Rameshwaram is a small town located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on an island separated by the mainland by Pamban Channel. Also known as Rameshwaram Island, this pilgrim centre is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Rameshwaram is one of the holiest pilgrim centre for the Hindus. A pilgrimage to Benaras is considered incomplete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.
It has great strategic importance as it is situated at the tip of Indian Peninsula in the Gulf Of Mannar region. This temple has its roots in the stories of Ramayana. The Jyotirlinga in Rameshwaram temple is the southernmost of all the twelve Jyotirlingas.
This place has great significance in the Hindu scriptures. It is said that Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here to wash off the sins that he had committed in the war of Ramayana. He wanted a big Shiva Lingam for the purpose but could not get it early. So, Sita built a small one and some say that it is the one kept in the Rameshwaram temple. According to scriptures, this is also the place from where Rama started building the famous Ram Sethu (floating bridge) to rescue Sita from Lanka.
Structure Of The Temple:
Rameshwaram temple has lofty walls and a huge structure of Nandi. It has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India with about 4000 pillars. The carvings on the granite pillars are amazing to look at. The stone on the floor of the corridor is not indigenous and has been brought in from across the seas. There are also many mini shrines dedicated to other deities in the temple.
Rameshwaram has an awesome beach all around which is a major attraction for tourists. Palk Strait is in the north-west of this island. Adam's Bridge being another major tourist attraction is a chain of limestone shoals between Rameshwaram and Mannar island. As per geological reports, this bridge was passable till the 15th century until the channel was deepened by storms. Rama Sethu is also a source of attaracting people from all over the globe.
Some very popular pujas like Thiruvananthal Deeparadhana, Saptika Linga Deeparadhana, Mahashivratri etc are conducted here.
By Road: Rameshwaram is well connected to all major cities in Tamil Nadu. These cities like Madurai and Kanyakumari are in turn well linked to major cities in the country.
By Rail: Mandapan Station (2kms from the city) is the nearest rail head to the city. It is well connected by rail to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore etc.
By Air: The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is Madurai (163kms). This airport is well linked to all major airports in the country.
Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga is worth a visit not only for its religious significance but also for its scenic beauty.