Rameswaram is a beautiful town in Tamil Nadu. It is a second grade municipality of district Ramanathapuram. Situated on Pamban Island and bifurcated by the Pamban channel from mainland India, this town is fifty kilometres from Mannar Island of Sri Lanka. Considered as one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, Rameswaram makes for an integral part of the Char Dham pilgrimage.
As per Hindu mythology, Rameswaram is precisely the location from where the Lord Rama, the Hindu God constructed a bridge across the sea to Lanka. The lord built this bridge to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana.
The town of Rameswaram is a historical city. In the past, it was ruled by a number of southern Indian dynasties. The name of city has also been mentioned in Ramayana, the mythological Hindu epic. Being in Rameswaram is a beautiful experience especially if you know where to go and what to do. Here’s the list of 10 best places to visit in Rameshawaram:
1. NambuNayagi Amman Temple
A splendid NambuNayagi Amman Temple located in the Ramnad District, 8 kms from Rameswaram main temple en route Dhanushkodi is a must visit for all. It is considered as a holy shrine for Hindus and visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world. The unique structural design of the temple is yet another reason for its popularity.
2. Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is renowned as among the 275 most important Shiva temples by the Shaivaite sect of Hindus. Your Rameshwaram tour is incomplete without a trip to this beautiful temple of great significance. The temple is also a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage of the Hindus. According to a belief, this temple was established by Lord Rama in the Dravidian style of architecture. Later on, the Pandya kings expanded the construction in the 12th century. It is one of the best places to visit in Rameswaram.
3. Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge (Pamban Bridge)
This impressive Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge is what needs to be passed over by tourists and pilgrims to get access to Rameshwaram. Running 2 km in length, one can see huge chunks of moss encrusted stones beautifully lying at the bottom in the crystal clear waters. Also referred to as Pamban bridge, the Hindu mythology has it that the bridge was built by Lord Rama with the help of a large brigade of monkeys. It serves as the link from Ramanathapuram to Rameshwaram right at the tip of India via road and rail. The bridge is the longest Sea bridge of India and a paragon for the marvel of Indian architecture.
Agnitheertham, the sandy shores of Rameswaram is revered as one of the holiest places for Hindu pilgrims. It is the eastern sea shore right opposite to the Ramanathaswamy temple. One of the sixty four sacred baths in Rameswaram, thousands of pilgrims take bath in this holy sea on a daily basis. Many sacred rituals are performed here such as tharpanam (ritual for the deceased ancestors), prohithams, yangnya (yaham) etc. As per a belief, taking bath in this sea will vanish ones sins and make pure again.
5. Water Bird Sanctuary
Water Bird Sanctuary is an amazing spot in Rameshwaram and proves that the place is much more than just a pilgrimage spot. A visit to this bird sanctuary will delight your spirits as it is quite different from the conventional sanctuaries. Here, you get to see a lot of native and migratory water birds. The best time to visit the place between October to January. Located in Ramanathapuram District, this is one of the most popular tourist spots in Rameshwaram.
6. Gandamadana Parvatham
Also known as Mt. Gandhamadana, this mountain is believed to be the hillock from whose summit, the Lord Hanuman, the Hindu god Hanuman commenced his flight to Lanka, kingdom of demon Ravana. The hillock lies at a short distance of 3 kilometers from Rameswaram. Famous as the highest point on the island, GandamadanaParvatham is worshipped as the abode of a foot print of Lord Rama on a Chakra. Tourists and pilgrims in large number visit the hillock due to its picturesque location and enjoy panoramic views the island from the spot.
7. Ariyaman Beach
Ariyaman Beach is situated in Ramanathapuram District. If you wish to spend a soul soothing evening with your friends or family, this picturesque beach is just the right place to be. Measuring around 150 m in width, the beautiful beach is a ideal for boating and water based sports such as parasailing, water scooter ride and wind surfing. You can also visit the children’s park, an aquarium and a museum here.
- Lord Hanuman
- Lord Adivaraha
- Lord Narasimha
- Lord Hayagriva
- Lord Garuda
The beautiful idol is carved from a huge senthooram stone. This is precisely from which vermilion is derived. Located around 2 kilometers from the famous temple of Ramanathaswamy, this sacred temple is also popular for ancient age idols of Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshamana. The idols were brought in here during a cyclone from Dhanushkodi. One can also see a floating stone outside the temple used by Lord Rama for constructing the Sethubridge in Ramayana.
9. Kodandaramar Temple
Kodandaramaris a famous temple of Rameshwaram located on the way Dhanushkodi and believed to be the place where Vibhishanan (younger brother of Ravana, Demon King) surrendered and apologized to Lord Rama. Interestingly, temple of Kodandaramar was the only structure to survive during the 1964 cyclone while the rest of the village was washed away completely.
Also known as the Ghost Town, Dhanushkodi is located at about 620 km from Bangalore. Only 28 kilometres from Sri Lanka, the mysterious town of Dhanuskodi is renowned for its mythological importance. It is believed that Lord Rama and his vanara army brother Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (Ravana’s brother) built a bridge here using floating stones. The bridge helped them to reach Lanka to rescue Sita from kidnapper Ravana. Presently, it serves as a famous picnic spot on the island. Literally meaning the end of the bow, people from all over the country and abroad visit this site to have a look at beautiful migratory birds that flock here. Pristine views of ocean is also another reason people love this place.
Rameswaram, one of the most important pilgrim spots for the Hindus serves as the epitomes of plush Indian culture. A visit to the above listed places while on your trips to Rameswaram will let you know the real city and its significance among people across India.