Rameshwaram – The Ultimate Pilgrimage Destination

Rameshwaram

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Ramanathaswamy Temple
  3. Interesting Facts on Ramanathaswamy Temple
  4. Other Famous Temples in Rameshwaram
  5. Tourist Places to Visit in Rameshwaram
  6. Things to do in Rameshwaram
  7. How to Reach Rameshwaram
  8. Best time to Visit Rameshwaram
  9. Places to Eat in Rameshwaram
  10. Places to Visit near Rameshwaram
  11. Hotels in Rameshwaram

Introduction

Rameshwaram is a small island and a pilgrimage center located at a distance of around 570-600 km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The island is connected to the mainland via the famous Pamban Bridge. This religious town holds a huge significance in the epic Ramayana and has various Hindu temples and places of religious interest. Additionally, there some pristine beaches that make this town worth a visit.

Pamban Bridge
Pamban Bridge

Ramanathaswamy Temple

Rameshwaram is synonymous with the Ramanathaswamy Temple. It is one of the four ‘dhams’ in the Char Dham yatra taken by many Hindus to attain salvation. It is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. There are 22 theerthams (holy water wells) in the temple. It is believed that bathing in them can help you atone for all your sins. According to the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama halted at this place after rescuing Goddess Sita and worshipped Lord Shiva to atone for killing Ravana.

Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameshwaram

Interesting Facts on Ramanathaswamy Temple

Pillars of Ramanathaswamy Temple
Pillars of Ramanathaswamy Temple
  • It is believed that Lord Rama had established the temple to pray to Lord Shiva to atone for the sins in Sri Lanka for killing Ravana.
  • According to Hindu literature, there are 12 Jyotirlingas in India that had appeared automatically. Visiting all 12 can help them attain moksha and break free from the cycle of life and death. The Ramanathaswamy Temple houses one Jyotirlinga.
  • The temple is one of the four destinations in the Char Dham yatra taken by many Hindus at least once during their lifetime.
  • There are two Lingams in the temple. Of these, one is believed to have been built with sand by Goddess Sita and the other was brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailasha – the abode of Lord Shiva.
  • The temple has a hall with 1212 pillars, each 30 feet tall. There are different carvings on each pillar.
  • There are 22 theerthams or holy water wells/tanks in the temple complex. All devotees are expected to bathe in all of them before entering the temple. They represent the 22 arrows in Lord Ram’s quiver.
  • The temple is one of 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
  • The corridors of the Ramanathaswamy Temple are the longest in the world. The total length of the corridors is 3850 feet.
Rameshwaram infographics

Other Famous Temples in Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram is one of the holiest places in India. There are many temples in this small town with amazing stories and mesmerizing architecture. Apart from the Ramanathaswamy or Rameshwaram Temple, here are other famous temples in Rameshwaram:

Jada Tritham Temple

Jada Tritham Temple at Rameshwaram
  • Temple History & Interesting Facts – This temple is located at a distance of around 3 kilometers from the Ramanathaswamy Temple. It has a mythological sacred pond where it is believed that Lord Rama washed his hair before worshipping Lord Shiva.
  • Temple timings – The temple is open for devotees throughout the week from 6 AM to 11 AM and 4 PM to 8 PM.
  • Dress code – Ethnic traditional clothes
  • Best time to visit – The Hindu festivals of Ramnavami and Shivratri are the best time to visit this temple.

Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple

Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple at Rameshwaram
  • Temple History & Interesting Facts – It is located at a distance of around 2 kilometers from the Ramanathaswamy Temple. According to legends, this temple was built at the place where Lord Hanuman revealed the secret about his five faces. There is a floating stone in the temple that is said to be from Sethu Bandhanam.
  • Temple Timings – The temple is open throughout the week from 6 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.
  • Dress code – There is no specific dress code for the temple but it is advisable to wear Indian clothes.
  • Best time to visit Hanuman Jayanti is a great time to visit the temple. You can also visit on Saturdays or during other Hindu festivals.

Dhanushkodi Temple

Dhanushkodi Temple at Rameshwaram
  • Temple History & Interesting Facts – It is located in the small town of Dhanushkodi near Rameshwaram. It is nestled by the sea. Although in ruins, it attracts many pilgrims throughout the year due to several mentions in the epic Ramayana.
  • Temple Timings – The temple is open throughout the week from 6 AM to 7 PM.
  • Dress code – There is no specific dress code for the temple but it is advisable to wear simple clothes. Jeans are not allowed.
  • Best time to visit – You can visit the temple during any Hindu festivals.

Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple

Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple
  • Temple History & Interesting Facts – It is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Dakshina Kali, located at a distance of around 8 kilometers from the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Locals believe that devotees who don’t have children are blessed with a child if they pray at this temple.
  • Temple Timings – The temple is open throughout the week from 4.30 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Dress code – There is no specific dress code for the temple but it is advisable to wear simple clothes.
  • Best time to visit – You can visit the temple during Navratri and any other Hindu festivals.

