November 7, 2008

The Rameshwaram - one of 12 jyothirlingas

Apart from being a Pilgrimage centre, Rameshawaram is one of the major marine food centres in the south, much of its fish and prawn catch being exported. Known as the Varanasi of the south, Rameswaram is a major pilgrimage centre for both Shaivites and Vaishnavaites, as it was here where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Siva after the war against Ravana. At the heart of the town is the Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the most important temples in southern India.

Rameswaram lies on an island in the Gulf of Mannar, connected to the mainland at Mandapam by rail and by one of India's engineering wonders, the Indira Gandhi Bridge. The bridge took 14 years to build and was opened by Rajiv Gandhi late in 1988.

Sightseeing at Rameshwaram : Rameshwaram temple
Ramanathaswamy Temple : A remarkable example of late Dravidian architecture, this temple is most noted for its excellent corridors lined with massive sculptured pillars with their elaborate design, style and rich carving. Legend has it that Rama sanctified this place by worshipping Siva here after the battle of Sri Lanka. The construction work commenced in the 12th century AD and further developments were made over the centuries by successive rulers, and hence, today its gopuram is 53 m high. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the inner sanctorum.

Kothandaraswamy Temple & Dhanushkodi : 12 km from town, this temple was the sole structure to withstand the 1964 cyclone which washed the rest of the village away. Legend states that Vibishana, brother of Sita's kidnapper Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot.

Adam's Bridge : Adam's Bridge is the name given to the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka with India. According to legend, this is the series of stepping stones used by the monkey army, lead by Hanuman to cross the ocean in a bid to rescue Sita from the clutch of Ravana.

Gandhamadana Parvatam : The stepped mandapam or hall, about a mile and a half west of the Ramanathaswamy Temple offers an excellent view of the countryside. There is a footprint here believed to be of Lord Rama.

Dhanushkodi Beach : Dhanushkodi beach is the best place for a laid back leisure hours.

Best Season to Visit : Through out the year.

Reaching Rameshwaram :
Rail : The are many train to Chennai daily. It is connected directly to Manamadurai and Trichy. The passenger trains run at regular interval from Madurai.
Road : The city is well connected to Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai and Trichy. It is also connected to Pondicherry and Thanjavur via Madurai.

STD/ISD Codes :
If dialing from India -------04573 (number)
If dialing from abroad -------++91-4573 (number)

Shopping in Rameshwaram :
Rameswaram is famous for variety of exquisite handicraft and decorative items. There are several shops near the temples, where you can find different items made from palm leaf, beads and seashells. Khadicraft is the place from where you can purchase your handicraft items. Rameswaram silk sarees are very popular among the ladies.

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In short
Rameshwaram, Southeast of Madurai, on an island in the Palk Straits, is the temple town of Rameswaram, a sacred place for Hindus. According to the Ramayana, this is the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself of the sin of killing Ravana. Every nook and corner of Rameswaram is steeped in episodes from the Ramayana. Rameswaram is the Varanasi of the south, and is a major pilgrimage centre for Vaishnavites and Shaivites.

Place of importance :- one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Legend says that Ramanatha Swamy Temple stands where Lord Rama performed worship of a Sand Lingam made by Sita. Lunch at Rameshwaram. Return to Madurai.

Ramanathaswamy, The 17th century temple close to the sea, on the eastern side of the island, is ,renowned for its magnificent pillar corridor, running to a length of 1200 metres, and flanked by ornate pillars.

Agnitheertham, 100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana.

Gandamadana Parvatham, Situated on the highest point in the island, 2 km north of Rameswaram town centre, is the venerable shrine, housing the imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a chakra.

Access by Air:
Rameshwaram doesn’t have its own airport: the nearest airport is Madurai, which is 173 kms away.

Access by Rail:
Rameshwaram is connected with all major cities like Madras, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Tanjavur.

Access by Road:
Connected by road to all important towns.

more...
After Morning breakfast check out hotel and proceed to Kanyakumari it is the place were Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meets and it is very important pilgrimage center for Hindu's on arrival Kanyakumari check in hotel later on proceed for a local tour visit Vevakananda rock, Gandhi Museum, Kumari Amman Temple etc evening after sun set return back to hotel and over night stay at hotel .

titbit : Rameshwaram is the birth place of THE GREAT PRESIDENT OF INDIA A.P.J ABDUL KALAM

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