Rameswaram is an island on the tip of Indian
Peninsula and is connected to the mainland
at Mandapam by rail. The town is in the
Ramanathpuram district. It also known as
the 'Varanasi of the south'. The city is
a major pilgrimage center for Hindus, both
Shaivites and Vaishnavaites.
It is here Lord Rama offered thanks to Siva.
The main attraction of the town is the Ramanathaswamy
Temple,which is one of the most important
temples in southern India. The temple happens
to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It
is also connected by one of India's engineering
wonders, the Indira Gandhi Bridge. It took
14 years to build and was opened by Rajiv
Gandhi late in 1988. Travelers will not
have to face any problems as English is
widely understood and spoken.
Rameshwaram has become a great tourist destination
due to the presence of few of the most known
architectural wonders of South India. Tourist
throng to this city to witness the magnificent
Ramanathaswamy Temple and Kothandaraswamy
temple. Another place that attracts tourist
is the Adam's bridge that is said to be
created by Lord Rama and his Army to cross
to Lanka. Its a chain of small islands that
almost connect India to Sri Lanka. Tourist
can also have a great time shopping as Rameshwaram
is full of different and exquisite items.
You can find a variety of ornamental items
made up of palm leafs and sea shells. To
appreciate the real beauty of these marvels,
you have to see them all in front of your
One of The Four Dhams of Hindus
The great Sage and reformer of
8th century, Sri Shankaracharya(Adi Shankara),
grouped the four most important temples
towns of India and named them 'The Char
Dham' (the four abodes). These four temple
towns are Puri in east, Dwarka in West,
Badrinath in north and Rameshwaram in South.
It is said that one who travels to all these
Dhams in a single tour, attains the ultimate
salvation and is freed from the chain of
rebirth cycle. These towns are considered
to be the most sacred by Hindu religion
and visiting them is considered a must for
everyone before they set upon the final
journey of their life. Rameshwaram with
temples like Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple,
and Kothandaraswamy Temple is definitely
the most important of all the four. People
from all over the world and of all religion
come to Rameshwaram to make their lives
relieved of all the sins of their past lives.
The Hindu mythology says that in
the story of Ramayana, Lord Rama performed
thanksgiving rituals to Lord Shiva after
the battle at Sri Lanka and his triumph
over the demon king Ravana. This is the
reason why Rameshwaram attracts Vaishnavites
(worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and Saivites
(worshippers of Lord Shiva) both. The entire
area of Rameshwaram is associated with various
incidents from the Ramayana. Infact Rameshwaram
is one of the most visited pilgrim sites
Attractions At Rameshwaram
Ramanathswamy Temple is a prime
example of Dravidian architecture, the Temple
has the largest temple hallway in India.
Started in the 12th century, the construction
of temple has contribution from many rulers
who ruled this city at some point of time.
The main attraction of the temple is the
huge twenty-two wells. It is said that the
water in these twenty-two wells all have
different taste and even have curative properties.
Take the golden opportunity and taste the
water from the wells and experience it for
yourself. Festivals like Maha Shivarathri,
Thirukalyanam, Mahalaya Amavasai and Thai
Amavasai all are celebrated with great energy
Kothandaraswamy Temple is around 12 km away
from town. The temple is dedicated to Lord
Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and
Vibhishna. This is the only structure that
withstood the cyclone of 1964. It is said
that it was here that the brother of King
Ravana surrendered to Lord Rama.
A place called Dhanushkodi is located at
the eastern end of the island. It is named
after Lord Ram's bow and is at a distance
of 8 km from Rameshwaram. The chain of small
islets and reefs in the sea between Sri
Lanka and Dhanushkodi collectively are known
as Adam's bridge. It is believed that Lord
Hanuman and his army laid boulders and used
them to reach across to Sri Lanka.
At a distance of 24 km from Rameshwaram,
Erwadi is an important Muslim pilgrim spot.
It is famous for the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid
Auliya, which is located at Erwadi. Muslims
from across the globe visit Erwadi, especially
during the month of December to participate
in the annual festival held to pay tribute
to this saint.
Rameshwaram offers many excursion destinations,
that definitely are worth visiting. Some
of the most popular destinations from Rameshwaram
are Erwadi situated around 24 kms from Rameshwaram.
It is noted for the tomb of saint Ibrahim
Syed Aulia. Ramanathapuram is another important
destination nearby Rameshwaram.
The highlight of this ancient town is the
Ram Vilas Palace of Sethupati Rajas. Uthirakosamangai,
situated 16-km southwest of Ramanathapuram
has a well-known Shiva temple. The temple
has inspired many Tamil works of devotion.
Sethu is situated around 5-km south of this
temple which is also the venue of the celebrated
temple of Sri Anjaneya. According to the
legends this the place where Sri Rama built
a bridge to Sri Lanka.
- Air: The nearest airport
is at Madurai around 163 km away. It takes
around 3 hrs to reach Rameshwaram from
Madurai. The transportation from airport
to city center is not a problem.
- Rail: Rameshwaram is
well connected by rail to cities of Tamil
Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and
other major cities. Two important trains
run daily in and out of the city from
Rameshwaram to Chennai.
- Road: Buses to all
cities of Tamil Nadu are frequent from
Rameshwaram. Apart from State transport
buses, Luxury coaches by Private operators
also operate to and from the city.
- Local Transportation:
Inside the city walls, you can hire a
jeep or an auto rickshaw to visit all
the major tourist attractions of Rameshwaram.