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Lord Shiva (Arulmigu Ramanatha Swami)

Temple History

Rameshwaram Temple is situated in the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and is reached via the Pamban Bridge across the sea. The huge temple is known for its long ornate corridors, towers and theerthams.
Taking the Ganga water to Rameshwar, is considered as a very auspicious and pious thing to do after the pilgrimage of the four holy shrines. After taking a holy bath in Ganga water, the holy water is carried and offered to Lord shiva of Rameshwaram. After this a little sand from here is carried to Ganga and immersed there. Completing this ritual is believed to make one’s pilgrimage complete and successful.
After Sita’s abduction, Ram wandered in the jungles looking for her. While doing so, he met Sugriva and made friends with him. Later with the help of special messenger Sri Hanuman, he found out where Sita was taken. Then Rama prepared an army to invade Ravana’s empire and reached the southern seashore. He did not have any means of crossing the sea. Lakshman and Sugriva saw Rama, who is a Shiva devotee in great anguish and could do nothing. But Ravana received some special boons from Lord Shiva. Rama was aware of this and therefore, his fears could not be set at rest. In the mean time, Rama was full thirsty. Just as he was about to drink water, he remembered that he was yet to perform Shiva pooja. He immediately made a Prathiv Linga and worshipped it with sixteen methods, i.e., Shodasopachar Vidhis.
Ramji prayed to Lord Shiva ardently and soulfully, and sang songs of Lord Shiva’s praise in a loud voice. He danced and made the sounds of “Aagad bam bam”. This pleased Lord Shiva immediately and instantly appeared before Rama and told him that could ask for any boons and that he would grant them. Ram showed a lot of care, affection and love to Lord Shiva and prayed and paid obeisance. Rama said “If You want to grant me my wishes, please stay on this earth for the sake of all make it holy” Shiva granted the same by saying “Evamastu” meaning “so be it”. He thus stayed there and came to be known as Rameshwara, in the form of a Shiva Linga and became popular.
With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Rama killed all the demons including Ravana and became victorious. Any one who takes a Darshan of the JyotirLinga at Rameshwar and sprinkles the holy water of Ganga, attains salvation, Kaivalya Moksha or Nirvana.
According to yet another legend, while returning to Ayodhya, Ram worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita. It is said that Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from Banaras. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama offered worship to a Shivalingam at a pre-chosen auspicious moment. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram.
There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathar said to have been brought by Hanuman from Banares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered to Ramanathaswamy.
This island shrine consists of 24 odd holy water sources like Rama teerth, Sita Kund, Jata Teerth, Lakshman Teerth, Kapi Teerthas, Brahmakund, Galawa teerth, Mangala teerth, Kodandaram teerth, Pandav teerth etc., The waters at all these places is sweet and has a taste of its own. Every teerth has a typical story attached to it. Devotees take Darshan and feel purged by doing so.
Structure of Rameshwaram Temple:
Rameswaram Temple is spread over an area of 15 acres and has lofty gopurams, massive walls and a colossal Nandi. Rameswaram Jyotirlinga also boasts of a 4000 feet long pillared corridor with over 4000 pillars, supposedly the longest in the world. The carved granite pillars are mounted on a raised platform. Worth noticing fact about this corridor is that the rock is not indigenous to the island and is said to have been brought in from elsewhere in Tamil Nadu across the sea.

The eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height of 126 feet and has nine levels. The Western Rajagopuram is also quite impressive though not as tall as the Eastern one. The temple also has several mandapams with mini shrines to other deities. There is a huge Nandi measuring 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height with the idols of Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker. The lingams are housed in the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara. High walls enclose the temple, forming a rectangle with huge pyramidal gopura entrances on each side.
On the tall stone pillars of temple, beautiful carvings can be seen. Elephants with their trunks raised are seen. The four sides of the temple are enclosed by strong stone walls. They are 650 ft. and 12ft. wide and tall respectively. This wonderful temple built on the sand island, is a work of great art and very impressive.

Near to a gold plated pillar, a river is carved on a monolithic stone of 13 feet high and a foot wide. This indeed is a typical example of beautiful sculpting.

Near the main temple of Rameshwar, there is a separate temple for Parvati known as Parvatavardhini temple. Besides this, there are temples of Santana Ganapati, Veerabhadra Hanuman, navagrahas, etc., At a distance of about nearly 2 kilometers from the main temple, there is Gandhamaadhan mountain. In spite of being a sandy area, it is very green with a variety of flora. This is the Nandanavan of Rameshwar.
During Mahashivaratri and on the 15th day in the month of Ashadha (Rainy season) a Badatra mela/fete takes place, with great festivity.
Significance of Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga has been described through a shloka in Manas:
Je rameshwar darshan kari hahi |
Te tanu taji mam loka sidaari hahi ||
Meaning: Those who go to Rameshwar and seeks my blessings, shall always reside in Shivloka.

 

Additional Information

Good accommodation facilities are near the temple. You can book the temple Choultry online from its website. Hotel Vinayaga Rameshwaram, Daiwik Rameswaram, J iwan Residency, Brindavan Residency, Hotel Queen Palace, Hotel Pearl Residency, Hotel SS Grand, Hotel Senthil Andavar, Hotel park plaza are the best hotels for the accommodation of pilgrims.

The nearest Airport is Madhurai 176 km from Rameshwaram. The Bus stand is 1.2Km and Railway station is 1.9Km from this temple.
Rameshwaram is connected by rail with Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari ,Trichy, Thanjavur and other important cities. The two kilometers stretch of Indira Gandhi Bridge connects the island of Rameshwaram to the mainland of Mandapam.
While traveling within the township, you may hire jeeps, auto rickshaws and even cycle rickshaw.
  • Morning: 05:00 A.M to 01:00 P.M and Evening: 03:00 P.M to 09:00 P.M
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: +91 4573 221 223
www.rameswaramtemple.tnhrce.in,