Our Rameshwaram Trip - Completing our Holy Yatra of Kashi




Absolve your Sins in Rameshwaram.....

View of Rameshwaram Temple

*Legend has it that Rama worshipped Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita, while returning to Ayodhya



*Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanatha from Varanasi. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama is said to have offered worship at a pre-chosen auspicious moment to a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth by Sita. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam or Ramanatham and the town is known as Rameswaram


*There is yet another Shivalingam here [Viswanatha] said to have been brought by Hanuman from Banares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanatha before they are offered to Ramanathaswamy


*Legend has it that Rama worshipped Tilakeswara at Devipatnam [also known as Navapashanam] nearby enroute to Sri Lanka


*Rameswaram is known for its long ornate corridors and towers and 36 theerthams


*There are 36 Theerthams in Rameswaram of which 22 are in the temple and these waters are are said to possess medicinal properties


*Temples remains closed from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Now let us move on to the religious aspects of this Holy Place...

As I have written earlier, every Brahmin, anywhere in the world, believe that in their life time, they should at least once visit Allahabad, Varanasi and Gaya, and give sacred oblations to their ancestors. Only people who have started performing Sraddhams to their father can do this. Other people no doubt can visit these places and visit the most holy temples there, but cannot do the rites for their ancestors. It is essential for the people with such intentions to do it in the proper religious manner and go there accompanied by their wife [if she is alive], and do it without being exploited and see to it that every rite is done in a comfortable manner. If younger brothers accompany the elder brothers, the eldest brother on their behalf would do most of the ceremonies and the younger brothers need not do these ceremonies again. 

First Step: Visit to Rameshwaram 
The first step in this pilgrimage is to go to Rameshwaram, perform the Sraddham there, followed by Samudhra and Theertha Snana. After doing Samudhra Snana, we would be asked to bring sand from the sea. This is made in to three Shiva Lingams-Sethu Madhava, Veni Madhava and Bindhu Madhava.After pooja the Lingam representing Sethu Madhava is put back in to the sea. The priest then asks you to repeat the Sankalpa to the Varanasi-Prayag-Gaya pilgrimage. The sand lingams of Veni Madhava has to be deposited in the Prayag [Allahabad] and that of Bindhu Madhava in Varanasi.Then Sraddham to the ancestors is performed there. Instead of Pinda [cooked rice balls], in Rameshwaram, the pinda is made of wet uncooked rice.


காசிக்குச் செல்வதற்குமுன், இராமேஸ்வரத்தில் செய்யவேண்டிய 

சில ஹோமங்கள் / பூஜைகள்:


1.  சங்கல்பம்

2.  தனுர்பான பூஜை

3.  சிவலிங்க பூஜை

4.  காசிக்கு மணல் பூஜை

5.  தீர்த்த ஸ்நானம்

6.  ஹிரண்ய ஸார்த்தம்

7.  தீர்த்த ஸார்த்தம் [ஹோம விதானம்]

8.  பார்வண ஸார்த்தம் [ ஹோம விதானம்]

9.  தில ஹோமம் பூஜை

10. சர்ப்ப சாந்தி பூஜை

11.  நாகப் பிரதிஷ்டை பூஜை

12. சுவாமி தரிசனம் [ ருத்ர பூஜை]

13. நவக்கிரஹ பூஜை


எல்லாவித பரிகார பூஜைகளும் நல்ல விதமான முறையில் 

செய்தபின்புதான், காசி யாத்ரா தொடங்க வேண்டும்.  


நீங்கள் நல்ல விதமான முறையில் பூஜைகளை செய்வதற்கு 

அணுகவேண்டிய நபர் [ எங்களுடைய வாதியார்] இதோ:


Our Vadhyaar




S.  அனந்த பத்ம நாப சர்மா

இராமேஸ்வரம் - 623 526.எண்: 35, நடுத்தெரு,

தொலை பேசி: 04573 - 223371

செல்:  94433 90412


இம்முறை, நாங்கள் இந்த காசி யாத்ராவை பூர்த்தி செய்வதற்காக செய்த பூஜைகள் கீழ் வருமாறு:


1.  சங்கல்ப ஸ்நானம்

2.  தீர்த்த ஸ்நானம்

3.  ஹிரண்ய ஸார்த்தம்

4.  ருத்ர ஜபம்

5.  சுவாமி தரிசனம்


சங்கல்ப ஸ்நானம்: இந்த ஜன்மாவில் இதுவரைக்கும் [ சேது 

ஸ்நானம்

 பண்ற வரைக்கும்] ஏற்படுகிற தோஷ நிவர்த்தி [ நமது வாழ்க்கையில்].


