings and walls embellished with eighteenth century murals can be seen in this place. The meetings with the English to battle with the Marathas were also held at this place.

Oriyur
The Christian pilgrim centre, 60kms. From Ramnathpuram is the site of martyrdom of St. John De Britto, a Portuguese Jesuit better Known as ‘Arul Anandar’. A fine church here enshrines a statue of Arul Anandar.

 

Nearby Excursions

 

Uthirakosamngai (72 kms.)
An ancient Shiva temple here enshrines the image of the presiding deity carved in emerald. Arudhra festival celebrated there in February – March every year attracts a large number of devotees.

Devipattinam (Navabashanam) (70 kms.)
Lord Rama is said to have worshipped the ‘Navagrahas’ at this coastal village. Hindus perform religious rites for their ancestors over here.

Kurusadai Island (20 kms.)
It lies to the west of Pamban Bridge, about 4 kms. from Mandapa. The Marine Biosphere here is a ‘paradise’ for the marine biologists and nature lovers.

Rameshwaram Setu (5 kms.)
Rameshwaram Setu is located about 5 km south of the Ranganathaswamy temple. This is the place where the Lord Rama built the bridge across the sea to bring his consort, Sita back from Ravana, the king of Lanka. There is also a temple of Sri Anjaneya. 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 Navagrahas.
 

Fun Festives

  • Masi Sivaratri – this festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva

  • Mahalaya Amavasai – last day of Mahalaya Paksham

  • Thai Amavasay

  • Thirukalyanam

Distance from major cities
Madurai 173 Kms
Pondicherry 319 Kms
Thanjavur 187 Kms

 

How to reach there

by Air The nearest airport is located at Madurai, about 173 kms away.
by Rail Rameshwaram is well connected with Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Thanjavur by rail.
by Road Rameshwaram is connected with all the important towns of Tamil Nadu.

Hotels in Rameshwaram

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