Rameswaram………. Kaashi Of South India
Rameswaram is a holiest place for Hindu pilgrims in India, also part of Char Dham Yatra (Dwarka,Varanasi,Puri ,Rameswaram) which Hindus should visit these four places at least once in life to achieve moksh. Rameswaram is Island in South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. This island is also known as Pamban Island, and is connected with India mainland by Pamban Bridge.
Mythologically, it is said that King Rama with the help of Hanuman and Wanar Sena built a Setu(bridge) from here to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from Ravan, there is evidence of this Setu in many local temples, there are the stones which floats on water. Also after defeating Ravan , Lord Rama along with wife Sita and brother Laxshman worshipped Lingam of Lord Shiva here to overcome the sin of “Bhramahatya”.
Ramanathaswamy Temple is most notable epic landmark in Rameshwaram, this famous temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ramnathaswamy temple has 22 sacred Theerthams(holy water tanks) within the temple, bathing in these tanks is considered as reparation for all wrong deeds .
How to Reach Rameshwaram?
By Air :
Nearest airport is Madurai International Airport which is 170Km from Rameswaram, which is well connected with major cities of India and Abroad as well. One can take a cab from Airport or take a bus or train from Madurai.
Rameswaram terminus is just 1 km away from Ramnathaswamy temple, there are many trains to Rameswaram from Kanyakumari,Chennai,Coimbatore,Madurai.
There are many passenger trains from Madurai on daily basis from 6.00am onwards. It is convenient and pocket friendly to catch a train from Madurai.
You can hire a cab from Madurai or Tanjavaur to this island this journey is breath-taking specially through Pamban Bridge, which costs approx 3500 Rs for one way.
You can catch a bus from Madurai Bus Stand, there are frequent buses from Madurai which cost just 200 Rs per person.
Duration to Stay:
Rameswaram is holy destinations for Indians,2 days with planned itinerary is perfectly ok to visit this sacred place. If you want to explore this Island plan at least 3 days of stay.
People come to Rameswaram to seek the blessings of almighty Lord Shiva,(Ramnathswamy),as this is the holiest place for Hindus. The temples include of two shrines and 22 water tanks (Theerthams/Kunds).
It is said that people should take a bath in Agni Theertham which is just 2 min walkable from temple & 22 Theerthams and then take darshan of Lord Shiva is considered equal to penance. There are proper sign boards for direction of these theerthams Mahalakshmi theertham ,Gayatri,Savitri,Saraswathi,are some of them. Now a days you are not allowed to enter Sannidhi with wet cloths, so carry single dress in water proof bag.
Once you enter the temple premises along with Shiva Sanidhi and Parvati Amman Sanidhi there re many shrines of god and goddess. There is a facility of special and normal darshan.
In the evening after 7.30 pm ,puja archana is performed there is a ritual in temple that idol of Shiva is brought to Parvathi Amman’s Sanidhi and god take rest here .
Temple timings are 4.00 am to 1.00pm and 4.00pm to 8.00pm.
Places to Visit:
People come here to visit The Ramnathaswamy Temple but there are many places and temples nearby to visit, you can hire local taxi or Six seater for local tour,six seater approx. charges 500 to 600 Rs for this local visit.
This is the first theertham in Sea and is located just 5 min walking distance from Temple. Near to this Ghat Hindus performs ancestors rituals for their peace .
Gandamadana Parvatham is a deity of people in South India. It is the famous place to visit just 5km from temple
This is a temple where the feets of Lord Rama are imprinted on the chakra.It is situated on Gandamadana Parvatham.
4.Dhanuskodi & Dhansukodi Beach:
Dhanuskodi is the end tip of Rameswaram, this was the small town but severe cyclone wiped out the town, now a days hardly people live there, you can visit the beach here.
The longest bridge which connects mainland India and Island Rameswaram, this bridge is almost 7 km long constructed on the Bay of Bengal. Indira Gandhi Road Bridge and Pamban Rail Bridge are the most convenient mode of communication.
Rail passes slowly on this bridge, this bridge is constructed in such a way that if the Ship want to pass from here the bridge opens from the middle and let the Ship pass.
6.APJ Abdul Kalam House & Kalam Memorial:
Rameswaram is the hometown of The Missile man of India ,Mr APJ Abdul Kalam,You can visit The House of Kalam which is now turned into Museum where you can get to know about the achievements of Mr Kalam.
Memorial is built in the honour of Mr Kalam. This memorial replicates the work done by Missile Man.
This temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman ,mythologically people say that hanuman showed his awatar with 5 faces ,so it is famous as Panchmukhi Hanuman.
Here near this temple you can see there are many stones floating in the water which gives the evidences that floating Setu was built by Ram Sena
Viloondi Teertham is one of the sacred teertham near to beach, it is said that Lord Rama bowed a arrow to quench the thirst of his people.
This theertham is near to Sea but the water from this theertham is very cool and sweet.
9. Lakshman Theertham:
This theertham is scared and dedicated to lord Lakshman, there are many sculptures which indicates the love and unity of Ram and Laxshmana
This temple and theertham is dedicated to Jatayau Bird ,jatayau plays important role in Ramayana ,also a Jataayau is also known as friend and well wisher of Lord Rama who fought with Ravana to rescue Sita.
Best Time to Visit:
Best time to visit here is , between November to May, usually April -May is very hot.
Nearby places to Visit :