ஹிரண்ய ஸார்த்தம்: ஷேத்திரத்தில் பித்ருக்கள் பூர்ணமாக

 வசிக்கிறார்கள்.  நாம் இந்த யாத்திரைக்கு வரும் போது அவர்களை 

உத்தேசம் பண்ணி ஹிரண்ய ஸார்த்தம் செய்வது விசேஷம்.


ருத்ர ஜபம்:  [சுவாமி தரிசனம்] - காசிக்கு சென்று வந்த பிறகு, அலகாபாதிலிருந்து கங்கையை கொண்டு வந்து அதை பூஜை செய்து 

ஸ்ரீருத்ரம், சமகம் ஆகிய வேத மந்திரங்களை பிராமண முகமாக 

பாராயணம் செய்து, கங்கை ஜலத்தை இராமநாத சுவாமிக்கு 

அபிஷேகம் செய்து,  சுவாமி, அம்பாளை தரிசனம் செய்து, இக்காசி 

யாத்ராவை இவ்வாறு பூர்த்தி செய்வது விசேஷம்.  

West Side Entrance to the Temple
[Taken from from my camera]



Iam very happy to say that all of us i.e. myself and my husband  and also his sisters
and brothers  have performed these rituals upto Gaya in a befitting manner to our 
ancestors and only the completion of the Rameshwaram trip was pending for quite 
some time.




In this posting of mine, I share with you all our experiences in completing this last 
stretch of the holy Yatra  to Rameshwaram.  



The Holy Place- Rameshwaram



Performing Tila Homam at Rameshwaram:

 

Tila Homam is a powerful Vedic ritual, performed to ward off difficulties arising 

out of Pithru Dhosham [Ancestor Doshas], which is the outcome of non performance 

of srardhams, and other rituals performed to propitiate our ancestors. Through this 

homam the pithrus are satisfied and they bestow their blessings not only on us but 

also on our children and grandchildren. 






It is generally said  "Varanasi is the heart of the land that is India and  Rameswaram
 is the foot". A journey to Kashi is invariably linked with a visit to Rameswaram.  Many 
many years  ago, it was Rama who consecrated the lingam at Rameswaram to atone for his 
sin of killing Ravana and all the other Rakshasas. Much, much later, in the holy city of 
Varanasi, Tulsidas made His story available for the common man in his own dialect 
with the Ramcharitmanas. At Rameswaram, the lingam is bathed with many materials, 
as in all places but the most important of them all is the water of the holy Ganges, 
obtained all the way from Varanasi. All through the year, the temple is thronged by 
devotees from all over India, all carrying a brass or copper pot of Ganges water as 
an offering to the lord. Like in  Varanasi, the rites to one’s forefathers forms an important 
part of a journey to Rameswaram. 

The Theertha Shraddham at Rameshwaram is traditionally performed at Dhanushkodi, the farthest point of India in this direction, 
and the nearest point to Sri Lanka, from where, it is believed that Rama built his bridge to Lanka. The whole of Dhanushkodi was destroyed by a cyclone in 1964 which wiped out the town along with its railway line. Till a few years back, there were a few ruins left as a reminder of that sad event, but now there is practically nothing left, but miles and miles of sand till we reach the sea. Only special jeeps are allowed to ferry devotees and tourists to this place. 


It is a journey worth taking for the pleasure of standing of one of the end points of India. . Traditionally, after the sankalpam and prayers at Dhanushkodi, a bow and arrow are drawn and prayers offered to it, and sand from this bow is scooped up and taken to Varanasi where it is made into a lingam and after prayers is immersed in the Ganges. We had already completed all of  this ritual, right from Rameshwaram to Allahabad to Varanasi - Gaya.  We only had to finish this Yatra and all we had to do was complete our Rameshwaram yatra by performing 
Abhishekam to the lingam with the Ganges water that we had brought from Kashi. 
[Now a days, the Theertha Shraddham is done on the banks of Rameshwaram 
sea shore itself after Dhanushkodi was destroyed].

