Rameswaram Island Tourism


Rameswaram Island is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Rameswaram Island is located on an island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is less than 40 kilometers from the Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka. Together with Kashi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus. Hence, it is a revered pilgrim center.

Rameswaram Island is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the extreme tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legends, this is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge Ram Setu across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Shiva to be absolved of the sin of killing Ravana, hence the name of Shiva. This is the tale behind the nomenclature of the town - Rameswara ("lord of Rama"). Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage centre, which is also known as the Varanasi of the south.

Rameswaram Island has an average elevation of 10 metres (32 feet). The religious island is spread across an area of 61.8 square kilometers and happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies the major area of Rameshwaram Island. The Pamban Bridge connects the island to mainland India. Rameswaram Island experiences dry tropical climate, an average annual rainfall of 94cm that hails from mostly northeast monsoon from October to January. Temperature will be around 30°C to 35°C and the highest ever recorded at Pamban station is 37°C and lowest is 17°C.

Rameswaram Island is significant for the Hindus and their holy journey cannot be complete without offering prayers to the presiding deity in the form of a Linga with the name Sri Ramanatha Swamy. This deity also happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The masterpiece of South Indian architecture boasts of the largest temple corridor in India.

Different rulers have built the Ramanatha Swamy Temple over a period of time starting from the 12th century. The temple comprises twenty-two wells where the taste of the water of each well is quite different from the other. The magnificent part of the temple is the 1219 m pillared corridor consisting of 3.6 m high granite pillars, richly carved and well harmonised. The perspective presented by these pillars run successively to a length of nearly 230 m.

According to the Puranas, upon the advice of Rishis (sages), Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the Sivalinga in the Rameswaram Island to apologize the sin of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahmin), since Ravana was a Brahmin the great grandson of Brahma. Rama fixed an auspicious time for the installation and sent Anjaneya to Mount Kailas to bring a lingam. As Anjaneya could not return in time, Sita herself made a lingam of sand. When Anjaneya returned with a linga from Mount Kailas the rituals had been already over. To comfort the disappointed Anjaneya, Rama had Anjaneya`s lingam (Visvalingam) also installed beside the linga of Ramalinga, and repeated the rituals that were performed first to the Visvalingam.

In Rameshwaram Temple, a religious "Mani Darshan" happens in early morning everyday. This "Mani" is made of "sphatik" and in form of "Holy shivling". According to Veda this is "Mani" of "sheshnag". Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the Rameswaram Island from where God Ram built a Floating Stone Bridge "Ramasethu" till Rameshwaram that further continued from Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka as described in the great Hindu epic Ramayana. The ruins of the Ramasethu are still submerged under the sea as shot from Gemini 1 satellite of NASA in 2004.



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