Located on the eastern side of the Pamban island, the Ramanathswamy temple is the most prominent attraction of Rameswaram. The temple houses one of the 12 jyotirlingas and is among the Char Dham pilgrimages mandated by Adi Shankracharya. The pilgrimage includes Dwarka, Badrinath and Puri along with Rameswaram.
5 temples in Rameswaram that have the most interesting mythological stories
Legend has it that Rameswaram was Rama’s final stop before he was to reach Lanka, fight the battle against Ravana and bring back his wife, Sita. While at Rameswaram, Rama prayed to Shiva in order to seek his blessings. After he returned victorious with Sita, his brother Lakshmana and Hanumana, Sita insisted that he thank Shiva before they continue with the journey to Ayodhya.
It is believed that Ravana was a devotee of Shiva along with being a Brahmin. So Rama asked Hanumana to get the biggest Shivalingam to Rameswara so that he could pray to Shiva and seek forgiveness for his deeds. Hanumana was on his way to get a tall Himalayan mountain which took too much time. This was when Sita made a linga out of sand and Rama prayed to it. before heading towards Ayodhya.
While the sand linga made by Sita is referred to as Ramalingam and the one Hanumana brought is called Vishwalingam. The Ramanathaswamy temple has the longest corridor in the world. The corridor from east to west is 197 m and the north to south corridor is 133 m wide. The temple also has a gopuram, a pyramidal structure at the entrance is 38.4 m tall.
Within the temple, there are separate shrines for Ramanathswamy, Visalakshi, Parvathavardhini, Santanaganpathi, Mahaganapathi, Subrahmanya, Sethumadhava, Mahalaxmi, Natraja and Anjaneya. The temple complex is also home to 22 teerthams, or holy water bodies in the form of tanks and wells. These teerthams represent the 22 arrows in Rama’s quiver. It is considered essential for every devotee to bathe before entering the sanctum sanctorum.
Photograph courtesy: Ruffy Reddy/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT RAMESWARAM
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Rameswaram is as given below. The best time to visit Rameswaram is also specified.