Rameshwaram Travel Guide– In the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, a stunning island city known as Rameshwaram serves as a place of pilgrimage. This peaceful and reverent city is a well-known tourist destination for Indians and is situated in the sea between India and Sri Lanka.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rameshwaram is a magnificent Hindu temple, located in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Rameshwaram is a Sanskrit word, Ram + Eshwaram, which means a place where Eshwar (Lord Shiva) is worshipped by Lord Ram.
Rameshwaram: A Brief Introduction
Rameshwaram attracts people for tourism because it connects India to the mainland through the Pamban Bridge. Rameshwaram has a significant role in the Ramayana because here many details about the Ramayana are given.
The Ramayana is one of the greatest ancient epics in world literature that narrates the life of Lord Ram.
Rameshwaram, situated in the Southeast of India, is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham (four holy sites) for pilgrimage. Rameshwaram is one of India’s consecrated cities, together with Varanasi.
In addition to its spiritual value, the small town makes for an attractive vacation destination. Rameshwaram, located at the point of the Indian peninsula, rejuvenates your soul with its breathtakingly magnificent beaches, stunning Mannar Island, and several local attractions like wildlife and water sports.
History of Ramanathaswamy Temple
Of the four Dhams, Rameshwaram is the only one where Lord Shiva is the resident deity. There are many legends about the history of Ramanathaswamy Temple and its establishment.
In Hinduism, the story of this holy shrine is associated with the return of Lord Ram to Lanka. Let us talk about the history of Rameshwaram Dham and the tales associated with it.
Legends of Ramayana
Before we understand the story, we should recognize the main characters of Ramayana, named Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Ravana, and Hanuman.
Ram: Ram, sometimes known as Ramachandra or Raman, is a central character in Hinduism. He was the seventh and one of the most well-known incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
According to legend, Ram was born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha at Ayodhya, the capital of the Kosala Kingdom. Shatrughna, Bharata, and Lakshman were his siblings, and Sita was his wife.
Despite being born into a royal family, his existence was depicted in Hindu texts as being complicated by unforeseen events like an exile into destitute and challenging conditions, ethical issues, and moral questions.
The most prominent of their troubles was when the demon king, Ravana, abducted Sita. Allegorically, the complete life story of Ram, Sita, and their friends explore obligations, rights, and social responsibilities. Through role models, it illustrates Dharma and Dharmic living.
Lakshmana: In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Lakshmana, the younger brother of Prince Ram and his supporter, is referred to as one who had the indications of fortune.
The Ramayana portrayed Lakshmana as a man who showed his elder brother unshakable loyalty, love, and commitment during both happy and tough times.
Ram is reported to have given his brother Lakshmana the Bandhavgarh Fort in Madhya Pradesh so that he could keep an eye on Lanka (Bandhav means brother and Garh means fort). Today, Bandhavgarh Fort is situated in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
Sita: Devi Sita, Lord Ram’s wife, is a well-known Hindu Goddess known for her bravery, purity, dedication, loyalty, and sacrifice. In Ramayana, she is a calm and silent embodiment of power.
As a mother, daughter, and wife, she exemplifies commitment. She persevered through the hardships of her life with courage and strength.
Ravana: One of the main demons in Hindu mythology that fought the well-known Avatar Ram was Ravana, whose name means ‘of frightening roar’ in Sanskrit.
The Ramayana features Ravana prominently. As a king of Lanka, he ruled over an army of demons (Rakshasas) and abducted Sita.
Ramayana describes the legendary conflict between Ravana and Ram, which took place as a result of Ravana’s conceit towards the Gods and inappropriate behaviour towards Sita.
Hanuman: Hanuman is a Hindu Deity and the divine Vanara (monkey) friend of Ram. He is a Chiranjivi and a fervent follower of Lord Ram.
In order to assist Ram and retrieve his wife Sita from the evil Ravana (king of Lanka), Hanuman led the monkeys.