Unfortunately, due to many personal reasons our trip to Rameshwaram once again 
could not materialise for a year and a half.  Finally we could make it last week on 
April 12th, 2011.  
It was a satisfying trip on the whole.
We planned our trip to Rameshwaram and left for this holy place on April 11th, 2011.  
We left by Rameshwaram Express.  This time, along with us [the six of us who had been 
to Kashi trip - you may refer my earlier posting on these details],  my Athimber, 
Advocate Balu and Chandra Akka, my sister-in-law also accompanied us to Rameshwaram. 
 It was great fun going together again on this last stretch for the completion of the yatra.  
Our train reached Rameshwaram at 4.30am on 12th April .  It was very sultry that early 
in the morning! 


We had booked our rooms in Hotel Senthil Andavar,71 Middle Street
Rameshwaram-623 526.  [Phone: 04573-221040/221043/221075].  This Hotel is 
very close to the West side entrance to the Rameshwaram Temple and was very 
convenient for us in reaching the temple in a few minutes. 

After having reached Rameshwaram, it was time for us to start  performing our 
rituals one by one since we had just one day for this.  



Spastika Lingam
Early morning after having a bath in our room, we headed straight to the temple for 
darshan of the special Spatika [crystal] lingam, which is taken out for Abhishegam 
and darshan every morning between 5 and 6 AM. As the temple through the west-side 
entrance was very dark and lonely that early in the morning, we took some assistance 
from the guard inside and rushed to the prakaram where the Spatika Lingam abhishegam 
was to take place.


There was a long queue for the darshan, but a special darshan ticket of Rs.50/- helped
 us bypass the crowd. Even then, we had to wait for about 10 minutes for our turn. It was 
worth the wait for two reasons – firstly, the Spatika lingam itself is beautiful and seeing the abhishegam was a divine experience. Secondly, we had nirmalya darshan of the main 
lingam in the sanctum. Here, it must be mentioned that the main lingam is made of sand, 
and is usually kept covered by a kavacham or covering, which makes it look like it is made 
of stone. All the abhishegams are performed to the covered lingam, for it will dissolve 
otherwise. The early morning darshan is probably the only time one can have a direct 
darshan of the original lingam. 

The dark corridors of the Temple early in the morning 5.30am
[Taken from my camera]
According to the legend, upon the advice of Rishis [sages], Lord Rama along with Sita 
and Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the Sivalinga here to expiate the sin of 
Brahmahatya [killing of a Brahmin – Ravana] while returning to Ayodhya. Rama fixed an auspicious time for the installation and sent Hanuman to Mount Kailas to bring a lingam. 
As Hanuman could not return in time, Sita herself made a linga of sand. When Hanuman returned with a Linga from Mount Kailas the rituals had been over. To comfort the 
disappointed Anjaneya, Rama had Anjaneya’s Lingam [Visvalingam] also installed 
by the side of Ramalinga, and ordained that rituals be performed first to the Visvalingam. 
This Visvalingam is just around the Prakaram of Hanuman temple

After witnessing the abhisheagam of the Spatika Lingam, we made our way to the 
Hotel room and  had a good, hot cup of coffee,  brought specially from our Vadhyaar's 
house.  


Our programme for the day was charted out by our Vadhyaar at Rameshwaram, 
Shri Anantha Padmanabha Sharma [ address:
No.35, Middle Street, Rameshwaram -623 526. Phone: 04573-223371; 
Mobile: 94433 90412].
He had already left instructions for us to come over to his house for begining our 
rituals for the day.  

We started off with the "Sangalpa Snaanam" and  "Theertha Snaanam". 

We  proceeded by an auto to have a dip in the holy waters of Rameshwaram sea.  
Even though the distance to the sea was short, we enjoyed the ride and finally made 
it to the holy waters of Rameshwaram.  There was much water due to high tide, but 
one cannot miss noticing to what extent the sea has now been dirtied over the years.  




