Rameswaram is a town located in south India and is situated on Pamban island, is about 50 kilometers from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram are the four most important holy places in India.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place from where the Hindu god Rama built a bridge, across the sea, to Lanka, to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites (the people who follow Shiva) and Vaishnavites (The people who follow Vishnu).
The Ramanathaswamy Temple is the most notable historic landmark of the town. The temple, located in the centre of town, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to the lord Shiva. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlinga meaning 'pillar of light'. And there are plenty of Poojas performed throughout the day. This temple has the longest corridor amongst all the Hindu temples in India.
The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum - one built by Goddess Sita, from sand, residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Lord Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Lord Hanuman - the tradition continues even today.
Around this Rameswaram temple, there are 64 Theerthams (Holy water), 24 of them are most important and bathing in these is considered to be equivalent to penance. The most important tanks are Agni theertha, the sea, JadayuTheertham, King of the Birds, who fought in vain with the demon-king Ravana to save Sita, and is said to have fallen down at Jadayu Theertham as his wings were severed. VilloondiTheertham, Villoondi Theertham literally translates to 'buried bow', is located around 7 kilometres from the main temple on the way to Pamban. It is believed to be the place where Rama quenched the thirst of Sita by dipping his bow into the sea water.
GandhamathanParvatham, a hillock situated 3 km to the north of the temple is the highest point in the island. There is a two storey hall, where Rama's feet are found as an imprint on a chakra (wheel). The Ramarpatham Temple is located on the hillock.
Dhanushkodi is situated in the tip of the extreme south in India and holds the famous Kothandaramaswamy temple dedicated to Rama, is 18 km from the centre of the town. This temple is considered to be a powerful temple as it was untouched by the terrible cyclone that took place in 1964.
|Makar Sankranti||14th January|
|Brahmotsavam||In February for 13 days|
|Maha Shivratri||In February or in March|
|Vasantotsavam||In May or in June for 10 days|
|Ramalinga Pratistha||In May or in June for 3 days|
|Adi Amavasai||In July|
|Thirukalyanam||In July or in August for 17 days|
|Navaratri & Dasara||In September or in October for 10 days|
|Vaikuntha Ekadesi||In December|
|Airport||Madurai is the closest international airport 177 km from Rameswaram|
|Train station||located on the GP Road|
|Weather||It is sunny throughout the year and the Monsoon season starts in August and ends in September. The winter is from November to February.|