Rameswaram

 
 
rameswaram.jpgOne of the most sacred towns of India, it is well known for its well known for its temple corridor - the longest in India, the Bathing Ghat, Ganthamathana Parvatham, Kothandaramar temple, Kurusadai and other nearby islands - abundant with coral reefs and other marine wonders.

Rameswaram is hallowed by the epic Ramayana. A devout Hindu who visits Varanasi is expected to visit the Rameswaram also for the culmination of his quest for salvation. Rama sanctified this place by worshipping Lord Siva after the war against Ravana. Therefore, it is held sacred by Saivites and Vaishnavites as well.

It is one of the major food centres of the south, much of its fish and prawn catch being exported.

General Information

Area 51.8 sq. kms.  
Population 27,928 (1991 census)  
Altitude Sea Level : 2.74 m
Climate Max.  Min. 
Summer 48 c 46 c 
Winter 30 c 25 c 
Rainfall 50 cms 
Clothing  Tropical 
Season Throughout the year
Languages spoken Tamil, Hindi and English 

Places of interest

Ramanathaswamy Temple
Temple is close to the sea on the eastern side of the island is renowned for magnificent corridors with massive sculptured pillars lining it. The corridor is the longest in India. It is 197 metres long East-West, 133 metres in length South-North. The temple has a tower ( Gopuram ) 38.4 metres high. The temple as it stands today was built by different rulers at different periods from the 12th centuary AD onwards. The temple in 264 metres in length and 200 metres in breadth.

Agnitheertham
The temple is facing the east. The sea just 100 metres away from the main entrance to the Temple, is very calm. The water at this place is considered sacred and is known as 'Agnitheertham'. The pilgrims bathe in this place before entering the Temple.

Excursions

Dhanushkodi
The southernmost tip of the island Dhanushkodi - was completely washed away by the 1964 cyclone. But the Kothandaraswamy Temple here remains intact. It can be reached by road from Rameswaram. it is beleived that Vibishana, brother of Ravana of the Ramayanam, surrendered before Lord Rama at this spot. The idols of Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibishana are here. it is 2 kms from the Railway Station.

Coral Reef
The waters around the island abound not only in fish but also in coral reef. The veritable gardens of coral reefs and a few picturesque locales off the island allure those who seek sun, sand and sea holidays. It is, in short an island paradise of golden sands and gently swaying coconut palms, of shady tamarind and odai trees. The entire island is deal for picnickers and excursionists.

Kurusadai Island
The Island lies to the west of the Pamban bridge between the mainland and the island. It is a paradise of biologists. Scholars from far and near come to this island throughout the year for research and study. There are a number of islands in the area around Kurusadai island. It is about 20kms from Rameswaram via Mandapam. One should approach Fisheries Department to go to this island.

Festivals

Thai Amavasai January. 
Masi Siva Rathri February-March.
Thirukalyanam July-August.
Mahalaya Amavasi  September.

How to get there ?

Air
Madurai Airport is the nearest one.

Rail
It is a terminus on the Southern Railway metre gauge line and has trains to Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Thanjavur.

Road
Rameswaram is connected by road to all important towns and has bus services from Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, etc.
 

Tourist Attractions

 
 
 
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