Rameswaram (Madurai to Rameswaram 162 km) is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar, is a major pilgrim centre. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana.
Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved of oneâ€™s sins. It is 197 metres long. 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.
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.
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.
How to get there?
Air : Madurai Airport is the nearest one.
Rail : Connected with all major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Thanjavur and Palghat.
Road : Rameswaram is connected by road to all important towns and has bus services from, Madurai, Chennai Coimbatore, Trichy, etc.
Rameswaram - 170 km