Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram is a famous temple connected deeply to the Ramayana myth and its one of the very few temples in the history of India which is built in the Dravidian style architecture.
- Opens : 5:00 am to 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- Time Required : 1 to 2 hrs
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Shiva temple and one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples in India. Based on mythology, Sri Ram had prayed here to Shiva in order to absolve his sins for killing Ravana, a Brahmin. It is famous for its collection of Lingas, which were made up of sand, salt, stone and other elements.
This temple was built around 12 – 13 AD according to historians, but the present construction was built around 17th Century. This temple is famous for its two gouprams one to the east and the other to the west. This temple is famous for its longest temple corridor with sandstone pillars.
According to the Skanda Purana, there are 22 wells of holy water bodies are there within the Ramanathaswamy temple. Bathing in these wells is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram and is considered equivalent to penance. The foremost one is called Agni Theertham, the Bay of Bengal. Agni Theertham at the northern end of the Ramanathaswamy temple is another important speciality here. People coming to Rameswaram often take a holy dip at Agni Theertham.
Rameswaram sightseeing is not complete without visiting this temple.
- Agni Theertham is not a place for casual swimming or beach activies. This place can be bit crowded.
- The temple gets crowded during the time of Maha Shivratri.
- Try out breakfast from the famous "Sri Murugan Mess"
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Morning : 5:00 am to 1:00 pm
Afternoon : 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
When Ravana took Sita to Lanka (present SriLanka), Lord Rama built the Ram Sethu bridge with Hanuman's help from here, across the sea to Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that the Rama Sethu was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge was 29km in length and the temple records note that it was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480 CE. This area is also known as Adam's Bridge or Sethubandha Rameshwaram according to different sources.
According to legends, Ram had asked Hanuman to bring a Shiva linga from Kailash for his pooja. But Hanuman was delayed so in the meantime Sita made a Shiva lingam with her own hands and then Ram, Sita and Lakshman prayed to the Lingam. The linga which Sita devi made out of sand is called Ramalinga and linga brought by Hanuman is called Vishwalinga. Both these lingas are placed in the sanctums of the Ramanathaswamy temple. Lord Rama instructed that Vishwalinga will be worshipped first before Ramalinga, and hence till date devotees pray to Vishwalinga and then reach the Ramalinga sanctum for worship at the temple.
There are also many other temples in Rameswaram connected to the Ramayana mythology. Few of the other temples are the Panchamukhi temple of Hanuman (five faced hanuman Temple), Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple (guardian of the land), Gandhamadhana Parvatham (a place believed to be where Gandhamadan Hillock was brought by Hanuman) etc.