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Rameswaram Temples South India

Rameswaram: Varanasi of the South


Holy city of Rameswaram

The holy city of Rameswaram is located in Tamil Nadu and is fondly called as Varanasi of the South. It is a small island located in the Gulf of Mannar. Pamban bridge and the road connect Rameswaram to the mainland India. The epic Ramayana reveals Rameswaram as a very sacred site as here was Lord Rama and his monkey army started building the bridge towards Lanka where Ravana had captured Goddess Sita. Both Vaishnavaites and the Shaivites  revere Rameswaram at a very high pedestal. It is also an important part of the Char Dham pilgrimage.

Besides the pilgrimage, tourists also come to Rameswaram to enjoy the beauty of beaches such as Pamban, Dhanushkodi and Olaikuda. Located approximately 1 km away from the main temple, the Olaikuda beach is further embellished by coral reefs. Diving and snorkelling activities along with sun bathing and casual swim make it a top favourite. Wildlife photographers love coming to Rameswaram during winter season as a variety of sea gulls and flamingos migrate here.

The following are the main attractions of Rameswaram

The Ramanathaswamy Temple: Located in the centre of Rameswaram, this holy temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is known for being the mythological place where Lord Rama was finally bestowed with forgiveness after killing Ravana in the legendary epic of Ramayana. 1200 huge granite pillars line the temple, which is known for its 54 m high Gopuram (monumental tower entrance of the temple). The Pandya dynasty expanded the temple during the 12th century.

Dhanushkodi: This small town is located at the tip of the Rameswaram, falling on the eastern side of Tamil Nadu. The 1964 cyclone severly destroyed the habitation here and thus, now, people come in large numbers to experience the beauty of remaining ruins.The Adam's bridge or the Ram Setu is another major attraction which pilgrims believed was built by Lord Rama while going to Lanka.

Kurusadai IslandsKurusadai Islands: Known for being a Marine Biosphere, the Kurusadai Islands are known for being a paradise for nature lovers, marine biologists and foreign tourists. Sea cucumbers, shells, corals and dolphin bones can be seen here along with the coral reefs.

Agnitheertham: Located 200m away from the Ramanathaswamy Temple, Agnitheertham is basically a shallow stretch of sea. It is believed that a dip in the holy water of Agnitheertham helps in cleansing us from our past sins. Currently, there are 22 wells here, with the water of all these wells being different.

Pamban Bridge: It is also known as Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. It was constructed in 1914. It refers both to the cantilever railway bridge and the road bridge. Reflecting the beauty of India's architecture, the Pamban bridge is 2.3 km long.

Shopping in Rameswaram:  Tourists love to buy silver and conch items, sea shells, handicrafts and wooden jewellery items from Rameswaram. The Khadi items bought here are of pure quality.
Excursions from Rameswaram: One can visit the nearby places from Rameswaram like Erwadi (21km), Kanchirankullam (35 km) and Valinokkam (90 km).
Arudhra Darshanam festival
When to Reach: The best time to visit Rameswaram is between October to April when the climate is very pleasant and soothing. Tourists must avoid visiting Rameswaram during the humid and rainy months from July to September. Thousands of devotees come here during the month of December to celebrate the Arudhra Darshanam festival, in which the sacred Nataraj statue in unveiled.

How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport from Rameswaram is located at Madurai which is 67 km away.
Rail:The metre gauge trains connect the Rameswaram railway station with cities like Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy and Madurai.
Road: Rameswaram is connected to the mainland through Pamban bridge.



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