Rameswaram is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar located 572 km away from Chennai. It is a major pilgrim centre. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana. Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved of one’s sins. It is 197 metres long. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges.
Places to see in Rameswaram: There is a number of sight seeing destinations from Rameshwaram. These include:
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
This temple situated near the sea on the eastern side of the island is renowned for its magnificent prakaras or corridors with massive sculptured pillars on either side. The longest corridor in the world is here and it is 197 metres long from East to West and is 133 metres wide from South-North. The temple has a Gopuram 38.4 metres tall. Different rulers built the temple as it stands today, at different periods from the 12th century A.D. Pooja is performed for an hour early morning daily to the Spadikalingam that was given by the Shankaracharya to this temple. There is a popular belief that one needs to take bath in 22 theertha kundams with in the temple premises before having darshan. There many guides who will approach us as soon as we enter the temple premises. One needs to negotiate the deal of how much to pay them if we need their services. It is believed that the water from these kundams have some medicinal properties. The history of the temple is linked with “Ramayan” and it is believed the the diety was installed by Lord Rama after the war with Ravana at the instance of the great saints to get rid of the “Brahma Dosham”.
Sri Ramanathaswamy temple faces east. The seashore, about 100 metres from the main entrance of the temple, is very calm and therefore ideal for bathing. The water at this place is considered sacred and known as Agni theertham. Pilgrims perform poojas in honour of their ancestors at this seashore.
It is a hillock situated 3 km away and is the highest point in the island. Here one can see the imprint of Lord Rama’s feet on a chakra. The entire island of Rameswaram is visible from this point.
This temple is situated on the way to Gandamadana Parvatham near the Doordarshan Kendra.
Satchi Hanuman Temple
The temple is considered to be the place where Hanuman delivered the good news of finding Sita to Rama with satchi or evidence, Choodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita. It is just 3 km from the main temple, on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.
This is a temple for Devi Durga, situated 2 km from the main temple on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.
The Five-faced Hanuman Temple
Just 2 km from the main temple, here the idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman brought from Dhanushkodi during the 1964 cyclone were placed here. The floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanamor the bridge between India and Lanka can be found in this temple.
It is about 3.5 km from Rameswaram on the Dhanushkodi road – legend has it that Lord Rama, on his way back after killing Ravana, worshipped Sri Ramalinga (believed to be installed by him). Before doing so, he washed his hair (Jada) in this theertham to purify himself.
Nambu Nayagiamman Temple
This is greatly venerated by the people of Ramnad District. It is situated 8 km from the main temple in Rameswaram on the way to Dhanushkodi.
Nearby attractions from Rameswaram: From here you can make excursions to places like:
This is located 12 km away from Rameswaram. A popular belief is that Vibishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered before Rama here.
The southern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the 1964 cyclone. This is a strip of land about one km wide and 18 km long on the eastern end of Rameswaram island. On one side are the waters of the Indian Ocean and on the other the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The two seas otherwise known as Ratnakaran and Mahodadhi with their confluence is shaped like a bow while the strip of land resemble an arrow poised for release. Devout Hindus consider the Adi Sethu or the arrowhead, a sacred place to perform religious rites. It is also place worth visiting for its scenic beauty and bird life.
This site is situated 7 km from the main temple on the way to Pamban.
Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge
Also known as the Pamban Bridge this place is just 12 km from Rameshwaram that connects the Rameswaram island with the main land. It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is nearly 2.2 km and stands as a fine example for Indian architecture. The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. The islands nearby and the parallel rail bridge below are clearly visible from this bridge.
Things to do in Rameshwaram: Explore this sacred pilgrimage and feel the spiritual ecstasy in its air.
Best time to visit Rameshwaram: Rameswaram has a tropical climate and can be visited any time of the year. But the best time to visit is from October to April.
How to go ?
he nearest airport is in Madurai, 163 km from here. If you are traveling from some distant location then taking a flight will be the best decision.
You can easily get regular trains to Rameshwaram from other major cities of the country. It is well connected by rail with cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichy.
There are regular buses from other major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichyof to Rameshwaram.
Where to stay ?
There are adequate accommodation facilities in Rameshwaram. Some options are:
Hotel Pearl Residency :+91-04573-222262, 63, 64 Website: www.hpr-rsm.com
Blue Coral Cottage: +91 4573 221 703, 95780 76352 Website: www.bluecoralcottage.com
Hotel Sunrise View: 04573-223434, 04573-222453 Website:www.hotelsunriseview.com
Hotel Vinayaga: +91- 04573 222361 , 222363 Website: www.vinayagahotel.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.