Rameswaram is a town in Tamil Nadu. Rameswaram is a famous religious destination in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The prominent town lies in the Ramanathapuram district of the state. The distance from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is 572 km.
Location of Rameswaram
The sacred town of Rameswaram is situated on Pamban Island. The island does not form a portion of the Indian mainland and it is disconnected by the Pamban canal. The distance of the holy town from the Mannar Island in Sri Lanka is approximately 50 km. Another name of Rameswaram Island is Pamban Island and the Pamban Bridge links the island to the Indian Territory. Rameswaram is also the last station on the railway track from Madurai and Chennai. Along with Kashi, Rameswaram is regarded as one of the famous sacred sites in India to the followers of Hindu religion. It constitutes the Char Dham or four most religious places of worship in India. As a result of this, it has turned into a vibrant religious hub.
GETTING INTO RAMESWARAM
The sacred town is linked with all major areas in the state of Tamil Nadu. City buses ply and night bus services are also offered to the travelers. The different modes of transportation via roadways include tourist taxis, point to point services, horse carts, and auto or cycle rickshaws.
The taxi fare for a small vehicle like Tata Indica starts from Rs.5 per km. For a return tour from Madurai to the holy town, you may have to spend about Rs.1800. APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) runs Rameswaram to Tirupathi bus services on a regular basis.
The closest airport is located in Madurai and the distance from the town is 174 km. Indian Airlines links Madurai with the following major cities in India:
- Thiruchi (Tiruchirappalli)
Only railways join Rameswaram to the Indian mainland. The holy place is linked with all important cities such as the following through railways:
For traveling within the town, you can avail buses and bus fares vary between Rs.3 and 5. The auto rickshaws plying within the town don’t operate on meters and travelers need to book or reserve the auto. Charges vary between Rs.15 and 40.
Geographical Features of Rameswaram
Rameswaram is an island at the extreme end of the Indian isthmus and is nestled in the Gulf of Mannar. As stated by mythological stories, this is the area where a bridge was constructed by Lord Rama, which is called Adam’s Bridge (Ram Setu) over the sea to Sri Lanka to salvage his wife Sita from Ravana who kidnapped her. Both the followers of Shiva and Vishnu come to this religious hub. Because of the religious importance of the place, it is named as the Varanasi of the South. The town covers a total area of 61.8 Km or 34 sq miles.
What makes Rameswaram famous?
The town is the birthplace of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former Indian President. He grew up in a tiny fishing village known as Dhanushkodi lying on this island.
The seashores of Rameswaram are known for their picturesque features. The stunning sea is tranquil and almost free of any waves. The sea waves go up to a maximum altitude of 3 cm and the sight appears similar to an extensive river. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama of the famous Hindu epic Ramayana offered his prayers to Lord Varuna, the sea god, to build the route to Lanka. Lord Varuna blessed him, offering an approval, stating that he will diminish the intensity of the sea waves in order to help him construct a stone bridge.
Climate of Rameswaram
The town features an arid weather with a considerable extent of humidity. The mean yearly precipitation of the town is 94 cm. The major volume of precipitation results from the Northeast torrential rain which takes place from the month of October to January. The temperature of the area measures between 30°C and 35°C. The maximum temperature registered was 37°C at Pamban station and the minimum temperature ever recorded was 17°C.
Demographic Features of Rameswaram
According to the census performed in 2001, the number of people living in Rameswaram was 38,035. Males represent 52% of the people residing in the town and females 48%. The mean literacy rate of the place is 72%. The mean literacy rate among men in the town is 77% and the same among women is 66%. About 13% of the people living in the town are below the age of six years. People use various languages like English, Tamil, Hindi and other North Indian languages.
Major Tourist Attractions in Rameswaram
The major tourist attractions in and around Rameswaram are as follows:
Religious places and shrines
- Anjaneya Shrine
- Anuppu Mandapam
- Arilmigu Kothandaramar Temple
- Badrakaliamman Temple
- Gandamadana Parvatham (Tallest point in the town)
- Kalyana Mandapam
- Mahaganapathi Shrine
- Mahalaxmi Shrine
- Nambu Nayagiamman Temple
- Nandi Mandapam
- Nataraja Shrine
- Perumal Shrine
- Ramalinga Pratishta
- Ramanathaswami Shrine
- Ramarpaadham Temple
- Satchi Hanuman Temple
- Sethumadhava Shrine
- Sethupathi Mandapam
- Subrahmanya Shrine
- Sukravara Mandapam
- The Five-faced Hanuman Temple
- Utsava Idols
- Villoondi Theertham
- Visalakshi Shrine
- Viswanatha Shrine
Other tourist attractions
- Ramarpadm – Footprints of Lord Rama
- Floating stones of the Five – faced Hanuman Temple
- Nandi Statue
- Sita Kund – The pond got its name from Sita
- The Corridor of Ramanathaswamy Temple
- Sugreevar Theertham It is a lotus pond en route to Ramarpadham Temple
- Lakshman Theertham. The backdrop features the Rameswaram TV Tower, which is the highest tower in the country.
- Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge, also known as the Pamban Bridge
The Ramanathaswamy Temple is a renowned place of worship for Hindus, which is devoted to Lord Shiva. It lies on the island of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is famous for featuring the most extensive corridor in the world. From east to west, the length of the corridor is 197 meters and from south to north, the breadth of the corridor is 133 meters.
The puja procedure at the principal temple can be categorized into the following:
- Mani Darshanam
- Samudra Snanam
- Teerth Snanam
- Main Puja
The pujas take place six times a day in the temple.