Tourist Places to visit in Rameshwaram

Apart from the religious places, there are many other places that attract tourists around the year. Here are some tourist places in Rameshwaram:

Ariyaman Beach
Ariyaman Beach
  1. Dhanushkodi Beach – This is a serene beach ideal to spend a relaxing day/evening at. With the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, the Dhanushkodi Beach is a good way to enjoy solitude. Check out this gorgeous New Year’s Eve getaway to Dhanuskodi.
  2. Ariyaman Beach – Unlike the Dhanushkodi Beach, Ariyaman Beach is famous for boating and water sports. If you are traveling with children, then this can be a good option since there is a museum, an aquarium, and a children’s park near the beach.
  3. Pamban Bridge – This is probably the first sea bridge in India connecting the mainland with Rameshwaram. A railway track and road run parallel to each other. The bridge has a functional double-leaf bascule section that opens to allow boats/ships through. A long drive on this road will be memorable.
  4. Rama Setu – The Rama Setu or Adam’s Bridge connects Rameshwaram’s Dhanushkodi tip to the Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. This is a mesmerizing collection of limestone shoals that are arranged in a chain and stretch way into the ocean.
Rama Setu
Rama Setu

Savaari recommends visiting these 5 beaches south of the Vindhyas if you are a beach lover.

Things to do in Rameshwaram

Here are some interesting things to do in Rameshwaram:

 Dhanushkodi Beach
Dhanushkodi Beach
  • Visit the beaches in Rameshwaram – Being an island town, Rameshwaram has a lot of beaches. Right from isolated beaches for peace and solitude to water sports, windsurfing, and parasailing, etc.
  • Visit the Kalam House Museum – This museum documents the life of India’s most loved President APJ Abdul Kalam. His house has been converted into a museum with souvenirs available for sale too.
  • Visit the Ghost Town of Dhanushkodi – This was a flourishing trade town in the 1960s that was wiped clean by a cyclone in 1964. Subsequently, this thin strip of land submerged under seawater and the Indian government declared it unfit for inhabitation – a ghost town.
  • Go Kite Surfing – Rameshwaram is one of the best kite surfing destinations in India.
  • Bird Watching – There are many bird sanctuaries around Rameshwaram that are home to numerous migratory birds. The months from October to March are the best for spotting rare and unique birds.
Kite Surfing in Rameshwaram
Kite Surfing

How to Reach Rameshwaram

Here is how you can reach the pilgrimage town of Rameshwaram:

  • By Train – Rameshwaram has a railway station. You can take a train from Bangalore, Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai, Palakkad, and Thanjavur. You can avail of a taxi in Rameshwaram to go around the city with ease.
  • By Road – Rameshwaram is well-connected with most cities in Tamil Nadu. You can reach Rameshwaram from the following cities with ease:
    • Thanjavur to Rameshwaram: 230-330 km (depending on the route)
  • By Flight – The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is Madurai that is at a distance of around 170-220 km. You can book a Madurai airport taxi to Rameshwaram and reach within three-four hours.
Roadtrip to Rameshwaram
Road Trip to Rameshwaram

Best time to visit Rameshwaram

The weather in Rameshwaram is tropical. Hence, the best time to visit Rameshwaram is from October to April. The climate is pleasant and the temperature touches 17°C during these months. This can be a perfect time to experience the town. Summers can be hot with temperatures ranging from 32-43°C. Monsoon can be hot too with temperatures ranging between 28 and 35°C.

Places to Eat in Rameshwaram

Here are places to eat in Rameshwaram:

  • Ahaan – The Restaurant, Madurai Rameshwaram Highway: A multi-cuisine restaurant
  • Gujarat Bhavan, Sanadhi Street: Gujarati cuisine
  • Ram Nivas Restaurant, Near Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple: Indian cuisine
  • Siva Sakthi Bhojanalaya (SSB), West Car Street: South Indian food

Places to visit near Rameshwaram

If you are in Rameshwaram for a few days, then here are some tourist places near Rameshwaram:

  • Sivakasi: Located at a distance of around 200-210 km, Sivakasi is well-known for its fireworks and matchbox industries. The town gets its name from an ancient story where it is believed that hundreds of years ago, a King of Southern Madurai brought a Shivalingam from Kasi (Varanasi) to this town.
  • Thiruchendur: Located at a distance of around 225 km, Thiruchendur is believed to be one of the holy abodes of Lord Murugan.
  • Thanjavur: Located at a distance of around 240 km, Thanjavur offers a glimpse into its rich history via temples, palaces, and art galleries.
  • Tirunelveli: Located at a distance of around 230 km, Tirunelveli is known as the land of temples and windmills.
Sivakasi
Sivakasi

You can easily book a reliable outstation cab in Rameshwaram using Savaari’s car rental app to visit these nearby attractions.

Hotels in Rameshwaram

Here are some popular hotels in Rameshwaram for a memorable stay:

Daiwik Hotels Rameswaram
Daiwik Hotels
  • Hotel Panchavarnaa, Madasamy Kovi Street
  • Hotel Vel Residency, East Street
  • JKR Resort & Spa, near Kaatupillaiyar Temple
  • Hotel Ragavendra, East Street
  • Hotel Venbha Residency, Sudukattu Patti Road
  • Daiwik Hotels
  • Akash Residency, JJ-Nagar
  • Right Choice Hotels, Eswariamman Koil Street
  • Hotel Arjunaa, Temple Road

About the author

An engineer by degree, a writer by passion, I’m a lover of fiction, classics and Shah Rukh Khan. When I’m not busy challenging the status quo, one word at a time, I fancy reading, shoe-hoarding and petting my cat.

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