Visiting Places

 RAMANATHAPURAM DISTRICT 

RAMESWARAM

  No Hindu’s journey is complete without a pilgrimage to both Varanasi and Rameswaram for the culmination of his quest for salvation and is hallowed by the epic ‘Ramayana’.   Folklore mentions about God Ram’s presence in this land, after his 14-year exile.    

Local legend has it that Shri Ram was helped back into Rameswaram and into   India   by his brother  Lakshman and Hanuman along with his band of thousands of monkeys, after finally emerging victorious against the demon – Ravana.   They helped build a bridge with rocks from the sea and shores to cross the ‘Sethu canal’ and reach   India.  

The Ramanathaswamy temple by itself is a delight for every tourist. 

  Further down, the geographical terrain and landscape naturally tapers slowly but sharply toward the end, converging and gently sinking into the sea at Dhanushkodi – the country’s tip in this part of the peninsular.            

 
 

 

Ramanathaswamy Temple:  The legend says that Hunuman was sent by Lord Rama to bring a Lingam to worship at an appointed auspicious hour.  As Human’s arrival was delayed, Sita moulded a lingam for Rama’s timely worship.  It is the main deity being worshiped as Ramanathaswamy. Disappointed Hunuman was later consoled by Rama by installing the Lingam which was brought by him a little north of Ramanatha, and decreed that the Hunuman’s lingam should have precedence over the Ramanatha in all honours. 

Agnitheertham:  The calm shallow water-spread of the sea, present hardly 100 meters in front of the   temple gopuram  is considered as sacred.  A dip in the Agnitheertham is considered to remove the sins of the pilgrims.  The other theerthams (holy water tanks) in and around the temple are also important for Pilgrims. 

Gandhamathana Parvatham A hillock situated 3 KMs to the north of the temple is the highest point in the island.  There is a two storeyed Mandapam, where Rama's feet (Padam) is found as an imprint on a chakra.  Pilgrims throng in thousands to worship Gandhamathana Parvatham.    Sukreevar Temple  and Theertham are situated on the way to Gandhamadana Parvatham. 

Dhanushkodi:  The southernmost tip of the island is called Dhanushkodi.  It was completely washed away by a cyclone in 1964.  But the   Kothandaramasamy Temple  here remains intact.  It is 18 KMs way from Rameswaram can be reached by road.  A popular belief is that, it is where Vibishana a brother of Ravana surrendered before Rama.   Dhanushkodi has a fine beach, where Sea surfing is possible. 

SEA WORLD AQUARIUM  

Just opposite the Rameswaram Bus Stand, one can catch a quick glimpse of an assortment of underwater creatures in their near natural habitat in the ‘Sea World Aquarium’ – the only one of its kind in the state, and probably in the country too, filled with such varied marine life forms including exotic species such as Octopus, Snake fish, Parrot fish, Sea lizard, Sea squid, Cow fish, Lion fish, Rabbit fish, Fire fish, Butter fish, Clown fish, Crabs, Lobsters, Prawns, Sea Lotus, Beach Tamet, Star Fishes, Sea Horses and Sharks.  This is quite an eye-opener for young tourists & kids and lovers of marine life.   

 

 

MANDAPAM & PAMBAN

Lying on the Ramanathapuram –   Rameswaram National Highway  and just 19 kms before Rameswaram lies this sleepy coastal   village of Mandapam   .  Prior to the 1914 train service linking the mainland with Rameswaram, boats were the only mode of transport to ship the pilgrims on their journey to Rameswaram.  It is possible to take a boat for a cruise through the mangrove marshes to   Kurusadai Island   .   

There is a possibility to convert this opportunity into a tourist attraction by providing small mechanized boats from Mandapam for both cruises as well as discovery of the coral reefs in neighbouring islands subject to non-pollution and destabilization of the fragile and precious marine ecosystem of this region.

 

Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge:  The 2.2 km. length bridge connecting the Rameswaram Island and the mainland is the longest bridge in India constructed over a bay.  It is also called as Pamban Bridge.  Similarly the railway bridge connecting the island is noted for its unique opening to pass the ships through the sea.