The temple town of Rameswaram in state of Tamil Nadu, is an island in the Gulf of Mannar off the tip of the peninsula. It’s a place of legend: the place where Lord Rama and his monkey army built the bridge to Ravana’s Lanka to rescue Sita, as per the epic Ramayana. This is also the place where Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu asked forgiveness from Shiva for killing his follower Ravana. And so, Rameswaram is sacred for both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite sects of Hinduism.
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
The legend says that Hanuman was sent by Lord Rama to bring a Lingam to worship at an appointed auspicious hour. As Hanuman’s arrival was delayed, Sita moulded a lingam for Rama’s timely worship. It is the main deity being worshiped as Ramanathaswamy. Disappointed Hanuman was later consoled by Rama by installing the Lingam which was brought by him a little north of Ramanatha, and decreed that the Hanuman’s lingam should have precedence over the Ramanatha in all honours. Hindus perform religious rites for their forefathers here.
The presiding deity is the Lingam Of Sri Ranganatha, which happens to be one of the twelve Jyothirlingas of India. The deity here constitutes one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of India.The water in each of the 22 sacred wells in the temple tastes different.The waters of the wells are believed to possess medicinal properties. Ideally a bath at Agnitheertham precedes the visit to the Ramanatha Swamy Temple.
Kothandaramaswamy Temple
The southern most tip of the island where the Indian Ocean mingles with the Bay of Bengal is Dhanushkodi. A major portion was washed away during the 1964 cyclone, but the Kothandaramaswamy temple here is still intact. According to legend, Vibhishana the brother of Ravana met and joined hands with him at this spot.There are paintings in this temple depicting this story. The idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana can be seen along with Vibhishana & Hanuman. Vivekanadar is said to have landed here after his historic trip to spread Hinduism in the West.
Uthirakosamangai 16-km southwest of Ramanathapuram stands the renowned Shiva temple of Uttarakosamangai.Manikkavachagar has sung of it. The Lord is Mangaleshvara and the Goddess Mangaleshwari. The temple has inspired many Tamil works of devotion. So, of course, has the Ramanatha temple in Rameshwaram.
Outside the island, there are three other sites traditionally connected with Sri Rama's expedition to Sri Lanka. A big temple in Tiruppullani commemorates the tradition that there the Lord obtained a bow and arrows to use in the impending war from its presiding Deity and also that the Lord of the Ocean who had refused to help Him finally submitted.
Dhanushkodi named after Rama's bow, is at the eastern end of the island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram. The boulders around the sea between Srilanka and this place known as Adam's bridge, are believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Srilanka. Dhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964. Kothandaramaswamy temple is the only salvage of the cyclone. Idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (brother of Ravana), surrendered to Rama, here.
Pamban Bridge
Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge: The 2.2 km. length bridge connecting the Rameswaram Island and the mainland is the longest bridge in India constructed over a bay. It is also called as Pamban Bridge. Similarly the railway bridge connecting the island is noted for its unique opening to pass the ships through the sea.
Rama came to Devipattinam he did not find any shrine dedicated to the Navagrahas. He made the statues of nine planets, locally known as Navapashanas, out of the sand of the ocean.It is believed that when Rama was creating the Navapashanas,Lord Jagannatha stopped the waves of the ocean so that Rama could carry out the worship undisturbed Devipattinam has also acquired fame as a place for getting relief from adverse planetary conditions by performing the appropriate rituals. The unique thing about Devipattinam is that it is the only place in the world where the Navagrahas are located inside the sea.
Erwadi : An important site for Muslim pilgrims, Erwadi houses the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. At a distance of 24 kilometers from Rameshwaram is Erwadi. Muslims from across the globe visit Erwadi especially during the month of December to participate in the annual festival celebrated as a tribute to the saint.The ever so charming combination of sun, sand and sea. The golden glowing sands, the coconut canopies, the tantalizing tamarind and the odai trees add to the beauty of nature. Erwadi is renowned for the tomb of saint Ibrahim Syed Aulia.

Ramanathapuram : An ancient town, and now the head quarters of the district. It was from here the Sethupathis (Chieftains) ruled this territory. Ramalingavilasam Palace with good painting and Tomb of Thayumana swamigal, are the places worth visiting. A Museum is functioning here.

Sea World Aquarium:

Just opposite the Rameswaram Bus Stand, one can catch a quick glimpse of an assortment of underwater creatures in their near natural habitat in the ‘Sea World Aquarium’ – the only one of its kind in the state, and probably in the country too, filled with such varied marine life forms including exotic species such as Octopus, Snake fish, Parrot fish, Sea lizard, Sea squid, Cow fish, Lion fish, Rabbit fish, Fire fish, Butter fish, Clown fish, Crabs, Lobsters, Prawns, Sea Lotus, Beach Tamet, Star Fishes, Sea Horses and Sharks. This is quite an eye-opener for young tourists & kids and lovers of marine life.

Gandamadana Parvatham:
The imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a Chakra (wheel) is found in this shrine which is at the highest point on the island at 2 km from Rameswaram. Outside the temple, on the island, there are a few sites also held sacred. About 2.5-km west of the temple, on a hillock, stands the Gandamadhana Parvata. In this Mandapa footprints of Sri Rama are enshrined. From the top of the Mandapa there is a fine view of parts of the island. 8-km from the temple, on the way to Dhanushkodi, there is a beautiful temple of Sri Kodandarama where, tradition says,Vibhishana was crowned when he joined Sri Rama.
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