Where is Rameshwaram?
The religious island of Rameshwaram is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It occupies a position at the very tip of the India peninsula.
How will you gain access?
Madurai (173 km) is the closest airport from Rameshwaram. The city is well linked by rail to cities like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Thanjavur. There are regular bus and taxi services available connecting the place to all the major towns of the state. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation also plies buses to Rameshwaram.
What does it signify?
Rameshwaram is the place from where Rama built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita from the demon king Ravana. This is also the very place where Rama offered prayers to Shiva to free himself of the sin of killing Ravana.
The city has a special religious significance as a pilgrimage to Benaras is considered to be incomplete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The Linga of Sri Ranganatha is the presiding deity of the place. It is counted among the 12 Jyotirlingas of the country. On account of its religious significance, it is also referred to as the ‘ Benaras of the South’. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals here after putting an end to the wicked king Ravana, the abductor of Rama’s consort Sita. The place is associated with innumerable incidents from the great Hindu epic Ramayana.
What beckons devotees?
The Ramanathaswamy Temple was erected in the 17th century. The temple is widely renowned for 1200 massive granite columns. The 54-metre tall Gopuram, 1220 metres of the magnificent corridor and the elaborately ornamented columns have earned the temple huge popularity. What is most fascinating is the fact that the water in each of the 22 sacred wells has a different taste.
Moving 100 metres away from the temple one arrives at the Agniteertham. This is the same place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to free himself of the sin of killing Ravana.
The Gandamadana Parvatham lies at a distance of 2 km from Rameshwaram. The place preserves the footprint of Lord Rama. The place is profoundly honoured by the Hindus.
At a distance of 8 km from Rameshwaram, lies the place called Dhanukshodi. It is located at the eastern end of the island and is named after Rama’s bow. The boulders that lie between Sri Lanka and this place are known as Adam’s Bridge. The bridge is believed to have been used by Hanumanji to get to Sri Lanka in pursuit of Rama’s consort Sita.
Awadhi is known all around for the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. The place lies at a distance of 24 km from the city of Rameshwaram. It sees a huge number of Muslim pilgrims during the month of December when an annual festival is organised to pay tributes to the saint.
What is the best time?
Rameshwaram has a hot and humid climate and there is not much difference in temperature during the summer and winter months. The city can be visited throughout the year.