Weather :

Timings : 04:30 AM - 08:30 PM

Time Required : 3 - 4 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee. Photography - INR 25, Guide - INR 200 - 500

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Also Refered As:

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple

Rameshwaram Temple, Rameshwaram Overview

A perfect blend of mind-boggling architecture and spiritual significance, Rameshwaram Temple, also known as Ramanathaswamy Temple of Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It also boasts of being one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of India. Not just spiritually, Rameshwaram Temple is appealing architecturally also. With the longest corridor of the world and immaculate carvings on pillars, it is definitely a treat for your eyes.

The lingam in the Rameshwaram Temple was installed by Lord Rama but, the construction was led by several rulers over the centuries. Inside the temple, there are two lingams- Ramalingam and Shivalingam. The latter is still worshipped first to preserve the words of Lord Rama. Besides daily Abhishkams and poojas performed with great zeal, there are absorbing festivals worth witnessing. 

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Rameshwaram Temple History

The Rameshwaram Temple has a very interesting legend related to it. It is believed that after Lord Rama killed Ravana, a Brahmin to save his wife, Sita. He wanted to expiate the 'dosha' of killing a Brahmin. Therefore, on the advice of sages, Lord Rama with his wife and brother, Lord Lakshmana installed and worshipped a lingam in order to absolve his sins.

He wanted to worship the largest lingam and so, he asked Hanuman to bring it from the Himalayas. It was taking very long and therefore, Sita made a small lingam, Ramalingam from sand which is still there in the sanctum. Hanuman was disappointed since Rama did not worshipped the lingam brought by him. So, Lord Rama placed his lingam next to Ramalinga and named it Shivalingam.

At the beginning, the Rameshwaram Temple was just a shed. The credit for the present structure goes to the endeavours put in by rulers of Setupathi dynasty over the centuries. In the seventeenth century, Dalavai Setupati built a portion of the eastern Gopuram. In late eighteenth century, the world-famous third corridor called as Chokkatan Mandapam was constructed by Muthuramalinga. The contribution of the Jaffna kings of the Sethupathy dynasty to the Ramanathaswamy Temple was also commendable. King Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan helped in shipping stone blocks from Koneswaram temple to renovate the temple. His successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan looked after the structural development of this temple.

Rameshwaram Temple Architecture

The Rameshwaram Temple has a striking architecture which allures tourists from all over the world. Like all other temples in South India, it has a high wall or madil which guards the temple from all four sides. The wall measures about 865 feet from east to west and 675 feet from north to south. The long corridors running between huge colonnades on five feet high platforms forms part of the temple's interior. The second corridor is built with sandstone pillars, beams and ceiling. On the west lies the third corridor which paves the way to Setumadhava shrine. The total length of these corridors is around 3850 feet and are reputed to be the longest in the world. There are 1212 outstanding pillars in the outer corridor of the Rameshwaram Temple and rajagopuram is the 53 metres tall prominent tower amongst all. The main halls of the temple are- Anuppu Mandapam, Sukravara Mandapam, Setupati Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam and Nandi Mandapam. There are two lingams inside the temple. The first one is the main deity, Ramalingam and was built by Sita. The second one, Vishwalingam, was brought by Hanuman from Kailash. Apart from this, there are twenty-two tirthas or holy water bodies located inside the temple premises. The devotees take baths in tirthas to get rid of their sins. The major one is Agni Theertham.

Festivals at Rameshwaram Temple

The major festivals which are celebrated with gusto and fervour at Ramanathaswamy Temple are- 1. Maha Shivaratri- It is a 10-day festival and takes place in February-March. On this day, Lord Shiva married Parvati and saved the world from darkness and ignorance. In the temple, this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The lords are taken out on the streets of the town in chariots and devotees flock together to worship the idols. 2. Vasanthautsavam- Celebrated between May and June, this festival is witnessed for 10 days. It welcomes the spring season and the deity is worshipped with an abhisheka of sandal paste, flowers, incense and rose water. 3. Ramalinga Prathista Utsavam- It is also a 10-day festival celebrated between June and July. This festival marks the day when the lingam built by Sita was installed. The deities are taken out in processions. 4. Thirukkalyanam- Celebrated in July-August, this is a 17-day festival which also includes car procession. 5. Navratri- Held in August-September, this is a 10-day festival which celebrates the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra. 6. ArudhraDarshanam: A 10-day festival celebrated between December and January. The festivities are held at Uthirakosamangai where devotees experience and visualize the breathtaking and astounding sight of the unveiling of Nataraj statue which is covered with sandalwood throughout the year.

Rameshwaram Temple Timings and Entry Fees

The timings of the temple are-
Morning- 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Evening- 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The types of regular poojas along with their timings are- (Name of Pooja & Aarti/ Arathana Timing)
Palliyarai Deepa Arathana - 5:00 AM
Spadigalinga Deepa Arathana - 5:10 AM
Thiruvananthal Deepa Arathana - 5:45 AM
Vila Pooja - 7:00 AM
Kalasanthi Pooja - 10:00 AM
Uchikala Pooja - 12:00 PM
Sayaratcha Pooja - 6:00 PM
Arthajama Pooja - 8:30 PM
Palliyarai Pooja - 8:45 PM

If you want to take part in Abhishekams, Aartis and rituals, following are the prices you will have to pay for each ritual-
108 Kalasa Abishegam - INR 1000
108 Sangabishegam - INR 1000
Rudrabishegam - INR 1500
Panchamirtha abhisheka - INR 1000
Swamy Sahasranama Archanai - INR 200
Ambal Sahasranama Archanai - INR 200
Swamy Nagaparanam - INR 200
Ambal Kavasam - INR 200

Tips For Visiting Rameshwaram Temple

1. Tourists are expected to wear decent clothes. Men can wear kurta and dhoti or pyjama while women should wear sarees or suits.
2. No advance booking is available for attending poojas and rituals of the temple. You have to purchase tickets from the counters once you reach the temple.
3. Take care of your belongings as Rameshwaram is a crowded place. You can get mugged easily.

How To Reach Rameshwaram Temple

Rameshwaram Temple is centrally located in Rameshwaram City and can be accessed by almost all modes of transport. Autos are the major source of transportation within the city and it is easy to travel to the temple by auto. Just make sure to check if they calculate the fare by the meter.

If you wish to travel in comfort, you can hire a cab or car through rentals. You can choose the car according to the number of people. Book the cab for half day or full day to avoid the waiting charges.

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