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Pilgrimage in India »» Hindu Pilgrim Centers»

Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu, India

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Location: Island of Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, North India
Best time to Visit: Throughout the year
Significance: One of The 12 Jyotirlingas Of India, A Pilgrimage To Kashi Is Not Considered Complete Without A Pilgrimage To Rameshwaram, the place where Rama worshipped Shiva to be absolved of the sin of killing Ravana.

Rameswaram is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on an island separated from the mainland by the Pamban channel. Together with Kashi, it is considered one of the holiest places in India to Hindus. Hence, it is a bustling pilgrim centre.
It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important pilgrim centre for the Hindus, Rameshwaram, according to legends, is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Shiva to be absolved of the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage centre which is known as the Varanasi of the south.

The Past

According to the Hindu mythology i.e. the story of Ramayana Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals to Lord Rama after the battle at Sri Lanka and his triumph over the demon king Ravana. Owing to this Rameshwaram attracts Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and Saivites (worshippers of Lord Shiva) alike. Sri Lanka is at a distance of 24 kilometers from Rameshwaram. In fact the entire area of Rameshwaram is associated with various incidents from the Ramayana. Rameshwaram happens to one of the most visited pilgrim sites in India.

Pilgrim/Tourist Attractions in Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy Temple

Close to the sea, on the eastern side of the island, is this 17th century temple, renowned for its magnificent pillar corridor, running to a length of 1200 metres, and flanked by ornate pillars. This is the longest corridor in India. Construction of the temple began, in the 12th century AD, and additions were made to the building, over the succeeding centuries by various rulers, and, today, its gopuram is 53.6 metres high. There are 22 sacred wells in the temple, the water of each tasting different from the others.


100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana.

Gandamadana Parvatham

Situated on the highest point in the island, 2 km north of Rameshwaram town centre, is the venerable shrine, housing the imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a chakra.


Dhanushkodi, at the eastern end of the island, is located 8 kms away from Rameshwaram. This is the place where Rama is said to have bathed, and the boulders that pepper the sea between here and Srilanka, known as Adam's bridge, were the stepping stones used by Hanuman to find Rama's wife Sita, after she was abducted by Ravana, the King of Lanka. Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the sea, in the 1964 cyclone. The only surviving relic of the past is the Kothandaramaswamy temple, which still contains the icons of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana. Legend states that Vibhishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot.


Festivals are celebrated in the Ramanathaswamy temple, in connection with Thai Amavasi (Jan), Masi Sivarathiri (Feb-Mar), Thirukalyanam (July-Aug) and Mahalaya Amavasi (Sept).

How to Reach Rameshwaram

Air : The nearest airport is at Madurai, at a distance of 154-km.

Rail :Rameshwaram is well connected by trains from all the major cities of India.

Road :State transport buses are available from the railway station to the various places in and around Rameshwaram.

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