After killing Ravana , Lord Rama arrived at Rameshwaram from Lanka with his wife Sita. To expiate the ‘kukarma’ or ‘dosha’ of killing a brahmin, he wanted to worship Lord Shiva. Since there was no Shivling in Rameshwaram, he sent Hanuman to get the biggest Shivling from the Himalayas. Since it took him a long time to return, Sita made a shivling with mud and sand that became the original Rameshwaram shiva lingam.
According to a popular legend, it was Lord Rama who installed this Linga here. The story goes that when Lord Ram was on his way to attack Ravana, he reached this place where he made a linga of sand and worshipped it. It is said that when Lord Rama was drinking water on the seashore there was a celestial proclamation - "You are drinking water without worshipping me". Listening to this Lord Rama made a linga of sand and worshipped it and asked to be blessed so that he could vanquish Ravana. Lord Shiva blessed him accordingly. He also requested Lord Shiva to reside eternally here so that entire mankind should benefit from it. Shiva then manifested himself as the Linga and got installed there for eternity. According to yet another legend, while returning to Ayodhya, Ram worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita. It is said that Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from Banaras. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama offered worship to a Shivalingam at a pre-chosen auspicious moment. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram. There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathan said to have been brought by Hanuman from Benares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered to Ramanathaswamy.
Rameswaram Temple is spread over an area of 15 acres and has lofty gopurams, massive walls and a colossal Nandi. Rameswaram Jyotirlinga also boasts of 4000 feet long pillared corridor with over 4000 pillars, supposedly the longest in the world. The carved granite pillars are mounted on a raised platform. Worth noticing fact about this corridor is that the rock is not indigenous to the island and is said to have been brought in from elsewhere in Tamil Nadu across the sea. The eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height of 126 feet and has nine levels. The Western Rajagopuram is also quite impressive though not as tall as the Eastern one. The temple also has several mandapams with mini shrines to other deities. There is a huge Nandi measuring 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height with the idols of Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker. The lingams are housed in the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara. High walls enclose the temple, forming a rectangle with huge pyramidal gopura entrances on each side.
Ramanathaswamy Temple Rameswaram
Sankranthi January Thai – 1st Day Pausa
Tamil New year April Chithirai 1st Day Chaithra
Thirukarthikai Between November – December Karthikai Karthika Pournami (full moon day ) of kaarthikai
Theppam January Thai Pausa Pournami (full moon day ) of Thai
Vaikunda ekathasi December margali Margashrisha Ekathasi of margali
AAdi Amavasai July – August Aadi Jyeshta No moon day of aadi
Thai Amavasai Between January – February Thai Pausa No moon day of thai
Purattasi Amavasai September – October Purattasi Bhadrapada No moon day of purattasi
Panguni uthiram March- April Panguni Phalguna Full Moon day of Panguni
Karthika Masam and Mahasivaratri are the major festival days here.
Opens between 5:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM During Normal Days. During The month of Margali (margashrisha) Temple opens so early. Temple Closes During Eclipse days (Between eclipse Timings)
Taxi : Tourist taxi is also available.The taxi charges for a small car (Indica) is around Rupees 5 per Km. Bus : Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses connect Rameshwaram with all cities in Tamil Nadu, including Kanyakumari, Madurai, Trichy and Thanjavur. Overnight deluxe super fast buses connect Chennai and Bangalore with Rameshwaram, both cities are nearly 600 km away. Others : While travelling within the township, you may hire jeeps, auto rickshaws, horse carts and even cycle rickshaw.
Travelling to Rameshwaram by train is one of the easiest ways of reaching the city. The city is well connected to many other prominent places of the state of Tamil Nadu. Therefore, the tourists often prefer rail to the other means of communication in order to travel to Rameshwaram.
The Holy land of Rameshwaram is well connected to other major cities in India. The nearest airport is at Madurai, about 163 kilometres away. This connects you to all the major cities of India. After you get down, you can have both public and private transport to take you to Rameshwaram.
Best Season to Visit October to April. Best Time To Visit Morning, Afternoon, Evening. Time Required for Sightseeing 45 minutes to 2 hours