A Dip in the Holy Waters of Rameshwaram,
absolving the sins
However, the first few steps into the water are through incredibly dirty layers of waste 
on the sand. I only hope that in future, proper steps to clean up the area are taken,  
so that the pilgrims visiting the place are not hampered by the unhealthy surroundings 
near and in the waters of Rameshwaram.  We had to advance to waist level water to 
actually feel clear sand under our feet. 


After having had several dips in the water, accompanied by our Vadhyaar's assistants, 
we again proceeded straight to the 22 sacred wells, drawing out the water and pouring 
it over us. As the weather was so sultry outside, every bucket poured over us was indeed heavenly!


The Theerthams of the pictures inside the Corridor and their significance is 
given here:



1.Mahalakshmi Theertham:
Location: South of the Hanuman pictures.
significance: Dharmarajan bathed here and became rich.


2.Savithri Theertham:
Location: West of the Hanuman pictures.
significance: King Kasibar got rid of his curse.
3.Gayathri Theertham:
Location: West of the Hanuman pictures
significance: King Kasibar got rid of his curse.


4.Saraswathi Theertham:
Location: West of the Hanuman pictures
significance: King Kasibar got rid of his curse.
5.Sethu madhava Theertham:
Location: The Tank at the third corridor
significance: One will get lakshmi;s blessings and purification of heart.



6.Gandhamadana Theertham:
Location: In the area of the Sethumadhava pictures
significance: One will get riches and their sins will be absolved after getting rid of their penury.


7.kavatcha Theertham:
Location: In the area of the Sethumadhava pictures
signific
ance: One will not go to hell.



8.
Gavaya Theertham:
Location: In the area of the Sethumadhava pictures.
significance: Shelter under karpaga Virutchaga Tree
.


9.

Nala Theertham:
Location: In the area of the Sethumadhava pictures.
significance: One will get Soorya Thejas and reach Heaven.



10.Neela Theertham:
Location: In the area of the Sethumadhava pictures
significance: One will get the benefit of Samastha[entire] yaga and receive Agni Yoga.


11.Sanku Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: Vathsanaba, the Sage, got rid of his sin of ingratitude.



12.Sakkara Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: The Sun got His hand turned golden.


13.Brahmahathi Vimochana Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: Brahamahathi was absolved of his sins.

14.Sooriya Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: One will get the knowledge of the past present and the future and reach the worlds they want.


15.Chandra Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: One will get the knowledge of the past present and the future and reach the worlds they want.


16.Ganga Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom.
17.Yamuna Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures.
significance: Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom.

18.Gaya Theertham:
Location: In the inner corridor of the pictures
significance: Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wishdom

19.Siva Theertham:
Location: South of nandi Deva in the pictures
significance: Completion of Bhaira Brahmahathi

20.Sadyamirtha Theertham:
Location: In the Amman Sannathi
significance: Emperor Bururoonu got rid of his curse.



21.Sarva Theertham:
Location: In front of Lord Ramanatha's sannathi
significance: Sutharishna got rid of his blindness(from birth), illness and old age and then he prospered.


22.Kodi Theertham:
Location: In the first corridor of the pictures.
significance: Sri Krishna got rid of his Sin of killing his Uncle, kamsan.







As is known to one and all, this is probably considered to be the most unique and the 
best part of a visit to Rameswaram, as the waters from these wells is said to absolve 
one’s sins.   It is amazing indeed that even today, after so many years, there is so much 
water seeping into these holy wells, which is quite unbelievable!

On finishing the first stage of the ritual,  we went back to our room for a change of dress 
and got ourselves into the traditional nine yards saree for the ladies and panchakancham 
for the men and proceeded straight to our Vadhyaar's house were all the arrangements had  been made to perform the "Hiranya Shraddham" and also the necessary puja to the 
Ganges water which we had brought from Varanasi in sealed copper pots or Gangai Sombu.  The "Hiranya Shraddham" took us an hour or so, and was followed by the Puja for the 
Gangai Sombu /water.  My brother-in-law had also made some arrangements for 
chanting  of "Rudram",  and  "Veda Ghana Paarayanamwhich was rendered by  
about 7 to 8 vedic brahmins.  The rendering of the Rudram was so electrifying to our 
ears that we lost count of the time!  By the time this was  over, it was nearing 1pm.  


