a pilgrimage centre is an island town in the Palk strait at the South east
tip of India, 167 kms from Madurai. The island is connected to the
mainland by the Pamban bridge. No holy pilgrim is complete for the Hindus
without a dip in the holy waters of the Agni Theertham at Rameswaram.
This tranquil water was calmed by Lord Rama, who is said to have worshipped
Lord Siva here, before and after his war with the Lankan asura king Ravana,
who had abducted his wife Sita Devi. There are several holy threethams
- a total of 51 teerthams in Rameswaram.
The construction of the temple as it stands today, a wonderful example of Dravidian architecture, was started in the 12th century and ended in 19th century. All the rulers in a span of 350 years contributed greatly to various aspects and sections of the temple. The most interesting feature in the temple is the 1,220m long corridor with the beautiful carvings on the pillars, walls and cieling.
This hillock is the highest point in the island. There is a two storey mandapam, the Ramjharoka Temple,(or Ramjiruka meaning the place where Rama rested) where the foot print of Lord Rama on a wheel is worshipped. There is anexcellent view of the isalnd from this spot.
Rameswaram is also an interesting spot for marine biologists for, in the waters surrounding the island are beautiful coral reefs in which live a wide variety of sea creatures. The Kurusadai islands on the west of the Pamban bridge are an ideal place to explore the sea. The Gulf of Mannar has been declared as a bio-sphere reserve and is being developed as an ecologically sensitive area.
Mandapam connects Rameswaram with the main land. A boat ride to Kurusadai island can be arranged from here.
Tirupullani is also known as Dharbasayanam. The Vishnu temple here is dedicated to Lord Adi Jaganathaperumal.
At Devipattinam also known as Navabashnam, There is a temple dedicated to Devi. There are stones laid at the shore which represent the Navagrahams, where special prayers & worship is offered in Aadi & Thai Ammavasai. Devotees from all the neighbouring villages flock to worship here.
At Erwadi the tomb of Ibrahim Syed Aulia is visited by the Muslim pilgrims. The annual festival in honour of this saint takes place in December.
Kanchirankulam is a water bird sanctuary (Season : November to February)