According to Hindu legend, Hanuman is the eleventh manifestation of Lord Shiva.
Story Based on Epic Ramayana
We all have heard about the Ramayana earlier. The King of Lanka, Ravana, abducted Sita by deceit. That is why Lord Ram attacked Lanka and killed Ravana. Since Ravana was a Brahmin, Ram was accused of killing a Brahmin. To get rid of this allegation, Ram worshipped Lord Shiva.
But there was no temple at all, so Ram sent his trusted lieutenant Hanuman to the Himalayas to bring Shivlinga. Hanuman took a long time to return, so Sita constructed a Shivlinga out of sand. Lord Ram worshipped Shiva with full rituals, which is believed to be the sanctum of the temple.
Later, Hanuman brought a lingam there too. A Shivlinga crafted by Sita, known as Ramalinga, and a Shivlinga delivered by Hanuman, known as Vishwalinga or Kasilinga. Both reside in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and the Vishwalinga is worshipped first, even now.
Architecture of Ramanathaswamy Temple
One of the Hinduism’s most important sanctuaries, Rameshwaram Dham, is a magnificent example of its grandeur, antiques, and architecture.
The temple was constructed in Dravidian architecture. The corridors inside the temple are expanded between 400 feet and 650 feet in the south and north directions. It contains hundreds of enormous pillars, each of which is ornamented with distinctive bell boots.
Stones were transported from Sri Lanka for this temple’s construction. The world’s longest corridor is found in this shrine, and that is the reason for its attraction to thousands of tourists.
God Worshipped in Rameshwaram
On Rameswaram island, Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu shrine to God Shiva. One of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples, the 11th Jyotirlinga Rameshwaram is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Significance of 22 Wells in Rameshwaram
There are 22 wells within the Ramanathaswamy Temple, and bathing in any of them is auspicious. Bathing in Agni Tirtha, the temple’s primary kund, is viewed as both extremely fruitful and immoral. Scientists claim that there are various metals mixed in these Kunds, from that body’s diseases are eliminated, and fresh energy is made available.
Temple Opening Hours
|Morning Hours||5.00 AM to 1.00 PM|
|Evening Hours||3.00 PM to 9.00 PM|
Temple Aarti and Timings
|Palliyarai Deeparathana||5:00 AM – 5:10 AM|
|Spatikalinga Deeparathana||5:10 AM – 5:20 AM|
|Thiruvananthal Deeparathana||5:45 AM – 5:55 AM|
|Vila Pooja||7:00 AM – 7.30 AM|
|Kalasanthi Pooja||10:00 AM – 10.30 AM|
|Uchikala Pooja||12.00 PM – 12.30 PM|
|Sayaratcha Pooja||6:00 PM – 6.30 PM|
|Arthajama Pooja||8:30 PM – 9:00 PM|
|Palliyarai Pooja||8:45 PM – 9:15 PM|
Dress Code in Temple Complex
There is not any specific attire that must be worn in the Rameswaram Temple. South Indian Temples make no suggestions on attire, but at Rameswaram Temple, jeans are not permitted. You can wear any formal attire, but for men, a Dhoti or Pyjamas are preferred.
Sarees or Chudidars are appropriate for women. The main requirement for ladies is that they wear a stole or dupatta; otherwise, the guards may refuse to let them in.
Best Time to Explore Rameshwaram
Before going to Rameshwaram, you should know about the climatic conditions in Rameshwaram.
Although you are welcome to visit Rameshwaram in any season but visiting between October and April would be preferable. The city exhibits extreme temperatures in summer.
The climate of Rameshwaram is tropical dry with little humidity. Rameshwaram’s typical yearly temperature ranges from roughly 25 °C to 32 °C.
A visit to Rameshwaram during the festive season would be a wonderful experience. See the information below:
Maha Shivaratri Festival: In Rameshwaram, the festival of Maha Shivaratri, which lasts for 10 days in February and March, is joyfully observed.