As is customary, the wet clothes worn during the holy dip in the sea and for absolving our 
sins at the 22 holy wells, these were given to the poor brahmins assembled at our 
Vadhyaar's house, as "dhanam". 

Our lunch was prepared at the Vadhyaar’s house by his wife,  as was done earlier 
during our first visit prior to going on our Kashi trip.  Talking of food, there is every type 
of cuisine available at Rameswaram – from Gujarati meals, Marwari to Jain or 
Punjabi – every region has its own restaurant. However, for one yearning to sample an 
authentic south Indian meal, there is nothing like eating at a priest’s house. There are 
lots of them around – the road opposite the main temple gopuram leading to the sea 
is lined with homes of Brahmins  who make a living out of cooking. . The Kanchi or 
Sringeri mutt in Rameshwaram, also make you comfortable and arrange for food 
at very reasonable rates.  This is of course a welcome gesture for the many tourists 
visiting this holy  place. 

After a sumptuous meal at the Vadhyaar’s house we were tired and exhausted – needed 
rest very badly.  So on the instructions from our Vadhyaar, Shri Anatha Padmanabha 
Sharma, we were asked to get back at 3pm for performing abhishegam at the temple 
for the lingam.  
We rushed to our hotel rooms [ just about two houses away] and had a quick rest.  
Feeling a bit refreshed after the rest, we again  were ready at the hotel foyer for the 
Vadhyaar’s assistant, who was to take us to the temple. 


Proceeding to the Temple in the afternoon
[Taken from my camera]


Sanctum Sanctorum of  Temple 
Rameshwaram
With the guidance of the assistant, we made our way to the temple and straight to the 
sanctum where we witnessed the abhishegam of the lord with the water of one of the 
holiest river of India which we had bought from Kashi Yatra.  There was not much crowd 
at this time of the afternoon and hence the abhishegam was performed in a satisfying 
manner. 

Once the abhishegam was over, it was like a huge relief for all of us and a sense of 

fulfillment and also a feeling of achievement on completing this yatra successfully, as 
this holy yatra  took us a year and a half to complete!  We were lost for words…


A huge Nandhi in the prakaram of the temple.


The Huge Nandhi facing the Lord

After  performing the abhishegam, we had darshan of Lakshmi Narayana and Sethu 
Madhava. The shrine to Sethu Madhava is near the theertham of the same name, and 
it is considered auspicious to have his darshan after bathing in the water of the teertham. 
Sethu Madhava is one of a trinity with Veni Madhava at the Sangam at Allahabad and Bindu Madhava at Varanasi. These are all small idols of Vishnu found at the sites at about the 
same period. While the Veni Madhava and Bindu Madhava idols are made of black stone, which is a rarity in the north where these idols were found, the idol of Sethu Madhava is in marble, a rare occurrence in the south. Thus, in a way these idols are unusual in their 
respective areas, and their names being similar, it probably led to an identification of 
these three idols as a trinity, and it is auspicious to see all the three idols.  Worth the 
visit no doubt!


Sri Parvathavarthini Ambal and Sri Ramanatha Swamy,
Rameshwaram
Parvathavardhini

She is the consort of Lord Ramanatha and is enshrined separately to His right. There is a 

Sri Chakra installed inside. Special significance is attached to a Devi shrine situated on 
the right of the Lord’s shrine. In Madurai, too, the shrine of Meenakshi is situated to the 
right of Lord Sundareshwara. On Fridays, an especially decorated image of 
Parvathavardhini is taken round the temple corridor in a golden palanquin.

Lord Vishwanatha and  Visalakshi


Visvalingam is near the Prakaram of 
Hanuman temple

To the north of Ramalinga shrine, Lord Vishwanatha or Vishwalinga has a separate 
shrine. This is one of the two Lingas brought from Kailas by Hanuman. As per tradition, 
pujas are first performed to Vishwalinga and then to Ramalinga. In the first inner corridor, Visalakshi, consort of Vishwanatha, is enshrined.
Sayanagruha [Palliyarai]

This is in the north-eastern corner of the corridor around the Visalakshi shrine. The gold 

image of the Lord is ceremoniously brought here every night from the main shrine and 
placed in the Oonjal [swing] by the side of the Devi’s golden idol. The Sayana puja and 
the early morning puja, when the Lord is taken back in a procession to the sanctum, 
are worth witnessing.



