States of India
Rameswaram known as the Varanasi of the south, Rameswaram is a major pilgrimage centre for both Shaivites and Vaishnavaites as it was here that Rama ( an incarnation of Vishnu in the Indian epic the Ramayana ) offered thanks to Siva. At the town's core is the Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the most important temples in southern India.
Rameswaram is on an island in the Gulf of Mannar, connected to the mainland at Mandapam by rail and by one of India's engineering wonders, the Indira Gandhi Bridge. The bridge took 14 years to build and was opened by Rajiv Gandhi late in 1988. The town lies on the island's eastern side and used to be the port from which the ferry to Talaimannar ( Sri Lanka ) departed before passenger services were suspended more than a decade ago. as a result, there are now very few foreign visitors.
Places To See :
A fine example of late Dravidian architecture, this temple is most renowned for its magnificent corridors lined with massive sculptured pillars, noted for their elaborate design, style and rich carving. Legend has it that Rama sanctified this place by worshipping Siva here after the battle of Sri Lanka. Construction of the temple began in the 12th century AD and additions were made over the centuries by varios rulers, so that today its gopuram is 53 m high. Only Hindus may enter the inner sanctrum.
Kothandaraswamy Temple & Dhanushkodi
Twelve km from town, this temple was the only structure to survive the 1964 cyclone which washed the rest of the village away. Legend states that Vibishana, brother of Sita's kidnapper Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot.
Adam's Bridge is the name given to the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka with India. According to legend, this is the series of stepping stones used by Hanuman to follow Ravana, in his bid to rescue Sita.
Dhanushkodi is the best. Closer to town, try the one in front of the Hotel Tamil Nadu. Most of the time you'll have it to yourself as the pilgrims prefer to do their auspicious wading at Agni Theertham, the seashore closest to the temple.
The stepped mandapam or hall, about a mile and a half west of the Ramanathaswamy Temple offers an excellent view of the countryside. There is a footprint here believed to be of Lord Rama.
Travel Information :
Road : The city is well connected to Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai and Trichy. It is also connected to Pondicherry and Thanjavur via Madurai.
Rail : The are many train to Chennai daily. It is connected directly to Manamadurai and Trichy. The passenger trains run at regular interval from Madurai.