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:

Arti said...

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

aipi said...

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

A said...

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

Bikramjit said...

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

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

Bikram, Aapko aacha laga ,Mein Khush,thanks.

Insignia said...

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

....Petty Witter said...

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

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

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

sm said...

narration is good
pics are excellent sea pic beautiful

Archana said...

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.

chitra said...

sm, thank you.

chitra said...

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.

The Chair Speaks said...

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!

KParthasarathi said...

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

Sridharan said...

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.

bhagyareema said...

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

chitra said...

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.

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

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.

chitra said...

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

Mridula said...

Chitra that tunnel is just awesome, loved your shots.

chitra said...

Mridula, thanks. Your comments make me happy.

Anu said...

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?

chitra said...

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.

പ്രദീപ്‌ പേരശ്ശന്നൂര്‍ said...

my present

Martina said...

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

R. Ramesh said...

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

chitra said...

Pradeep, thanks.

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

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.

Rajlakshmi said...

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

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

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

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

Kiran,
Thanks Kiran. Happy to read your comment.

AswathiBabu said...

Chitra
lot of thanks for sharing such wonderful journeys

chitra said...

Aswathi, thanks a lot.

Martina said...

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!

Gopakumar V S (ഗോപന്‍ ) said...

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

chitra said...

Martina, thanks and Merry christmas once again.

chitra said...

Gopakumar,
thanks a lot.

Sushma Mallya said...

very beautiful temple..

chitra said...

Thanks Sushma.

जितेन्द्र ‘जौहर’ Jitendra Jauhar said...

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!

R. Ramesh said...

nanri:)

chitra said...

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

chitra said...

Ramesh:))

bettyl said...

Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for your lovely posts.

subu.ps said...

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.

Harman said...

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

chitra said...

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.

chitra said...

Harman .
Thanks for visiting and wish you the same.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

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

chitra said...

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

Prabha Kamath said...

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.

chitra said...

Prabakka thanks.

? said...

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.

chitra said...

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

hummer said...

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.