The famous Rameshwaram Temple or Ramanathaswamy Temple is regarded as one of the most sacred
shrines of Hindus in India. It is an honoured pilgrimage destination,
which represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India. It
is considered as holy as Banaras. This famous Hindu temple is situated on
island is located off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu.
Rameshwaram temple is noted for its close association with Ramayana and the
legendary victory of Rama over the demon king Ravana. One can reach this
temple via the Pamban
bridge across the sea.
About Rameshwaram Temple - The Ancient Legend
According to a legend, Rama worshiped Shiva in the form of a Shiva
Lingam, while returning to Ayodhya. This lingam was made of earth by
Rama's consort, Sita. It is also said that Hanuman was sent to bring
an image of Viswanathar from Banares. Rama thought that Hanuman will
be late in returning. Therefore, Rama is said to have offered worship
at a pre-chosen auspicious moment to the Shivalingam. This lingam is
referred to as Ramalingam.
The other Shivlingam brought here by Hanuman from Banaras is known as
Viswanathar. This Shivalingam is also called Kasilingam and
Hanumalingam. The Viswanathar Shivalingam is worshiped before offering
prayers to Ramanathaswamy. It is also believed that Rama worshiped
Tilakeswarar at Devipatnam on the route to Sri Lanka.
¤ The History of Rameshwaram Temple
It is said that the ancient shrine was placed in a thatched hut until
the 12th century. Parakrama Bahu of Sri Lanka built the first ever
masonry structure here. The Setupathy rulers of Ramanathapuram
completed the rest of the temple. Some of the temple vimaanams are
similar to the Vimaanams of the Pallava period. Much more was added to
the temple between the 12th and the 16th centuries. The long corridor
(3rd prakaram) dates back only to the 18th century. The Gandhamadhana
Parvatam (hill) offers a panoramic view of the temple. Travancore,
Ramanathapuram, Mysore and Pudukkottai kingdoms provided royal
patronage to this famous Hindu temple.
¤ Rameshwaram Temple - Architectural Marvel
The Rameswaram Temple is sprawled over an area of 15 acres. It has huge
gopurams, monolithic walls and a stupendous Nandi. There is a 4000
feet long pillar corridor with over 4000 pillars, considered the
longest in the world. A unique feature about this corridor is that the
rock used here is not found on the native island, it was brought in
from elsewhere in Tamilnadu
across the sea. The eastern Rajagopuram
has a height of 126 feet and has nine levels whereas the western
Rajagopuram is not as tall as the eastern one. The huge image of Nandi
is about 18 feet tall and 22 feet in length.
¤ The Gandamadana Parvatham
This hill on the Rameshwaram island, has a small shrine, consisting
of imprints of Lord Rama's feet, which is worshiped here. A worth
¤ Theertham(Water Springs)
There are almost 36 Theerthams here out of which 22 are in the Rameswaram temple.
The water of these Theerthams are said to be therapeutic. A bath in
these is regarded significant. The Agni Theertham refers to the ocean
while the Koti theertham is located within the temple itself.
The famous temple festivals of Hindus are celebrated here include two
annual Bhrammotsavams, celebrated in the Tamil months of Aadi and
Maasi. Another festival is celebrated to celebrate Rama's worship in
the month of Aani (June15 - July15). One more thing do take lots of photos of Rameshwaram temple while coming back as a sweet memory with you.