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Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Base Station: Rameshwaram

Nearest City to Rameshwaram: Madurai (174 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Rameshwaram: July to August & November to March

Peak Season: July to August & February to March

State: Tamil Nadu | District: Ramanathapuram

Rameshwaram Weather: Maximum: 48°C
Minimum: 25°C

At a distance of 562 km from Chennai, 227 km from Tirunelveli, 311 km Kanyakumari, 387 km from Pondicherry, 230 km from Trichy, 171 km from Madurai, 371 km from Trivandrum and 607 km from Bangalore, Rameshwaram is one of the most famous Pilgrimage centers in South India & also a Jyotirlinga, situated in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Rameshwaram is also one of the best Tourist places in Tamilnadu.

Rameshwaram Temple is one of the most famous Shiva shrines in India. It is significant for Hindus as a pilgrimage to Banaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameswaram. According to the legend, Rameswaram is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita from Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage which is known as the Varanasi of South. Rameswaram along with Dwarka, Puri and Badrinath form the four Char Dhams.

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, Agnitheertham, Gandamadana Parvatham, Dhanushkodi, Kothandaraswamy Temple and Erwadi are the popular and the most visited pilgrimage attractions of Rameshwaram. Sri Ramanathaswamy temple (Rameswaram Temple) is one of the most fascinating temples in entire India. This is renowned for its magnificent corridors and massive sculptured pillars. The third corridor of Ramanathaswamy temple is the longest one in the world. The presiding deity here is in the form of a Linga with the name Sri Ramanathaswamy, it also happens to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. This temple stands as an epitome of Dravidian architectural style of the medieval ages.

There are about 64 thirthas situated in Rameshwaram, of which, 24 are considered as important. Bathing in these Tirthas is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram and is considered equivalent to penance. Twenty-two of the Tirthas are within the Ramanathasvami Temple. Ramanathapuram, Tirupullani, Uthirakosamangai, Sethu are the nearby attractions to Island of Rameshwaram. Beautiful beaches at Olaikuda, Danushkodi and Pamban are other attractions apart from the religious point of view. Scuba diving and Migratory birds watching during winter are the activities here.

Rameshwaram is located on the Pamban Island, which lies at the very tip of the Indian peninsula in the Gulf of Mannar. Pamban Island, which is separated from the mainland of India by the Pamban Channel, is connected by the Pamban Bridge or Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge.

The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is at Madurai, which is located at a distance of 176 km. Rameshwaram Railway Station is well connected by rail to major cities of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichy. Rameshwaram is well connected by bus with Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Pondicherry, Trichy and Thanjavur.

The best time to visit Rameshwaram is July to August & November to March while the peak season is July to August & February to March. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit Rameshwaram.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 04573
Languages Spoken: Tamil, Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Maha Shiva Ratri (Feb-Mar),
Vasanthotsavam (May-June),
Thiru Kalyanam (July-Aug),
Navarathri Festival (Sep-Oct)
Notes/Tips:
Avoid peak summer if you are travellig with kids

HOW TO REACH RAMESHWARAM


By Air

Nearest Airport: Madurai - Madurai Airport (174 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Rameswaram Railway Station (0 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Rameswaram Central Bus Station (3 Kms)

12 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN RAMESHWARAM


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 km from Rameshwaram Railway Station, the magnificent Ramanathaswamy Temple (Rameshwaram Temple) dedicated to Lord Siva is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas situated in different parts of India. It is among the prime places to visit in Rameshwaram.

Ramanathaswamy Temple also has its name in history books as it houses the largest hallway in India. The construction of Rameshwaram Temple was started in the 12th century and was contributed by many rulers. This temple is an epitome of flawless Dravidian architecture.

The hallway in temple is of approximately 1220 meters in length with brilliantly carved pillars throughout the hall. The 54 meter tall Gopuram has become the symbol of divinity in the heart of many pilgrims. Another famous feature of Ramanathaswamy Temple is the 22 wells spread throughout the premises. It is said that water from .....


Beach | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 km from Rameshwaram Railway Station (just 100 meters away from east entrance of Rameshwaram Temple), Agnitheertham is said to be the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to wash off his sins of killing Ravana. It is one of the important places to visit in Rameshwaram.

It is a sacred place and piligrims believe that taking a bath in Bay of Bengal at Agniteertham will washout one's sins of life time. It is visited by the followers of Lord Shiva as well as Vishnu, whose incarnation was lord Rama.

The sea here is very calm and ideal for bathing.


Miscellaneous

At a distance of 12 Kms from Rameshwaram, Annai Indira Gandhi or Pamban Bridge connects Rameswaram Island with the main land. The bridge was opened for traffic in 1914 and is one of the prime places to visit in Rameshwaram.

It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is nearly 2.2 km and stands as a fine example for Indian architecture. The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. The islands near by and parallel rail bridge below can be viewed from this bridge.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 65 km from Rameshwaram & 15 km from Ramanathapuram, Devipattinam (also known as Navabashanam) is a beautiful coastal village.

This small village has a temple dedicated to Devi. It is said to be the place where Mahishasura was slayed by Goddess Durga Devi. It is said that Sri Ram had prayed to the Nava grahas here by placing nine stones prior to going to war with Ravana. It is increasingly getting popular among devotees who visit the nearby temples of Rameswaram and Thirupullani. The nine stones representing the Nava grahas or nine planets can be seen few metres into the sea. However depending on the water levels one may get to see all or few of them.