Vasanthotsavam Festival: An annual festival known as Vasanthotsavam is held in Tirumala to celebrate the birth of spring.
In the month of Chaitra (March–April), the festival is observed on the three days of Thrayodashi, Chaturdashi, and Poornima. The celebration takes place between the end of March and the middle of April according to the Gregorian calendar.
Meenakshi Thirukalyanam Festival: An annual Tamil-Hindu event, also known as the Chithirai Thiruvizha, takes place in Madurai during the month of April and lasts for a month. The festival is connected to the Meenakshi Temple, which is devoted to the Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her husband Sundareshwar, a form of Shiva.
How to Reach Rameshwaram
Rameshwaram is located approximately 180 km from Madurai Airport, the closest airport to the city. Major Indian cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad, are easily accessible from the airport. Popular airlines that operate out of the airport in Madurai include Air India, Jet Airways, and SpiceJet. From outside the airport, you can hire a taxi as the easiest way to reach your next destination.
Rameshwaram is directly connected to the major South Indian cities, including Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai, Coimbatore, and Trichy.
However, there is not a direct train from North Indian railway stations; instead, there are trains that start from New Delhi and travel via Bhopal to reach Madurai. The trip takes about 45 hours.
If you are considering a road trip, that would be a good choice. The best way to travel the distance between Madurai and Rameshwaram is by road. People can get to this temple town from Madurai on several private and Government buses.
You could pause at Pamban Bridge since Rameshwaram is located after the bridge. It is a great place to stop. You could stay there for a while for capturing some stunning photographs.
Additionally, for the most up-to-date details on the road conditions from Madurai to Rameshwaram, kindly check live maps and real-time traffic updates before hitting the road.
Best Lodging Options in Rameshwaram
Visitors come to the town from all over the world because of its religious importance. There are numerous hotels and lodges in Rameshwaram close to the temple that provide guests a comfortable stay. Below are some good options:
a. Hotel NNP Grand
The NNP Grand Hotel, located in the centre of Rameshwaram city, offers comfort and luxury. The Rameshwaram bus terminal is about 1 km away from the hotel, which is adjacent to the Rameshwaram railway station, a major transportation hub.
Based on demand, this hotel offers different room styles. (Rs.1500 for doubles)
Because of the hotel’s ideal setting, both pilgrims and tourists may easily access the city’s top attractions.
For more information: https://www.hotelnnpgrand.com/
b. Hotel Arjuna
For guests, Hotel Arjuna offers a posh living area and a purely vegetarian menu.
The four main types of rooms provided to guests are the Executive Twin Room, Double Bed, Family Suite Room, and King Suite Room. (Rs.2700 for doubles)
Hotel Arjuna is located near major city landmarks and is on the main temple road.
The property is roughly 3 km from Rameshwaram railway station, and there are a lot of dining options and retail centres nearby.
For more information: https://www.hotelarjunaa.com/
c. Hotel Vel Residency
The hotel is close to Agni Theertham and Ramanathaswamy Temple, two well-known holy sites. One may witness breathtaking views of the surroundings from the hotel.
The property may accommodate a wide range of visitors with various travel requirements. (Rs.1200 for doubles)
Rameshwaram railway station or bus stand is 3 km away from the hotel.
For more information: https://www.hotelvelresidency.com/
d. Hotel Brindavan
In a vibrant structure, Hotel Brindavan Residency is a chic hotel with amenities for both business and leisure travellers. (Rs.1500 for doubles)
The closest transportation hubs to the hotel are the Rameshwaram railway station (2.5 km) and the bus terminal (3 km).
In addition to arranging tour guides to help you see the city, the hotel has priests on staff who educate guests while accompanying them to the temple and holy bath.
For more information: http://www.hotelbrindavanresidency.com/
e. JKR Resort & Spa
JKR Resort & Spa makes your trip even more special. It is best for homely comfort with heavenly ambience.
