#9 of 12 Places to Visit in Rameshwaram
Distance (From Rameshwaram): 55 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab
Travel Tips: Following places can also be visited along with Ramanathapuram Trip:
Erwadi (31 Kms)
Thirupullani (15 Kms)
Uthirakosamangai (15 Kms)
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 did so by building a bridge across the sea with the help of his army of monkeys. Lord Rama is also said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here, thus sanctifying this place.