There are two other temples here, one dedicated to Thilakesava and the other to Jagannatha. The Thilakeshwar Temple is dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi (Durga). Shiva here is known as Thilakeswarar and the Goddess is known as Soundaryanayaki. Devotees at the temple .....


Beach

At a distance of 18 km from Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi, situated at the eastern end of the island is named after Rama's bow. It is one of the major Rameshwaram tourist places to visit.

The boulders around the sea between Srilanka and this place known as Adam's bridge, are believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Srilanka. Dhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964. Kodandaramaswamy temple is the only salvage of the cyclone. Idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (brother of Ravana) can be found here.

The Government declared the town as Ghost town and unfit for living after the storm. Four wheelers or fish carts are the only mode to reach this plae. It is advisable to go during day time to the village and return to Rameshwaram before Sun set as the entire 15 km stretch is said to be dangerous.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 Kms from Rameshwaram Railway Station (around two kilometer from Ramanathaswamy Temple / Rameshwaram Temple), Five faced Hanuman Temple has mythological evidence where Hanuman showed his profile with five faces.

The idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman, which are brought from Dhanushkodi during the cyclone of 1964, are kept here. The 'floating stones', which were used to build the Sethu Bandhanam (bridge) in Ramayana, are also kept in the temple.

There is floating stone outside the temple which was used to create the bridge on the sea as prescribed by our Indian mythology.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 km from Rameshwaram Railway Station, Gandhamathana Parvatham is the highest point in the island.

There is a two storeyed Mandapam, where Rama's feet (padam) is found as an imprint on a chakra. Pilgrims visit in thousands to worship Gandhamathana Parvatham. Sukreevar Temple and Theertham are situated on the way to Gandhamadana Parvatham.


Beach | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 20 km from Rameshwaram (about 4 km from Mandapam), Kurusadai Island is an uninhabited Island lies to the west of the Pamban Bridge between the mainland and Pamban Island. About 10,500 sq. kms of the sea around here constitute a Marine Biosphere, a paradise for Marine Biologists and nature lovers.

There are plenty of coral-reefs and fishes. You can also see dolphins and sea-cows (Dugong). A special permission from the Director of Fisheries, Chennai is required to visit this Island.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 55 km from Rameshwaram & 498 km from Chennai, Ramanathapuram is an ancient town and now the head quarters of the district. Prior to independence, the district was called as Ramnad but it was renamed as Ramanathapuram in 1910. This is largely a gateway to the pilgrimage centres of Rameshwaram and Devipattinam.

The main tourist attraction in Ramanathapuram is the Raja Palace. This Palace was built by the Sethupatys and continues to be inhabited by the descendants of the royal family, although they are no longer in power. The royal family has set up schools and hospitals in the area as part of their community service. The Ramalinga Vilasam Palace with a good collection of paintings, and the tomb of Thayumana Swamigal, a philosopher-saint, are worth visiting.

Ramanathapuram finds a mention in Hindu mythology as well. It is believed that Lord Rama after defeating Ravana, returned to nearby Rameswaram. He .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 66 km from Rameshwaram & 15 km from Ramanathapuram, Thirupullani is a Vishnu shrine. It is also known as Dharbasayanam as Rama took rest on a couch of grass at this place. Other names of this place are Thiruvadanai, Pularanyam, Adhisethu and Ratnaharam.

Adhi Jagannatha Perumal is the presiding deity here. One can reach the sanctum of Goddess Padmasini Thayar after crossing a gopuram here. There is pipal tree behind the sanctum. Hundreds of Nagas (serpents) can be seen in stones around the tree.

The next is the sanctum of Adi Jagannatha and the sanctum of Rama lying on the grass couch. Three stems of lotus branch from his naval and on each of them are seated Brahma, Siva and Moon. Sugabrahmar, Charapar and Brigu Maharishis are seen seated at the feet of Rama here. There is a sculpture, which depicts Vibishana, the king of Lanka and his Devi worshipping Vishnu. The Pandyas, Vanadhirayas and Sethupathis built .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 70 km from Rameshwaram and 15 km from Ramanathapuram. Uthirakosamangai is famous for an ancient Siva temple considered to be 3000 years old. This is the place where Siva transferred the secrets of Vedas to Parvati. Uthiram means (updesham) kosam (secrets) Parvati (Mangai) hence this place is known as Uthira Kosa Mangai.

The main deity here is Mangalanathar (Siva) and his consort is Mangleshwari. The main attraction of this temple is a statue of Natarajar made of emerlad which is about 51/2 feet tall. This idol is known as Margatha Natarajar and the deity is always covered with sandal paste. Only in the Tamil month of Margazhi on Tiruvathira nakshtram the sandal paste gets removed and there is abhishekam for the idol and this special darshan is known as Arudhra darishanam.There is a Nandi just outside the sanctum and a bigger Nandi in the outer prakaram known here as Pradosha Nandi. Special poojas are conducted .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 87 km from Rameshwaram and 31 km from Ramanathapuram, Erwadi is located on the sea shore in between keelakarai and Valinokkam. The town is famous for the shrine of Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badusha Radiyallah Ta'ala Anhu. It is 800-year-old tomb of Sultan Ibrahim Syed Aulia who came from Arabia via Cannanore.

Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim is a 18th generation hereditary grandson of Prophet Muhammad. He was the king of Madinah while he started towards India in early 12th century to spread Islam according to the Prophet's wish. Erwadi durgah is a symbol of religious harmony in Tamil Nadu. People with satanic illness visit this durgah in large number and get cured.

Pilgrims from different states and countries visit this place. The 'sandanakoodu' festival is in honour of this Muslim saint and takes place in December every year.

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