Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is part of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples and 4 Char Dham Temples in India. The temple is located in the Rameshwaram District of Tamil Nadu and is the southernmost Jyotirlinga in India.
What is the history of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
The history of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple dates back to the Ramayana Period. Devotees believe that Lord Rama made the Linga and installed it here. As per the legend, Lord Rama and his wife Sita were returning from Lanka After killing Ravana, who was a half demon and half Brahmin.
Since killing a Brahmin is a sin, Lord Rama wished to worship Lord Shiva and ask his pardon. So, he had sent Lord Hanuman to Mount Kailash to bring Lord Shiva’s idol. Meanwhile, Lord Rama and Sita were living in the island and when they tried to drink the water, a powerful and divine voice spoke to them.
The voice chided Lord Rama that he was drinking the water without worshiping. Therefore, instead of waiting for Hanuman’s return, Lord Rama instructed Sita to make a Linga with the sand and water from the seashore.
Then he worshipped Lord Shiva in this form and pleaded for mercy. Lord Shiva manifested himself as the Jyotirlinga, blessed Lord Rama and also accepted to stay here and bless mankind forever. Since Lord Rama worshipped the Linga, the Jyotirlinga was named as Ramanathaswamy, and the place was called as Rameshwaram. There are 12 Jyotirlingas in India out of which Five are around Pune.
The rulers of Pandya Dynasty expanded the temple in 12th century AD.
What is the significance of the Temple?
The significance of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple is that the sanctum Sanctorum of the temple has two Lingas – the Ramalingam – made out of sand by Sita, and Vishwalingam – brought by Hanuman. Since Hanuman had brought the Linga all the way from Kailash, Lord Rama instructed that one should worship Vishwalingam first.
The entire island of Rameshwaram and nearby areas are in relation with Lord Rama. As per beliefs, many incidents from the Ramayana happened here and therefore, this place is important for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. Rameshwaram has many as 50 Teerths or holy wells, and 22 of them are inside the temple. The water from these wells is believed to possess medicinal properties. Also, as per belief, the water from each Teerth tastes different and offers various remedies.
The Linga is made of Spatika. It is auspicious to bathe the Linga with the water from the Ganges. Devotees who go to Kashi, make it a point to bring the Ganges water and offer it to the Linga here. Moreover, the Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple has the world’s largest temple corridor. They measure around 1220 metres and also comprise of nearly 1200 magnificent granite pillars in total.
What are the timings of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
Here are the timings of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6:00 AM||1:00 PM|
|Evening Darshan||3:30 PM||8:30 PM|
What are the Poojas and Rituals of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
Here are the Poojas and Rituals of Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple:
|Palliyarai Deepa Arathana||5:00 am|
|Spadigalinga Deepa Arathana||5:10 am|
|Thiruvananthal Deepa Arathana||5:45 am|
|Vila Pooja||7:00 am|
|Kalasanthi Pooja||10:00 am|
|Uchikala Pooja||12:00 pm|
|Sayaratcha Pooja||6:00 pm|
|Arthajama Pooja||8:30 pm|
|Palliyarai Pooja||8:45 pm|
What are the festivals celebrated at Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple are:
- Mahashivratri: This festival is in the honour of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe that he is the Adi guru who is the source of the Yogi tradition. Also, people observe it by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga as well as meditating.
- Ramalinga Prathishtai: It is a 3-day festival celebrating the installation of the Ramalingam. The festival occurs during May- June.
- Thirukalyanam: It is the celestial wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The festivities carry on for a fortnight and occur in the month of July – August
- Navarathri or Dussera: It is a 10-day festival celebrated in the month of September – October
- Aarudhira Dharshan: It is an important day in the Saivite calendar when Lord Shiva indulges in a cosmic dance. Also, Lord Shiva’s avatar, Lord Nataraja performs this ecstatic dance on a day that coincides with the longest night of the year. This festival occurs during the end of December or in early January.
How to Reach Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
Here’s how to reach Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is in Madurai, which is 174 km from Rameshwaram.
- Road: This major pilgrim site is connected to all cities and towns in Tamil Nadu. Several state-run and private buses are available.
- Train: Rameshwaram Railway station is the nearest railhead, 1 km away from the temple.
Where to Stay near Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple
There are several accommodation options available at Rameswaram. The temple also offers accommodation options. One can also find comfortable rooms and dormitories in TTDC Guest House at a nominal tariff.
What are some temples near Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple?
Some of the temples near Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple are:
- Satchi Hanuman Temple: The Satchi Hanuman Temple is a spot of great significance in the Ramayana. It is the place where Hanuman conveyed to Lord Rama, that Sita is in Lanka. Moreover, Hanuman gave Sita’s jewel as an evidence or ‘Satchi’ and hence, the spot became popular as Satchi Hanuman Temple. The temple is 3 km from Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy Temple.
- Panchamukha Hanuman Temple: The Panchamukha Hanuman Temple has a majestic idol of Lord Hanuman with five faces covered in vermillion. The temple also attracts devotees who come to see the floating rocks that Lord Hanuman’s army used to build the Ramsethu bridge between Indian and Sri Lanka. Also, the Panchamukha Hanuman Temple is 2 km from the Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy Temple
- Badrakaliamman Temple: Badrakaliamman Temple is in dedication to Goddess Durga. The temple is just 2 km away from the Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy Temple.
- Nambu Nayagiamman Temple:– The Nambu Nayagiamman Temple is a 14th-century temple. The people of Ramnad built it as a mark of their faith and respect for Lord Rama. Further, the temple is 8 km from the Rameshwaram Ramanathswamy Temple.
- Kothandaramaswamy Temple: This temple has relations with Vibishana, the brother of Ravana and Lord Rama. Devotees believe that Vibishana sought Lord Rama’s refuge in this place. This is also the place where Lord Rama coronated Vibishana after his victory in Lanka. The Kothandaramaswamy Temple is 12 km away from Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy Temple.