Friday, December 17, 2010

Ramanathaswamy temple - Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwaram  island is in the Gulf of Mannar which lies at the very  tip of Indian Peninsula. This island  is also known as Pamban island and is connected to the main land by  Pamban rail bridge, an engineering marvel and a great attraction for the tourists. There is another  road bridge running parallel to the Pamban bridge for all other vehicles. The view of the azure sea from the bridge is breath - taking and I have included   some photos for all of you  to enjoy along with the temple photos. This island lies very close to Srilanka across the sea.

Ramanathaswamy temple, is on this island  and is just 100 meters from the sea shore. This bustling pilgrim centre  is considered as  South Kashi. (Kashi or Varanasi is in  North India, an abode of Siva and Hindus believe that  one who is graced to die in Kashi  would attain salvation. I would reserve the details for a later post) . This temple is also part of the 4 dham pilgrimage - the 4 holy places  highly reverred by Hindus, the other three being  Dwaraka in Gujarat, Puri  in Orissa and  Badarinath in Uttarakhand.

Ramanathaswamy is Siva, one of the 12 Jyothirlingams in India. This temple is associated  with Ramayana  epic. To expiate the killing of the demon king Ravana, Rama  and Seeta consecrated the Sivalinga and worshipped the God and hence Siva here is known as Ramanathaswamy. The temple also has 22 theerthams (Holy wells) and devotees make it a point to bathe in these before offering worship to the Lord here. 

Rama had requested Aanjaneya to bring a Sivalinga from Kailash. He did not return at the auspicious hour and Seeta made one, out of sand and that is believed to have been installed here. When  Aanjaneya  returned,  he tried to remove the Lingam made by Seeta with his tail and He was unsuccessful as one made by Seeta got rooted. The one brought by Hanuman is at the Eastern entrance and  devotees worship  this Lingam first, before offering worship to Ramanathaswamy.

Amman here is known as Parvatha Vardhini, there are Vinayagar and Murugan shrines on either side  of Ramanathaswamy temple and a huge Nandi in the centre, facing the inner prakaram. This temple houses the longest multi- pillared corridor in Asia , with more than 1000 pillars and one can enjoy the beauty of this magnificient corridors which is about 230 metres long, a side . Tourist from all over the world flock to watch this grand corridor. This temple also houses a spatika Linga and there is a worship early in the morning at 4 am and devotees are allowed to have a darshan of the same, only at that time.

There is also a separate shrine for Natarajar and Sivakami and this shrine is fully decorated with rudraksha.

Aadi Amavasi festival is very important here and pilgrims converge here and  perform  holy 'duties' for the departed ancestors, pray for their salvation and to redeem themselves from the sins of the previous births.

A few kilometeres from this wonderful temple is Rama Paduka temple situated on a small hillock known as  Gandhamadhana Parvata. One has to climb a few steps to reach this temple.  We can see imprints of  Lord Rama's feet here. It is believed that Rama had a view of Lanka from this place.There is also a temple of Kothandaramaswamy  in Rameshwaram  on the road to Dhanushkodi , a  pilgrim town the whole of which was washed away during a heavy cyclone in 1964.  One can find  remnants of this town as one proceeds along the road, a few kilometers towards the old location of Dhanushkodi.

How to reach : The nearest airport is at Madurai - distance 165 Kms. 
Rameshwaram is well connected by rail from Chennai and Madurai.
Buses ply from all parts of Tamil Nadu to this holy town.
Accommodation:  This  temple town has many hotels, lodges and mutts .
Location map is given along with labels.

Other temples near Rameshwaram are Sethukkarai, Navagrahas at Devipattanam and Tirupullani.  All these temples are connected with Ramayana epic. Shall post these one by one.


62 comments:

  1. What beautiful pics Chitra as always...
    Remember visiting Rameswaram some 10 years ago... It was so beautiful...
    You have made me nostalgic!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chitra- Blogsphere is driving me crazy..I have seen so many places lately through beautiful pictures like these that I always wanted to go to. Rameshwaram is definitely near the very top of my list. Thank you for the most beautiful reminder.

    US Masala

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very beautiful. Your description is awesome too and pictures are so complete :))

    ReplyDelete
  4. OH WOWO look at that ... the pictures simple gorgeous.. as i have said earlier THANKS as people like me sitting so far away get to see the beauty via ur blog and we get to visit all these holy shrines THANKS...

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
  5. Arti, I am happy my post took you back to this temple.I too liked the scenery so much, I keep looking at it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aipi, I wish you would get an opportunity soon to enjoy all this in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A, I am so happy to see your comment- for the encouraging words.thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bikram, Aapko aacha laga ,Mein Khush,thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The sea is beautiful. The temple walkway is excellently photographed. Havent been there yet, I so want to go.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, you are right, this is indeed a marvel of engineering. Many thanks for the link giving more information.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Insigna, Thanks for the appreciation. hope you would be able to visit the temple soon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. PW, I cannot include everything in my post hence the links and I am sure it would be informative for many.Hope you are recovering fast.tc

    ReplyDelete
  13. narration is good
    pics are excellent sea pic beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rameshwaram is one of the most important temples on the Hindu pilgrimage circuit.

