Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple- Rameswaram

Millions of people around the world flock to Rameswaram every year to visit the sacred Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. It is regarded as the most sacred and is also the most visited pilgrim center in all over South India. It houses the southernmost Jyotirlinga which is among the 12 most holy Shiva Jyotirlingas in India. There are 64 Shiv Lingas in India. However these 12 Jyotirlingas are considered the most holy of all and believed to be the actual representation of Lord Shiva himself. As per Hinduism, visiting all these Jyotirlingas liberates one from his sufferings and the chain of birth and death, ultimately leading to salvation.
The main deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy [Shiva]. The legend behind the Ramanathaswamy temple is linked to the most famous Indian Epic Ramayana in which Lord Rama Kills the Asura King Ravana, who ruled the kingdom of Lanka which is now Sri Lanka. After winning the epic battle at Lanka, Lord Rama while returning to his kingdom at Ayodhya wanted to worship Lord Shiva to liberate from his Karma as he killed a Brahmana during War. He asks Hanuman to bring the image of Viswanathar, the Kashi Lingam from Kashi. As hanuman delayed in his quest, Goddess Sita, consort of Lord Rama made a Shivalinga using sand by her own bare hands and he did the pooja [worship] using it. This Shiv Linga is the Ramanathaswamy Lingam or Rama Lingam worshipped at Rameswaram Temple. There is another Shiv Linga, the Kashi Lingam brought by Lord Hanuman known as the Vishwa Lingam. As per Lord Rama’s instructions the Vishwa Lingam is to be worshipped prior to the Ramanathaswamy Lingam. This is still practiced in the temple. Inside the temple there is also a shrine to Sethu Madhava and Lakshmi Devi [Goddess]. Goddess Vishalakshi [Parvathy] shrine is found adjacent to Lord Ramanathaswamy shrine.
Rameshwaram is named among the “Char Dham”, the four divine sites in India along with Puri, Badrinath and Dwaraka. Speaking about its architecture, it is yet another entry into the architectural marvels of Tamil Nadu Temples. It is famous for its 4000 pillared corridor which is believed to be the longest of its kind in the whole world. There are 64 holy temple tanks inside the temple and also around the Rameshwaram Island. It is considered as a ritual to bath in these “Thirthas” before entering the temple. 22 of these holy tanks are within the temple premises of Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple.
Temple Timings
The temple is open from 05:00am to 01:00pm and evening 03:00pm to 09:00pm.
Pooja timings are as follows:
Pooja Timings Time
Palliyarai Deepa Aradhana 5.00 AM
Spadigalinga Deepa Aradhana 5.10 AM
Thiruvananthal Deepa Aradhana 5.45 AM
Villa Pooja 7.00 AM
Kalasanthi Pooja 10.00 AM
Uchikala Pooja 12.00 NOON
Sayaratcha Pooja 6.00 P.M
Arthajama Pooja 8.30 P.M
Palliyarai Pooja 8.45 P.M

Major Festivals

Maha Shivaratri during February- March months is the most celebrated festival at Rameswaram Temple. It lasts 10 days and the temple is filled with millions of Shiva devotees all these days. Thirukalyanam or the divine marriage [July- August] is another most auspicious occasion when devotees celebrate as day when Lord Ramanathaswamy [Shiva] married Goddess Vishalakshi [Parvathy].
Navaratri Festival [September- October] and the Vasantholsavam [May- June] are other major festivals celebrated at Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram.

How to Reach?

By Air:
Madurai International Airport is the nearest airport to Rameshwaram, approximately 150 kms away. After getting down at Madurai Airport you may grab a taxi to Rameshwaram or board in a Tamil Nadu Government bus if you prefer public transport.

By Rail:
There are frequent trains available from all the major cities to Rameshwaram. The temple is within a walkable distance from the railway station.
By Road:
There are frequent bus services to Rameshwaram available from all the major cities. A 3 km walk from the station will take you to the Ramanathaswamy Temple or catch an Auto-Rickshaw.
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