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Indian Pilgrimage » Rameswaram

About Rameswaram

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 eyes.

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.

History

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 in India.

Attractions At Rameshwaram

Ramanathswamy Temple

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 and enthusiasm.

Kothandaraswamy Temple

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.

Dhanushkodi

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.

Erwadi

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.

Nearby Excursions

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.

Transportation

  • 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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