Rameswaram Island, off the coast of Tamil Nadu, home to famous temples is considered sacred like Varanasi. The island of Rameshwaram spreads in the shape of a shell in the Gulf of Mannar to an area of 62 square kilometers, between the coast of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and is home to a famous temple dedicated to Rama, as well as several other shrines, and is connected to the nearby mainland in Mandapam, by means of the bridge Pamban or Indira Gandhi Bridge 2 Km long.
Known as the Varanasi of the South, the island is one of the major Hindu places of pilgrimage but also a pleasant holiday resort, with its lush vegetation, coral reefs and beaches of fine white sand. It 'an especially sacred place due to its location, not far from the holy confluence, punyatirtham, including Ratnakara, the Indian Ocean, and Mahodadhi, the Bay of Bengal, as well as being on the line of the bridge Setu, the focus of recent and virulent disputes for the excavation of a waterway.
According to the mythology and the epic of Ramayana , it was here that Rama a manifestation of Vishnu the return of the victorious battle in Sri Lanka against the demon king Ravana , asked forgiveness for the murder accomplished, and gave thanks to the god Shiva for victory. For this reason, the place is cult object as much for the Hindu Vaishnavas as for Shaiva. The temple Ramanathaswamy with Agnitheertham, the sacred beach where pilgrims bathe before entering the temple, is the main goal of the island, is worshiped here as the southernmost among the 12 Jyotirlingams, lingam of light, supreme manifestations of Shiva in India.
To non-Hindus, however, is forbidden to proceed beyond the third fence. Traditionally, the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram is considered complete if you go to the sanctuary provided with water of the Ganges, Varanasi collection, with which to perform the worship Jyotirlingam. But the temple is also famous for its long aisle and adorned by over 1200 columns, dating only from the eighteenth century, while the original structure was built in the twelfth century.
The huge Gopuram, towers, walls and the giant bull Nandi are the main architectural attractions of the place, combined with the 22 Theerthams , sources from which experts swear that water may gush of flavors and different temperatures and filling as many tanks. There are 31 more scattered in the island, but the majority of these now lies neglected. From the top of the hill, Parvatam Gandhamadana, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the complex, as well as offering the visit of another small shrine, the temple Ram Jharoka, where according to tradition is venerated imprint left by Rama.
But small temples and shrines dotting the entire island, in honor of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman and the episodes of the Ramayana: the islet in the south, on the way to Dhanushkodi, whose name derives from dhanush , the bow of Rama, where the Indian land ends at these latitudes and where once stood the great railway station, you will find for example the temple Kothandaramaswamy in 1964 the town of Dhanushkodi was canceled by a devastating cyclone, but the temple was spared.
If you rent a jeep and came up to here, you will enjoy magnificent scenery and wild from finis terrae , among the ruins of Christian churches where the holy confluence takes place and where it is said that Rama himself immersed. The excavations for the future waterway rise to fears that not Durea so long. Beyond the reef, there is Sri Lanka.
Not a lot but more than decent chance of the stay on the island, including solutions from authentic pilgrimage on free offer, starting from 200 rupees, for example, the Sringeri Mutt, a few steps from the main temple.