Here, there are three types of exquisite, well-designed rooms: Standard King, Standard Twin and King with Pool View. The hotel offers 24-hour Gym featuring cardio equipment and an alluring outdoor swimming pool. (Rs. 4500 for doubles)
The Rameshwaram bus terminal and railway station in Rameshwaram are located within 3 km of this property.
For more information: https://jkr-resorts.com/
Top Nearby Places to Visit
Dhanushkodi, the very last stoppage of India, is also famous as the starting point of Ram Setu (Setu means bridge). This magical land is surrounded by water on three sides which now houses only a small number of people.
Due to the 1964 Rameshwaram storm, the entire town was demolished, and as a result, it became regarded as an abandoned or ghost town but blessed with a picturesque seaside. For a mystical experience, we urge you to add Dhanushkodi to your travel itinerary.
It is believed that Lord Ram destroyed the Ram Setu by using his bows (Dhanus) and arrows (Kodi). His army crossed the bridge to reach Lanka during the successful battle against Ravana.
According to Hindu scriptures, Vibhishana (the younger brother of Ravana) requested Lord Ram to destroy the bridge when Sita was brought back from Lanka. Ram then used one end of his bow to break the bridge, giving it the name Dhanushkodi.
Click here to know all about Dhanushkodi.
Ram Setu is a chain of limestone shoals that starts at Dhanushkodi of the Indian Pamban Island and ends at Mannar Island in Sri Lanka.
It is also known as Adam’s Bridge, Ram’s Bridge, Nala Setu, and Setu Banda.
According to the epic Ramayana, the Deity Ram built the bridge with the help of his Vanara (ape-men) army in order to travel to Lanka and save his wife Sita from the Rakshasa monarch, Ravana. At the same time, other scientists think that this is a limestone-based natural bridge.
Ram Setu may be considered as a national heritage monument soon.
Pamban Rail Bridge
Prior to the inauguration of the Bandra-Worli Sea Connection in 2010, it was the first and longest sea bridge in India which was built in 1914.
Let us keep you abreast of the latest developments on Pamban Bridge, one of the most spectacular sights in India.
Currently, the rail bridge is a typical bridge supported by 143 concrete piers, but it incorporates a double-leaf bascule portion in the middle that can be lifted to allow ships and barges to pass.
The century-old Pamban bridge had numerous damages earlier and because it is the only link between the mainland and Rameshwaram, engineering repairs are needed urgently.
Due to this, Indian Railways has already begun the construction on the new Pamban Bridge with state-of-the-art technology. Once completed, it will become India’s first Vertical Lift Railway Sea Bridge.
- The new Pamban bridge stretches for 2.05 km.
- Indian Railways is spending 250 crores on its construction.
- It will allow trains at a faster speed and will have a single girder.
- It will boast a 63-metre span, that will lift parallelly to provide access to the ships.
- It is expected to be ready for use by December 2022.
Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple
Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple as known as five-faced Hanuman Temple in Rameshwaram is popular in India and it is located at a distance of 2 km from the Ramanathaswamy Temple.
This small temple houses the floating stones of the same kind that were used to build the bridge to Lanka in the Ramayana, which is an appealing feature.
According to legend, when Hanuman entered Patal Lok in search of Ram and Lakshmana during the war between Lord Ram and demon Ravana, he discovered that the five lamps, which were positioned in various directions, represented the life of Ahiravana, Ravana’s brother.
Ahiravana was the king of Patal Lok and Ravana had sought help from him. Only by simultaneously extinguishing each of the five lamps, Ahiravana was capable of being killed.
In order to accomplish this, Lord Hanuman appeared as Panchmukhi Hanuman and put out all the lamps at once. The statues of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita are also on the display at the temple.
Villoondi means ‘buried bow’ and theertham means ‘a sacred waterbody’ in Tamil.
