A city of immense historical and mythological importance for Indians, Rameswaram is situated on Pamban Island in Gulf of Mannar and is a part of South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Railway bridges and roads connect Rameswaram to the mainland. The city being a home to a number of famous temples is a prominent pilgrim center of Tamil Nadu. One of the temples is the Ramanathaswamy Temple which is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The extremely divine chaar dhaam yatra also includes Rameswaram in addition to Dwarka, Puri and Badrinath.
According to Hindu mythology, Rameswaram is the very place from where Lord Rama built a bridge to Lanka to be able to reach and save Sita who was deceitfully abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka. As per another mention of this city in Ramayana, Lord Rama who was an incarnate of Lord Vishnu sought forgiveness of Lord Shiva for assassinating his devotee.
Major tourist Attractions
Rameswaram is known for many tourist attractions and temples which have very interesting mythological correlation to our Hindu culture and past. The main site of attractions includes Ramanathaswamy Temple, Agnitheertham, Dhanushkodi Beach, Adam’s Bridge, Pamban Bridge and Gandamadana Parvatam.
- Ramanathaswamy Temple:- The Ramanathaswamy temple is one of the oldest and holiest temples in Hindu culture. It is said that one should visit and worship here once in a lifetime. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A very interesting story is connected with the establishment of this temple that once Lord Rama has prayed to Lord Shiva at this place to absolve the sins that he may have accumulated during the war against the demon kind Ravana. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotrilingas of Lord Shiva and is located in the heart of the city.
- Agnitheertham:- It is one of the very sacred and beautiful places in Rameswaram that attracts thousands of visitors and devotees from around the world. It is located at a small distance from Ramanathaswamy Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that one can absolve all their sins after taking a holy bath at Agnitheertham. Many tourist and devotees attend this place to seek divine blessings from Lord Shiva.
- Dhanushkodi Beach:- One of the most scenic and beautiful place to relax your body and soul is Dhanushkodi Beach. Although, the beach has been washed away in a cyclone, however, a very famous temple Kothandaramaswamy Temple is still intact at this place, dedicated to Lord Rama. Thousand s of tourist come over this place every year from around the globe to witness the beauty and feel the sacredness of the place.
- Adam’s Bridge:- Adam’s Bridge popularly known as ‘Ram Setu’ or ‘Sethusamudram’ in Hindu culture is a very important place to visit. Its beauty and style attracts many visitors and tourists to experience the nature’s magical landscape. It is made up of lime stones shoals and covered with the shallow sea between the Mannar and Rameswaram islands. A very popular mythological story is attached with it as it is said that Lord Rama along with the help of Vanars have built this bridge which is roughly 30 miles long to rescue Lord Rama’s companion, Devi Sita.
Other places of tourists’ interest that can be visited while on a trip to Rameswaram include the
- Five Faced Hanuman Temple
- Kurusadai Islands.
Festival and Fairs
Rameswaram is a small town in Tamilnadu where almost all Indian festivals are celebrated with full joy and fanfare. This includes Pongal, Diwali, Dussehra and Car festival but the most important festival which draws attention to this city and caters huge gathering is Arudhra Darshanam.
Arudhra Darshanam is celebrated every year in the month of December on a particular date based on the holy Tamil calendar. This event accompanies the removal of sandal wood paste from the emerald statue of Nataraj. The statue remains covered with sandal wood for the whole year and on this special occasion for the first time, the statue is unveiled. It attracts thousand of visitors and devotees as it happens only once on a particular date in a year.
Best time to Visit
Rameswaram has a tropical climate and hence, the best time to visit Rameswaram is between October to April when the climate is pleasant and cool. One can explore the rich heritage and culture of the town and enjoy the sightseeing comfortably. Rameswaram witnesses moderate summers with temperature ranges from 26 0C to 39 0C. Monsoon with average rain fall starts between the months of June and September, making the climate very humid to roam around.
How to Reach
By Air – Rameswaram does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is at Madurai which is 170 Km away from the main city. Madurai airport is well connected with major cities of Tamilnadu. Bus services and private cabs are available from the Madurai Airport to reach Rameswaram city.
By Rail – Rameswaram railway junction is well connected with meter gauge trains with all the major stations of Tamilnadu like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy etc. which in turn are connected with the other cities and states of the entire country.
By Road – By road also Rameswaram is very well connected with the main cities (Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Thanjavur) of Tamilnadu. Frequent bus services and private cabs are available to reach Rameswaram from these cities.