Ramanathaswamy Temple – Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy Temple is an important pilgrimage site for the followers of Hinduism. It is believed that a visit to this temple washes away one’s sins and brings salvation (moksha). Located on an island off the Sethu coast of Rameshwaram, Ramanathaswamy Mandir can be reached via Pamban Bridge across the sea. Being situated in Rameswaram, the shrine is popularly known as Rameshwaram Temple.

About Temple

Legend
Ramanathaswamy Temple is closely linked with the great epic Ramayana. As per the legend, it is believed that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here, on his victorious return from Sri Lanka. As the legend goes, Sages (Rishis) counseled Lord Rama (along with Sita and Lakshmana) to install and worship the ‘Shivalingam’ at this place, to compensate the sin of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahmin). Lord Rama approved the idea and fixed a favorable time for the installation of Shivalingam.

Temple Office Contact Number:+91-4573 – 221 223.

He sent Lord Hanuman (Anjaneya) to bring a ‘lingam’ from Mount Kailash. Lord Hanuman could not return in time and it was getting late. Apprehending the situation, Sita herself made a ‘linga’ of sand and Lord Rama installed the same. When Hanuman came back with the ‘linga’, the formal procedures of installation were over. Lord Rama consoled the disappointed Hanuman and installed his lingam (Visvalingam) next to Ramalinga. He enhanced the sanctity of lingam by ordaining that the rites would be made first to the Visvalingam.

Twenty Two Wells
Ramanathswamy Temple has twenty two wells in its complex. Being the main attraction of this temple, the wells are also recognized with their distinct properties. All of these wells have water of different taste, temperature, salinity and have curative properties as well. It is said that these wells were made by Lord Rama himself, when he fired arrows in the sand.

Architecture
Stretched over a vast area of 15 acres, Rameswaram Temple is the typical specimen of Dravidian style of architecture. The skyscraping gopurams (spires) truly dominate the skyline of Rameshwaram. The shrine is acknowledged for having the largest temple hallway in India. This pillared corridor extends to 4000 feet in length, embracing more than 4000 pillars. Erected on a raised plinth, granite pillars are intricately carved with beautiful images. A hard fact about this corridor reveals that the rock doesn’t belong to the island and it was imported from somewhere across the sea.

Contact Details:

The Executive Officer
Ramanathaswamy Temple
Rameshwaram
Pincode – 623526 ·
Phone no:+91-4573 – 221 223.
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 36 theerthams.

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and has been a time honored pilgrimage center held on par with Banaras. Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga is associated closely with the Ramayana and Rama’s victorious return from Sri Lanka.

Rameswaram is a town in Ramanathpuram district of Tamil Nadu. The town is particularly famous for its religious shrine of Ramanathaswamy. The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is located at Madurai, which lies at a distance of 163 kms. One can easily reach Rameshwaram by taking regular tourist buses or by hiring taxis from all the major cities of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Chennai and Trichy.

The construction of this temple began in the 12th century; nonetheless it was completed much later, during the reign of various rulers. Rameshwaram Temple is famous for embracing one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (lingam of light) of Lord Shiva. The temple is also accredited for being the southern most ‘jyotirlinga’ of India. It is believed that at this place Lord Rama offered his gratitude to Lord Shiva.

The Lingam of Ramanathaswamy is the presiding deity of Rameswaram Temple. The religious significance of this shrine has made it, one of the most visited temples of India. Rameshwaram (South) is one of the four major pilgrimage sites of Hindus, the other being Puri (East), Dwarka (West) and Badrinath (north). The main shrine adores the idols of Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker.

In the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara, Ramalingam and Vishvalingam are placed side by side. Preserving the words of Lord Rama, Vishvalingam is worshipped before Ramalingam. Maha Shivarathri, Thirukalyanam, Mahalaya Amavasai and Thai Amavasai are the major festivals that are celebrated with gusto and fervor.

Theertham (Water springs): There are 36 Theerthams in Rameswaram of which 22 are in the temple and these waters are said to possess medicinal properties. Bathing in these is considered to be of great significance. The Agni theertham refers to the ocean while the Koti theertham is located within the temple itself

Encompassing nine levels, the eastern Rajgopuram (spire) soars to the height of 126 feet. However, the western ‘gopuram’ is not as high as the eastern ‘gopuram’, still it is equally captivating. The temple comprises numerous ‘mandaps’ having small shrines, dedicated to other deities. The colossal image of Nandi (Lord Shiva’s Bull) captures the attention, due to its sheer size. It measures 12 feet in its length and 9 feet in its height. High fortifications encircle the temple, making a rectangle along with big pyramidal ‘gopura’ doorways on every side.

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.

Worship

Six worship services are carried out each day, the first being at 5am. Special worship services are carried out every Friday.

Festivals:

Rama’s worship is commemorated in the month of Aani (June 15-July 15); two annual Bhrammotsavams are celebrated in Aadi and in Maasi.

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