The Architectural Splendour of Rameshwaram




 We then made a pradakshina of the sanctum
.  One can notice the architectural marvels, 

as we go round,  visiting the many other sanctums of gods and goddesses which are 
inside this huge temple.

I think I should mention here about the Siddhars who lived in Rameshwaram.  Of the many Siddhars, it is said that
Patanjali is the founder of yoga and one among the 18 siddhars 

who have  attained samadhi in Rameswaram as per Bhogar's song.  After talking to our assistant,  we understood that his samadhi is behind the Natrajar sannidhi in the temple. 
It is also called a Rudraksha Mandapam. The experience to sit and meditate in this place 
is awesome it is told.  For people who need to experience this,  the sannidhi is in the right corner from the outter 
pragaram and the gate that is facing the sea.   

Since we were running  short of time, we could not  see this place and hence our assistant, 
who had accompanied us, was kind enough to explain in detail about this wonderful 
structure.  . 

 It is told that this Rudrasha Mantapam stands out in all its architectural splendour - the mandapam where the idol of Nataraja, is placed. The whole mandapam is decorated 
from walls to ceiling with the Rudraksha beads, which is so dear to Shiva. The canopy 
covering this is made of Rudrakshas. In many of the Shiva temples you can find a 
similar canopy of Rudrashams over the head of the main lingam which makes you 
spell-bound admiring its architecture.  

One can also find rows of Lingams in the corridors inside of the temple.  


Row of Lingams lining the Corridors
Inside of the Temple


The Spectacular Gopuram of the Temple
With a sense of satisfaction, we made our exit from this huge and beautiful temple 
considered to be so very Holy to every Hindu Brahmin. 

Now it was time to go to our Hotel rooms and pack our bags to be off to Chennai by Rameshwaram Express leaving at 8pm that night -  ready to exercise our franchise 
in the elections to be held the next day i.e. 13th of April, 2011. 

Our Vadhyaar’s wife was good enough to pack our dinner packets[ tasty idlis with 
Molagapodi] which was sent to our respective Hotel rooms in time to catch our train 
to Chennai.  Since we had visited all of the historical spots in and around Rameshwaram 
during our earlier visit, we did not have much to do with sight-seeing this time. 

On reaching Chennai we were all left with a very satisfying  feeling on completing this 
Holy Yatra.  A sense of  fulfillment of our rites for our ancestors, well-performed,  
once in a lifetime. 


Soon after having completed the Holy Yatra, as is customary, we had one more 
auspicious occasion to be performed,-  that being  the "Samaradhana".  This is usually performed after completion of any holy yatra.  This is also known as Brahmana 
samaradhana [calling vedic brahmins and honouring them]  and also to 
organise "sumptuous meals" to one and all and satisfy the Brahmanas in the 
best possible way.  This was done in a befitting manner, with four Vedic Brahmanas, 
on 18th April, 2011, at our residence in Chennai.  


Some pictures taken are shown here:


Samaradhana being performed

Aarthi after Puja
Somehow, I had missed out writing on my previous visit to this holy place.  Now I would 
like to list out the places we visited the first time we had been to Rameshwaram, prior 
to our visit to Allahabad-Kashi and Gaya




Places of Interest
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
Ramanathaswamy Temple: Located close to the sea on the
eastern side of the island and off the Sethu coast is the
Ramanathaswamy Temple. Built in the 12th century and
expanded over the years by several rulers, the temple spread
over an area of 15 acres. The temple famous for its 1220 m long corridor lined


with 1200 gigantic granite columns which are located on a 1.5 me high platform;
a 53 m high gopuram and 22 sacred wells whose water is said to taste differently
from one another.