Danushkodi or Dhanushkodi is the southernmost point of Rameswaram. It lies close to the eastern seashores of Tamil Nadu and is a tiny village. The length of this strip of land is 18 km and it has a width of about one km.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama destroyed the bridge or sethu with one end of his bow when Vibeeshana, the brother of Ravana and his friend, urged him to do so. As a result, the name Dhanushkodi originated. Dhanush stands for bow and Kodi implies end. There is a saying that Lord Rama commemorated this area with one end of his legendary bow.
Popular Festivals in Rameswaram
Rama’s reverence is celebrated from June 15 to July 15 in the month of Aani. In addition, two Bhrammotsavams are observed every year in Maasi and in Aadi. Vasanthotsavam, Navarathri Festival or Dussehra, Aarudhira Dharshna, Kantha Sashti, and Mahasivarathri are some other festivals.
Educational Institutions in Rameswaram
The town is home to the following schools and educational institutes:
- Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School
- Govt. Boys Higher Secondary School
- Ramakrishna High School
- St. Joseph High School
There is a government hospital in the town and the Temple Trust Ayurvedic Dispensary also distributes medicines among travelers and poor people without any cost.
Places to stay in Rameswaram
Given below are the places where you can stay while touring this popular religious hub:
- Air-conditioned rooms (North Car Street)
- Anbu Illam
- Ashok Bhavan
- Birla Cottages
- Birla Outhouse
- Birla Rest House
- Damani Rest House
- Devasthanam Canteen
- Hotel Abirami
- Hotel Arya Bhavan
- Hotel Beema Vilas
- Hotel Ganesh Bhavan
- Hotel Guru
- Hotel Royal Park
- Hotel Shanmuga Paradise
- Hotel Tamil Nadu
- Kuzhumani House
- Ramamandiram Bungalow
- Shriram Hotel Island Star
- Siva Sankara Bhavan
- Thirupathi Rest House
- Thiruppani Bungalow
- Vivekanandha House (Double Bed)
- Vivekanandha House (Single Bed)
- Hotel Royal Park, Semma Madam, Ramnad Highway (on the main highway after the Pamban bridge), ☎ (04573) 221680 (mobile: (0) 94431 59722), .Best privately run hotel in town. The tariff is quite high considering that Rameswaram is a small town, 1650 R per night, excluding luxury tax which comes to about 200 rupees, no breakfast included. Also has a good restaurant attached. The staff are warm and friendly. Ample secure parking place for cars. But it is quite far away from the main temple.
- Tamilnadu Hotel ( Hotel Agnniteertham ), Tel: 04573-221064-67 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). of Tamilnadu Tourism Developement Corporation (TTDC)-an under taking of Taminadu Government – provides good accommodation at reasonable rates (Rs.300 – Rs.900). Hotel is situated in front of sea near important Ramanathaswami Temple of South India. (UP) This hotel is currently under renovation.
- Blue Coral Cottage Address: Agasthiar Theertham, Near Tamilnadu Hotel, Telephone No: 091 -9578076352, Website:www.bluecoralcottage.com. Tariff:Starting from Rs.1350. The hotel is near temple and sea. There is no arrangement for food.
- Sri Palaniandavar Lodge A/C, 1/8A south car street,Rameswaram, ☎ +919159340123, . Very near to the temple (500 meters), very decent and budget hotel but luxury in services Rs.1200.
- Ishwarya lodge A/C (mobile 9487421509), near aghni theertham (after the car parking), ☎ 04573-221509. very decent and budget hotel but luxury in services Rs.1200 Hotel is situated in front of sea (5o meters)
- Hotel Ishwarya VEG, sannathi street (opp Temple), ☎ 04573 -222509. Pure veg restaurant south indian food. excellent services.
Food is excellent in Rameswaram.A number of “Marwadi Bojanalays”- i.e. semi-sponsored resturants for charity are available near the west entrance of temple where you can have good food at reasonable price. Except these semi-sponsored resturants, one good place is the Ram Nivas Mess. They specialise in Indian Chinese food and all the food we had there was amazing. They are a little slow but the food is definitely worth the wait. To get there you need to take a right at the temple when coming from the Bus Stand and walk about 50 metres. Gujarat Bhavan offers excellent homely meals as well. However, be prepared for a long wait time. When you exit the temple from the East gate and walk straight, around 200 metres towards the sea-shore you will find this place on the right hand side.
- Kanniyakumari – A train ‘Rameswaram Kanyakumari SF express’ departs thrice a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) at 8:45 PM from Rameswaram railway station and arrives at Kanniyakumari at 4:05 AM, with plenty of time to reach Kanniyakumari beach and catch the spectacular sunrise. Do consult the latest railway timetable for schedule changes. There is also a bus to Kanniyakumari twice a day. It leaves at around 7 both in the morning and in the evening. It is an atrocious journey through awful roads and takes about 4 to 5 hours but it goes direct.Train runs on Madurai, Tirunelveli route whereas Bus passes through Ramanathapuram,Kilakarai,Ervadi,Sayalgudi,Tuticorin,Tiruchendur
- Madurai – There are 3 passenger trains that depart from Rameswaram daily and do not require prior reservation. Departure times are 5:25 AM, 5:35 PM and 12:05 PM. The journey takes roughly 4 hours and is quite comfortable, with the day trains offering not to be missed views. Do consult the latest railway timetable for schedule changes. There are frequent buses as well.