Ramanathaswamy Temple is situated in the beautiful island of Rameswaram. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the representations of Dravidian architecture. This temple is the centre of attraction of thousands of pilgrims.
The sculptures captured the themes like elephants lifting their trunks caught between the paws and fangs of rampant lions, hunters and warriors riding on horses or elephants. Sethupathis, the rulers of Ramanathapuram district between 1414 A.D. and 1649 A.D constructed the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Since then, it has grown in leaps and bounds and reached to the present stage. At the eastern gate before the Nataraja shrine the statues of Sethupathis can be seen in a line in the corridor. Some of these sculptures can be found in the Kalyana Mandapam too. All these are built so nicely that looks like living figures.
The entrance or the gopuram of the Ramanathaswamy Temple can be seen on the east side facing the sea.
This is a Vishnu shrine and is situated 18 kms away on the southern tip of the island called Dhanushkodi. The 1964 cyclone washed away everything of the Dhanushkodi but this temple is the only structure that survived. It is said to be the place where Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana surrendered to Lord Rama. The beautiful idols of Rama, Sita Lakshmana, Lord Hanuman and Vishnu can be seen in this temple.
Gandhamathaha Parvatham Hillock
This is situated in the north-west of the Rameswaram Island and is the most elevated point of the island. It is a two-storied structure with a ruined fort. It is said that Hanuman jumped from this point across the sea to reach Lanka. In the centre of the lower storey, the feet of Rama can be seen. It is also known as Ekantha Rameswaram and contains beautiful idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.
These coral reefs of Rameswaram mainly attract the marine biologists, who come here for research and observation. The sandy beaches fringed by coconut palms and swaying tamarind trees make it a perfect holidaying place. Diverse sea creatures living in these reefs can be seen here. The tourists can explore the Kurusadai Islands on the west and the Pamban Bridge.
this place is situated 26 kms at the eastern edge of Rameswaram. It is also known as Thiruvanai, Adhisethu, Nalasethu and Rama's bridge. This acts as a bridge between Dhanushkodi and Thalaimannar. Rama is said to have crossed this with his Vanara sena on his way to Lanka. The depth of the sea here is between 7 ft and 11 ft only.
It is the end of the mainland. From here, people have to proceed for the island of Rameswaram either by road, rail or by boat. The visitors can go for a boat-ride to Kurusadai Island from here. The Indo-Norwegian Fisheries Project is also located here. It used to be the quarantine camp for passengers proceeding to Ceylon during the colonial period.
This Vishnu shrine is 14 kms from Rameswaram. It is also known as Dharbasayanam as here Rama took rest on a couch of grass. Other names of this place are Thiruvadanai, Pularanyam, Adhisethu and Ratnaharam. Adhi Jagannatha Perumal is the presiding deity here. One can reach the sanctum of Goddess Padmasini Thayar after crossing a gopuram here. There is pipal tree behind the sanctum. Hundreds of Nagas (serpents) can be seen in stones around the tree.
The next is the sanctum of Adi Jagannatha and the sanctum of Rama lying on the grass couch. Three stems of lotus branch from his naval and on each of them are seated Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Moon. Sugabrahmar, Charapar and Brigu Maharishis are seen seated at the feet of Rama here.
This is a coastal village, situated 15 kms from Rameswaram. It is also known as Navapashanam. A temple dedicated to Devi can be seen here. It is said to be the place where Mahishasura was slayed by Goddess Durga.
It is situated 21 kms from Rameswaram. Here, the tomb of Ibrahim Syed Aulia can be found. Muslim pilgrims from other states and countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore come to visit here. The annual festival is celebrated in the month of December.
This is situated in the district headquarters and 55 kms from Rameswaram. It is from this place the Sethupathis ruled their territory. This place is also known as Sethupeetam. There is a fort at the centre of this town. The palace Ramalinga Vilasamof the Sethupathis is situated inside the fort. This was built in the Moorish style with Byzantine arches and there are murals of historic scenes on the walls. The tomb of the philosopher-saint Thayumanava Swamigal can also be found in this town.
This place is situated about 35 kms from Rameswaram. There is a water-bird sanctuary here. Migratory water fowls from far-off places come to this place from November to February.
This seaside village is 90 kms from Rameswaram. The beach is lush green with natural scenery. The sea here is very calm. It is an ideal location for sea bathing.
This shrine is situated 14 kms from Ramanathapuram on the western side. There is a legend that a dumb Muslim girl recovered her speech by the grace of Lord Shiva here. The Muslims call Him Nainar i, e, 'Father', hence it is called Nainar Koil. The Muslims also visit this temple.
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