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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.
LOCATION AND AREA
» Area -
51.8 sq km
WHERE TO STAY
There are several hotels, lodges, cottages and hostel that provide ample services and facilities for a comfortable stay. The pilgrims may opt for the dormitory service at the temple. Since throughout the twelve months in a year Rameshwaram remains hot and humid there is not much temperature variation that is experienced though it is most pleasant between October and March.
PLACES TO VISIT
Ramnathswamy 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
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 from Rameswaram.
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
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 interesting.
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
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 Navagrahas.