Explore the Splendid Architecture of Rameshwaram
Located close to the Gulf of Mannar Bio Reserve, Rameshwaram is one of the major places of pilgrimage for Hindus. It is here that Ram came and worshipped Shiva for forgiveness for killing Ravana.
The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. Ramanathaswamy is tThe lingam that is located in Rameshwaram Island is called Ramanathaswamy.
Some of the interesting facts related to the Ramanathaswamy temple are mentioned below-
According to Hindu mythology, Ram performed a penance to please Shiva as he had killed Ravana in the war. In order to perform worship, he needed a Shivalinga. So he ordered Hanuman to fly to Kailash and bring two Shivalingas.
But Hanuman delayed in returning and so Sita created a Shivalinga using sand as the appropriate time for the rituals was almost over. The saints advised Ram to perform the pooja (worship) of this sand Shiva Linga. He came back with two Shivalingas by the time the rituals were over.
He asked Rama to worship the Shivalinga which he had brought and attempted to remove the one made from sand. But he couldn’t remove it.
To console him, Lord Sri Ram announced that the first pooja at Rameshwaram would be done of the Shivalinga which he had brought. Since then, the first pooja starts from the Vishwanathar linga which was brought by Hanuman from Kailash.
The temple was a small thatched shed till the 10th century and was maintained by a saint. Rameshwaram in its present form can into being between the 12th and 16th century after construction was done here by different kings.
The Ramanthaswamy temple is a fine example of the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple complex here is covered by a compound wall that extends 865 feet on the East-West direction and 657 feet in the South-North. The temple has 4 gopuras (towers) in each direction and has three corridors. There are small shrines called sannathis within the corridors.
The Shivalinga which was installed by Ram is the major deity of the temple. Vigrahas (metal idols) of Rama Nathaswamy and his consort Ambal Parvartharthini, Ram, Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman are kept within the main shrine. They are used only during major festivals. The Ramanathaswamy shrine is made from dark granite stones. Its vimana (roof of the top tower) has a gold coating.
The third corridor is the largest in the world. The stones on the top of the temple roof rise up to 40 feet in length. There are exquisite sculptures on the corridors.
The painting works on the third corridor were done after spending Rs 54 lakh. Water jet washing was done in order to restore the granite structure on the inner as well as outer prakaras of Swami and Ambal sannathis at the expense of Rs 75 lakh. The stone wall pillars on the prakaras have preservative coatings.
Best time to visit Rameshwaram
The best time to come to Rameshwaram is between October to April when the weather remains pleasant.
How to reach Rameshwaram?
Rameshwaram is well connected by railways as well as by air with all parts of the country. The nearest airport is in Madurai in Tamil Nadu.