The Shiva lingams are housed in the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara. High walls
enclose the temple, forming a rectangle with huge pyramidal gopuram entrances on
each side and since, it is a Shiva temple there is a huge Nandi idol 6.7 m long and
5 m high made of 'Sudai', a material used for sculptures on Gopuras and surrounded
by the portraits of Visvanatha and Krishnappa Nayaks.
Major festivals and pujas are performed at the Ramanathaswamy temple, in
connection with Thai Amavasi [Jan], Masi Sivarathiri [Feb-Mar], Thirukalyanam
Agnitheertham, Rameshwaram[July-Aug] and Mahalaya Amavasi [Sept].
Agnitheertham: Located close to the Ramanathaswamy
Temple is Agnitheertham, a place where Lord Rama worshipped
Shiva to absolve his sins of killing a Brahmin. The beach of
Agnitheertham is very clam and is ideal for swimming.
The Five-faced Hanuman Temple: Located 2 km from the
main temple the Five-faced Hanuman Temple houses the idols of Lord Ram, Sita and
Hanuman
that were brought from Dhanushkodi during the 1964 cyclone. The
floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanam or the bridge between India and
Lanka can be found in this temple.
Satchi Hanuman Temple:  Located 3 km from the main temple, on the
way to the Gandamadana   Parvatham, the Satchi Hanuman Temple is built on the
very spot where Hanuman delivered the good news of finding Sita to Rama
with satchi or evidence- the hoodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita.
Gandhamadana Parvatam, Rameshwaram
Gandhamadana Parvatam: Situated on the highest point in
the island, Gandhamadana Parvatam located some 3 km
from the Ramanathaswamy Temple has an imprint of
Lord Rama's feet placed on a Chakra (wheel). The place also
commands some excellent views of the countryside.
Olaikuda Beach: Just one km from the main temple and surrounded by coral reefs,
Olaikuda Beach makes a nice picnic spot. The beach is also safe for swimming.
Pamban Road Bridge: An engineering marvel that took 14 years to complete,
the Pamban Road Bridge is designed like a bow over the sea to allow ships to pass
beneath it. The bridge is 2.34 km. long, with a clearance of 24.4 m. and it is
supported by 79 pillars, 64 of which are built in the sea. The bridge connects
Rameswaram with mainland India and is also known aAnnai Indira Gandhi 
Road Bridge.
Pamban Rail Scissors Bridge, RameshwaramPamban Rail Scissors Bridge: This 2.06 km. long Rail Bridge
connects Rameswaram to the mainland Indian. Constructed on
145 stone pillars, some portion of the bridge opens up likes
a pair of scissors to let the ship pass under it. Though the
bridge was destroyed in the cyclone of 1964, it was rebuilt
and was operational in 45 days.


Places Nearby
Dhanushkodi: Located some 10 km from Rameswaram is Dhanushkodi. The place
is named after Lord Ram's bow. The boulders located nearby are said to be the ones
from the bridge that was built over the sea to cross over to Lanka [Present day
Sri Lanka].
It is also believed that Vibishana, the brother of Ravana met Lord Ram at this very
place. The Kothandaraswamy Temple located nearby is the only structure that
survived the wrath of cyclone that hit the area in 1964. The temple houses the
idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman and Vibishana.


Devipattinam, Rameshwaram
Devipattinam: Also known as Navabashanam, this coastal village has a temple
dedicated to Devi who is said to have killed the demon Mahishasura at this
spot. The nine stones visible at low tide are believed to have been set up by
Sri Rama to represent the nine planets-the Navagrahas. The Hindus perform religious
rites for the forefathers here. Devipattinam is 70 km from Rameswaram.
Uthirakosamangai: Located 72 km from Rameshwaram is the renowned Shiva
temple of Uttarakosamangai where the Lord carved out of emerald is
worshipped as Mangaleshvara and the Goddess as Mangalesvari. The temple
has inspired many Tamil works of devotion, including the songs of the
Shaivite saint Manickavasagar. The temple attracts a lot of pilgrims during the
annual Arudhra Festival in December when the rare life-size 1.83 metres tall Nataraja
statue that remains covered in sandal paste throughout the year is unveiled for just one
day.

Devotees throng this temple of Uthirakosamangai on Arudra Darisanam day 
every year.  The Sanctum sanctorum of the temple is opened after a year on this 
auspicious day.

Abhishekam being performed on Natarajar.






