Rameshvaram temple is situated on an island called Rameshwaram, is located in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamilnadu, southern state of India .This is a one among the holiest places in India which is considered equivalent as to Kasi (Banaras), the famous holy place in North India. It represents the southernmost of the all twelve Jyotirlingams of India.
Rameswaram is an interesting temple both from the standpoint of its association with Rama and from a structural standpoint.Rameshwaram is popularly referred as the ‘Banaras of the south’. In order to attain Moksha it is believed that a visit to Rameshwaram is mandatory. It is the place from where Lord Rama had built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita. This is the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of Ravana.
Rameshwaram is where Lord Rama rested and prayed after his triumph over the demon king Ravan. A sacred site for both Vaishnavites and Shaivities, no Hindu pilgrimage is complete without a visit to this holy city. The island of Rameshwaram is one of the most venerable temple towns in India without a visit to which, the pilgrimage of a devout Hindu is not complete. According to the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama(an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the protector), rested here before and after his battles with Ravana, the demon king, in Sri Lanka, just 24 kilometers away.
Holy Legend behind Rameshwaram- When the Demon King Ravana Abducted Sita the wife of Lord Rama and took her to his Palace in Shri Lanka then Rama came to rescue her but before he could cross the straits which separated the mainland from the island of Lanka, he made a lingam of Shiva and prayed to him to help him rescue his wife. Shiva appeared and blessed him with all success. Rama requested Shiva to stay in that spot forever. This is the lingam called Ramalingeswara and it is one of the most famous places of worship in India.
For every Hindu devotee Rameshwaram tour is a must visit. According to historical facts, the origin of the temple can be dated back to the 12th century. The construction of the colossal, yet magnificent temple of Sri Rameshwaram Temple was initiated by Parakrama Bahu of Sri Lanka in the 12th century AD and it was completed by the Setupathy rulers of Ramanathapuram. Many rulers down the centuries added many constructions to the temple, the latest of them being the long corridor called the 3rd prakaram, built in the 18th century.
What to visit in Rameshwaram- The places of visit include the Ramanathaswamy Temple, which was built in the 17th century and is situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island; this temple is famous for its 1200 gigantic granite columns. At a distance of about 100 metres comes the Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself from the killing Ravana.Another shrine called Gandamadana Parvatham is worth visiting. This shrine is found at 2kms away from Rameshwaram. A place called Dhanushkodi named after Rama’s bow is at the eastern end of the island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram.
Specific feature of Rameshwaram Temple– The temple has striking long corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high. Yet another finest example of the Dravidian architecture.
What else to visit in Rameshwaram- When you go for the holy pilgrimage tour to Rameshwaram then how can you forget to enjoy the serene beach here. shallow water of the Rameshwaram beach is an ideal for swimming as well as sunbathing. It can be called the only place where one could swim in the sea day and night. Above all, catch an enjoyable sight of frolicsome game of dolphins in the water.