Tamil Nadu is blessed with a picturesque natural landscape as well as loaded with captivating cultural heritage. Yes, it is known as the land of Tamils but worldwide travelers visit this Indian state and motivation to come here is the holiest city of Rameswaram and the 12th Jyotirling i.e. Rameswaram Temple. As Lord Rama and Sita first came to this city after defeating Ravana, therefore, holding an influential spot in the epic Saga Ramayana and the Hinduism.
There are many mythological tales and stories associated with Rameswaram’s every appealing spot, which you sense when you visit them. So, feel the divine aura of Rameswaram and know why it varies from other cities of India through my blog.
Let’s Begin –
Religious Getaway to Rameswaram
Just like Varanasi, Rameswaram is one of the most revered cities in India and located on a beautiful Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu. This is where Lord Rama built a bridge across the Sea to Sri Lanka, which is now designated Ram Setu / Adam’s Bridge according to Hindu mythology. Rameswaram holds significant importance in Hindu’s life as it is one of the holy Char Dham destinations; the four sacred abodes which are associated with Lord Vishnu’s incarnations. Therefore is also known as the ‘Abode of God’.
It is highly renowned for Ramanathaswamy/ Rameswaram Temple which is a Hindu pilgrimage site with the longest decorated corridors in the world and a huge sculpted pillar. Other than this, Adam’s Bridge, Pamban Bridge, Dhanushkodi Temple, and epic Tirtham spots make Rameswaram a worthy destination for tourists as well as devotees.
Historical Tales of Rameswaram
Mostly the different temples and structures herein Rameswaram display the tales of Ramayana. But it is also believed that Lord Shiva also worshipped here. In Ramayana, it is said that Rameswaram is that place from where Lord Rama began his journey to take back Devi Sita from Sri Lanka’s King Ravan for which he created Setu.
It is believed that Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu played the role of protector of this mythical bridge (Ram Setu) when Rama crossed the sea to enter Lanka with the help of Vaanar Sena.
Witness Vivid Colors of Rameswaram Temple
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple or simply Rameswaram Temple belongs to one of the 12 most phenomenal Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. It has an incredible amount of significance in the hearts of every Hindu due to its unforgettable stories written in the golden pages of Indian Mythology. This temple complex is stretched around in 15 acres and the design of this temple gives a beautiful example of the Dravidian architectural style.
From this temple, visitors can glimpse beautiful views of Olaikuda, Dhanushkodi, and Pamban beaches. Also, at this temple complex Lord Rama idolised Lord Shiva to wash the sins of killing Ravana.
It is also said that Viswanathar, the Shiva Linga found here, was brought here from Banaras by Hanumana. Lord Rama also worshipped Ramalingam that emerged from the earth which can be seen here.
There are also 22 smaller shrines, including Mahalakshmi Theertham, Savithri Theertham, Gayathri Theertham, Saraswati, Theertam, Nala Theertham, and so on, along with the main shrine which is also a sight of attraction.
Also Read: Top 5 Places To Visit In Tamil Nadu
Other Places to Visit in Rameswaram
Apart from Rameswaram Temple, there are other well-known temples, beautiful bridges in the centre of the island and captivating beaches from a tourist point of view. Take a look –
The Pamban Bridge is one of the most striking locations in Rameswaram. The bridge, which lies in the Palk Strait, is a great engineering wonder that amazes travellers. Opened in 1914, Pamban Bridge is a link the Rameswaram on Pamban Island to Mandapam on the Indian mainland.
This 100 years old bridge, contains 143 pillars, and can be divided into double sections and can be raised above as to bypass big ships and bulk sea carriers. It took around 14 years in completing this 2.4km kong bridge. Pamban Rail Bridge is the oldest sea bridge in India. Another one is Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge, which runs parallel to the rail bridge. It’s the second-longest sea bridge after Pamban so pay a visit to this also.
Dhanushkodi or The End of the Bow is settled between the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. It is the southernmost tip of Rameswaram. It is the place where Vibhishana, brother of Ravana surrendered to Lord Rama. when viewed from a bird’s eye, the sea shape looks like a bow and arrow.
The alluring location makes the visit as religious as God has made it. But in 1964, a cyclone hit the Dhanushkodi town and ruined everything but the relics of the temple and church are still there. You can enjoy the Dhanushkodi Beach till the dusk as it is dangerous to stay there at night.
Situated in Dhanushkodi, Kothandaramaswamy temple is around 500 years old. You must include this temple in your Rameswaram. It is lined with sandy beaches, ancient ruins and wide turquoise sea horizons. It also holds the ruin of the temple described in Ramayana.
It is believed that this temple containing the deities of Rama, Lakshman, Sita & Hanuman. It is that place where Vibhishana, Ravana’s younger brother surrendered to Lord Rama. It is also believed that in this place, Lord Rama performed the last rites of Pattabhishekam of Vibhishan.
Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple
The Panchmukhi / Five-faced Hanuman Temple carries the floating stone which was used in the construction of Ram Setu. It is located approximately 2 km from the Temple of Rameswaram. This temple is noted for Lord Hanuman’s five incarnations, which are Lord Adivaraha, Lord Narasimha, Lord Hayagriva, Lord Garuda and Lord Hanuman of Dhanushkodi Temple.
Hence, it is important places to see in Rameswaram especially for Hanuman devotees. This renowned idol is constructed out of a huge Senthooram stone, which in ancient times was regarded very important. The statue, along with the idols of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, who also have shrines here, is worshipped by Hindus with full devotion. You must pay a visit to this temple.
Agniteertham is a historical sea beach in Rameswaram that attracts thousands of travellers and pilgrims round the year. Located on the beachside of the Ramanathaswamy Temple, the Agniteertham is one such place where taking a dip in the 23 holy water bodies is considered as an integral part of washing away sins.
The location finds its mention in Ramayana and is said to be the place where Lord Rama took a dip to wash away from his sin of killing Ravana who was a half Brahmin.
Other Notable Teertham Are Lakshman Teertham, Jatayu Teertham, Kaveri and Jada Teertham.
Ariyaman Beach, or Kushi Beach, has an incredible width and length. This beach, distinguished by the sea breeze and maintains complete hygiene.
This beach is feasible for enjoying a picnic with friends or family, that’s why it is listed among the important places to visit near Rameswaram.
How to Reach Rameswaram?
Rameswaram is situated at a very strategic location thus it is connected by all cities of Tamil Nadu through Roadways and Railways. It has it own Railway line but no airport is present. If you have to travel via airways, then Madurai is the nearest airport to the town. The Rameswaram Railway Station is directly connected to all major stations like Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur, & Trichy.
Best Time To Visit: Rameswaram has hot summers and pleasant winters. Thus it is recommended that Winters are the perfect season to visit the place.
Staying Options at Rameswaram
Being a popular tourist attraction, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in Rameswaram. A wide range of hotels and guest houses are available according to your taste. Be it family suites at high-end hotels to mid-range accommodation at a prime location or backpackers stay travellers can choose from ample options.
The coastal town of Rameswaram is fantastic for a weekend getaway for those travellers who are looking to have a nice time with family or friends. On the other hand, solo travellers can also have an exciting time exploring this beautiful coastal region. From the ruins of religious shrines to thousands of shorelines, Rameswaram is definitely worth a visit.