    I believe the pillars in the multi-pillared hall produce musical sounds when struck.

    The sea and the coast seem quite clean despite the multitude of people coming here for bathing and offering puja!

    Thanks for this post and he images, Chitra.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Archana,
    There are no musical pillars in the long corridor, such a thing is there in Madurai temple.

    The sea is getting polluted a lot, yesterday I read an article regarding the need to take steps in that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for posting this especially the photos as I did not own a camera then. Brought back lots of memories.
    Remembered the bath from the 22 wells and the many, many pillars of the temple, the foot imprints.
    I love Badrinath!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very nice post.You have kindled in me the desire to visit this great temple that I have missed so far.Thanks Chitra

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nice set of Pics Chitra... Rameswaram has a special place in our scriptures.. Is invariably in the to-visit list of most of Hindus.
    I visited this place long back in 2003, if I remember right. . Could not make to Devipatnam at that time...Eagerly waiting to see your Pics.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As usual awesome clicks. Had been to this temple when I was small, ur post rekindled all those memories

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Chair Speaks,
    I am happy you liked all the photos. Badrinath trip was my favourite too. The memories of beautiful snow capped mountains itself refreshes the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  21. KP,
    Haven't visited yet? You could have included that along with your last Kumbakonam trip:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sridharan,
    I am sure you would have clicked much more. regarding other temples I also visited that on my recent visit which was my 4 th trip.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Bhagya,
    happy, you liked my post and it made you nostalgic.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Chitra that tunnel is just awesome, loved your shots.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Mridula, thanks. Your comments make me happy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Our hometown (hubby's) happens to be just near this, so this is one temple i have visited umpteen times..... but never took a camera inside... didnt know i could, too! but beautiful snaps and great description... also, if u go early in the morning, u can see abhishekam to the spatika lingam as well as the original lingam uncovered.. have u seen it?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anu, I had planned to go for the spatika linga darshan but last minute could not do so.I have seen the deity with out much alankaram. You cannot take photos only inside the sannidhis. Another thing is we usually don't stay there . We just travel up and down on the same day.

    Blessed are you, that you could visit this temple many times.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Beautiful post Chitra, like a mini-trip! Here, it snows again - so much!

    ReplyDelete
  29. chitra ji..march la chennai visit plan..hope v all catch up...maybe u can write about parthasarathy temple--which is very old and vivekandanda visited..tc..best wishes always

    ReplyDelete
  30. Martina,Thanks . Have a nice week ahead. I now it is freezinfg cold there. Can't bear such cold.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ramesh,
    Parathasarthy temple post panni one year aachu.It is already there in my list of temples.

    March- If possible we would meet if I am in Chennai during that time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I so wish to visit this place... looks amazing lovely photos

    ReplyDelete
  33. Chitra through you, so many readers are definitely doing their pilgrimage. I am really enjoying my journey with you. God Bless You. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Rajalakshmi, You would really love this and will be able to capture lot on your camera.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Kiran,
    Thanks Kiran. Happy to read your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Chitra
    lot of thanks for sharing such wonderful journeys

    ReplyDelete
  37. Awww Chitra, seeing that ocean makes me green with envy right now. Or at least vanish into a wonderful daydream. This slideshow is beautiful! Big hugs for a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Good work, Rameswaram is my favourite place in south India...Good narration...Thanks and best wishes...

    ReplyDelete
  39. Martina, thanks and Merry christmas once again.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Chitra ji,
    Thanks for this beautiful blog of yours. Many people will get benefit from the information provided here.

    May God bless you with long, happy and hale life so that you may go ahead with your pilgrimages and keep on adding such informative posts on & on...Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jitendarji,
    Thanks a lot. Hope I will be able to do visit more and more places and share with all.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for your lovely posts.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Terrific place. I was planning to do a trip via pampan palam and your post has inspired me to do it as soon as possible.
    What I heard is that there are not many options to stay near rameshwaram and one has to stay at Madurai. From your post it seems that we get stay option in Rameshwaram too.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
    Merry Christmas
    Lyrics Mantra Jingle Bell

    ReplyDelete
  45. subu,
    there are 2-3 decent hotels in Rameshwaram and they are not of star category but have all modern amenities and are quite clean as well.There are many Mutts of various sects.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Harman .
    Thanks for visiting and wish you the same.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hey Chitra you changed your blog template. It is looking very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Kiran, just changed the colour and made it slightly lighter shade. Just learning a few things. Happy you lied it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Nice to see the pictures as well as the description of the temple. I think We have not visited that temple when we went to Rameshwaram.

    ReplyDelete
  50. This post brought back so many memories! Been to Rameshwaram decades ago for the year end-shradda ceremony of my great grandparents. The most enduring memory was the slow train over the Pamban-palam, watching the new one being constructed and the pillars of the old one in the sea.

    ReplyDelete
  51. ?
    The new road is very magnificent. Helps one to enjoy the sea and breeze for long.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Enjoyed my visit again. The area is so peaceful and beautiful Makes you want to lean back and listen to the movement of the wind and waves. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete

Friends ,Thanks for Leaving your comment .I have enabled comment moderation.
This website is not for posting free advertisements.