Located 7 km from the main bus terminal, it is best known for its sweet and holy water. It is believed that Lord Ram made this theertham to quench the thirst of Sita by dipping the bow into the sea water, hence the theertham is called as Villondi Theertham.
One of the beaches in Rameshwaram, Villondi Theertham is close to a modest Shiva shrine. The presence of a freshwater spring that is immersed in the ocean makes this place even more unique.
The distance between Lakshmana Theertham and the Rameshwaram temple is just 1 km. It is close to Gandhamandhana Parvatham, and Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple.
Lakshmana Theertham is located alongside the temple dedicated to Lord Lakshmana. It was constructed in the Dravidian architectural style. The idols of Lord Ram, Lord Lakshmana, and Goddess Sita were carved into the temple.
The Thaipusam celebration, dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya), is another appealing aspect of this trip.
Kailash Mountain in the Himalayas is to the north, as is Gandhamandhana Mountain. On the Gandhamandhana mountain, a temple has also been constructed, where Hanuman’s idol is placed among those of Shri Ram and other deities.
According to mythology, Lord Ram used to plan combat tactics on this mountain while surrounded by his army of monkeys. According to folklore, this peak has the imprints of Lord Ram, therefore the name Ram Foot or Ram Theertham.
Located at a distance of 3 km, it is considered to be the highest point in Rameshwaram so you can witness the breathtaking aerial view of Rameshwaram Island and sunset/sunrise views are captivating here.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial
A mausoleum was inaugurated in honour of Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2017.
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) created the memorial as a tribute to Kalam and to highlight the rich cultural history and ethnic diversity of India.
The main entrance gateway is similar to Delhi’s India Gate. A bronze statue of Kalam playing the Veena is housed in the main dome, which is reminiscent of one of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s central domes.
Born and raised in Rameshwaram, Dr. Kalam is known as the Missile Man of India. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam aptly stated that “Rameswaram has, since antiquity, been an important pilgrimage destination.”
What a Nomad Traveller Says about Pamban?
Take a moment to picture yourself riding a train over an aging sea bridge as the corroded and extremely ancient iron pillars of the bridge are being constantly battered by the waves. How will your mind respond?
Will your heart briefly cease beating? To be completely honest, I was rather anxious when I attempted something similar while riding the train across the perilous Pamban Bridge. But at the same time, I also had excitement!
Besides being risky, the train ride across the Pamban Bridge is also spectacular. No doubt, this bridge is an architectural wonder.
I am going to describe the glimpses of my mind of this exhilarating railway ride which I had from Madurai to Rameshwaram.
I was travelling from Madurai to Rameshwaram, so I hopped on a train from Madurai. Until I caught a few glimpses of the water just before arriving in Pamban, the three-and-a-half-hour trip was quite dull and routine.
To get the finest view of the train crossing the water, I hurried to the doors. Although doing so is prohibited, but there are occasions when it becomes hard to control oneself in the face of something really compelling.
Then suddenly train speed has been reduced drastically and all the passengers understood why the train’s speed had been significantly reduced. Then, I found myself above the water. Both sides were incredibly beautiful. I received a much relaxation from the sight of the azure ocean. The infinite water could be seen in all directions of the train.
The sight of the waves crashing against the bridge’s arches thrilled me. The corrosion on the pillars and the fences of the bridge frightened me even more.
Even though the train was traveling slowly, it was becoming more and more challenging to stand upright. While flying over the ocean, I captured some breathtaking scenery on my camera. Undoubtedly, it was a really overwhelming experience! The Pamban train was thrilling.
We hope you are fully informed on Rameshwaram, including the most recent Pamban Bridge updates and the best places to stay close to the Ramanathaswamy Temple.
Remember, no trip to Rameswaram is complete without a beautiful drive alongside Pamban Bridge.
We’d like to wish you a joyful and safe voyage! In terms of natural beauty, Rameshwaram has a lot to offer, especially Dhanushkodi. It is not merely a spiritual destination.
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