Hundreds of devotees from various parts of the State visit Sri Mangalanathar 

Swamy Temple at Uthirakosamangai to witness "Arudra Darisanam".
The `maragatha' Natarajar idol, kept closed for the last one year after applying 
sandal on it during the last year `Arudra Darisanam,' is opened for `darshan' on this 
day..


Special pujas are performed to the Natarajar idol, after the sanctum sanctorum is 
opened after a year. Amid chanting of mantras, `archakas' perform milk, sandal 
and other `abhishekams' to the idol.

In Uthirakosamangai [mentioned 38 times in Thiruvasakam] near Rameshwaram, 
Ravana's wife Mandothari's name is inscribed in the sanctum from time immemorial.



Stay Options
There are many stay options available in Rameshwaram. Hotels in Rameshwaram 
include various guesthouses as well as many budget hotels. For those looking 
for luxury, Rameshwaram also has some good luxury hotels. Tamil Nadu Tourism 
Development Corporation [ TTDC ] also has a few hotels in Rameshwarm, which 
offer good stay options. Tamil Nadu Hotel and Maharaja are two TTDC 
hotel located in Rameshwaram.


The Holy Temple - Rameshwaram

How to Reach Rameshwaram:
By Air: Nearest airport from Rameshwaram is at Madurai [173 km].
By Rail: The temple town of Madurai is well connected to all the major states of 
the country. The town is directly connected by rail to Madras, Madurai, Trichy, 
Tanjavur and Coimbatore Trains like the Sethu Express, Tirupati-Madurai 
Express and Tirunelveli Express connect it with other parts of South India while 
two trains ply daily between the temple towns of Rameshwaram to Madurai.
By Road:Being an important pilgrimage town Rameshwaram is well connected to 
all the main towns. The Pamban Bridge connects Rameswaram to the mainland.
 Rameshwaram is 527 km [13 hrs] from Chennai, 173 km (5 hrs) from Madurai, 
315 km [9 hrs] from Kanyakumari and 273 km [7 hrs] from Tiruchirapalli.  


To read my earlier posting on our Kashi Yatra you may click on the link below:


http://punithayatra.blogspot.com/2009/10/our-trip-to-prayagvaranasi-and.html




With this posting, our Holy Yatra to Rameshwaram - Allahabad - Kashi - Gaya - Rameshwaram comes to a close.  I am sure all of my viewers will find this very useful and interesting too.

13 comments:

  1. very interesting and very useful to the devotees. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Everybody must stuy before they perform the Holy pilgrimage

    ReplyDelete
  3. IT IS VERY USEFUL MAM AND ACT AS GUIDE TO ALL THE DEVOTEES.THANK U VERY MUCH MAM.
    VENKAT

    ReplyDelete
  4. Every hindu bharmin must know about all these important things. thanks you very much and thanks a lot, I got an idea and like to visit all the place and perform my duties before my death.But if you mentioned the total expenses approxmaitely it will be more useful.
    thanks for your experiece ,while reading i travelled along with you.

    Revathy

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really useful one for People to look and follow it ...

    Thanks for Posting this

    regards
    Vijay

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very, very helpful. I was lost on where to go and what to see and do. Yr site is very "eye-opening". Many thanks. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am and will remain a witness to blessings of Shri Ramanathaswamy and Mother Parvathavardhini! My wife, my two daughters and myself went praying for a son!! He blessed us. In this trip in 2009 we spend 7-8 days in Rameshwaram and prayed everyday, every morning to late night. Shri Ramanathaswamy has been kind enough, as always, to bless us (the sinners) with a son in 2008. We are going again this year to pray the Lord and the great kind Mother Parvathvardhini to bless long life to our son and daughters and seek further blessings so that three of them could take our traditions and religion ahead. I have named my son as Ramanathan!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am planning this pilgrimage. This will be helpful to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am planning this punitha yatra. This will help me a lot. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. on Cheap Rameshwaram HotelsI actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.. :)Hotels in Rameshwaram

    ReplyDelete
  11. Detailed story of the Rameshwaram Yatra.
    Very much useful .
    Thanks for sharing
    God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Many more thanks as it has answered many of my doubts on the trip.You gave a clear picture of the temple and hints of performing puja.As i have planned for a family trip along with parents and a team of 30+ members for dussera'13.All the best and make more trips and keep on writing:)
    raj4best@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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