Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram

Location of the templeRameswaram in Rameswaram Island
Lord Shiva known asRamanathaswamy
Female deity known asParvada Vardhini
PathigamThirunavukarasar, Sambandar
How to reach This Shivasthalam is located in Rameswaram Island. Train and bus services are available from Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli etc.
Temple addressArulmighu Ramanathaswamy Temple
Ramanathapuram District
PIN 623526

Temple: The Shiva temple at Rameswaram is fairly a big one with the world famous long corridors and massive sculptured pillars. The temple is located on the Rameswaram Island in the Gulf of Mannar and is connected to the mainland by a rail bridge and a road bridge. The shivasthalam temple at Rameswaram is visited by pilgrims from every corner of India. A pilgrimage to Kasi (Banares) is not considered complete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The temple is 865 feet in length east to west and 675 feet in breadth north to south. The east tower is 126 feet in height and the west tower is 78 feet in height. There are unfinished gopurams on the north and south side entrances. The outermost or the third prakaram is the longest temple prakaram. It is roughly 400 feet in length, 20 to 30 feet in breadth and 60 feet in height and consists of about 4000 pillars. The pillars are located on an elevated platform of about 5 feet height. How the huge stones for these pillars were transported across the sea from the main land is a question that arises in the minds of people who see and walk along this temple corridor. There are 3 prakarams in the temple. In the third and outer prakaram, the idol of lord Natarajar can been seen. The main shrines for Lord Ramalingaswamy and the female deity Parvathavardhini Amman are located in the inner first prakaram. The stucco image of Nanadi is fairly a big one and is about 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height.

There are 2 Sivalingams in the temple. One Sivalingam, made out of sand by Seetha of Ramayana fame is the Moolavar and is known as Ramanathaswamy. According to the legend, Lord Rama returned to India after killing Ravana in Srilanka. Lord Rama wanted to worship Lord Shiva at Rameswaram to free himself from the sin of killing Ravana. Hence he directed Hanuman to bring a sivalingam from Kailash/Banares. Hanuman was delayed on his return with the lingam. In the meantime, the stipulated auspicious time has arrived for performing the worship to Lord Shiva. Hence Lord Rama performed the worship to the lingam made out of sand by Seetha so as to finish the worship within the stipulated auspicious time. Hanuman got depressed with this and tried his best to remove the lingam made out of sand by Seetha but failed in his attempts. Lord Rama pacified Hanuman and assured him that the lingam brought by Hanuman will also be installed at the place and that worship will first be offered to the lingam (known as Kasi Viswanathar) brought by Hauman. Even today the first worship is offered to the lingam brought by Hanuman and then only the worship is offered to the principal sanctum Lord Ramalinganaswamy.

Temple Theerthams: There are no less than twenty-two thirthams, or bathing places, mainly within, but a few also outside the temple. According to time-honoured tradition, the pilgrim bathes first in Agni Theertham, as the sea to the east of the temple is called and finally in the Kodi Theertham, which is situated within the temple.

Agni Theertham: Sri Ramanathaswamy temple faces east. The seashore, about 100 metres from the main east entrance of the temple, is very calm and therefore ideal for bathing. The water of the sea at this place is considered sacred and is known as "Agni Theertham" .. Pillgrims perform poojas for their ancestors at this seashore.

Rameswaram Temple East Gopuram

East temple tower

view from the sea

View of east tower from the sea

Rail bridge - another view

Pamban Rail bridge

Pamban road bridge

Pamban road bridge

West tower

West tower

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