Rameshwaram, also called Rameswaram, is a picturesque seaside town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Being very close to the neighbouring country of Sri Lanka, the town is perched on the Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar. Characterized by idyllic seaside views, the town is also a famous pilgrimage destination. In fact, the town of Rameshwaram is one of the holy Char Dhams, which are the four sacred abodes related to Lord Vishnu’s incarnations.
Also, remember the bridge Lord Ram built to bring back his wife Goddess Sita? That bridge was constructed between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka only. Because I am an ardent follower of Hindu mythology and have a knack for offbeat seaside towns, a trip to Rameshwaram just had to be done. Sightseeing places of Rameshwaram offer a welcome relief with their understated charm and for the scenery all around, well, it looked straight out of a storybook.
Here is the list of sightseeing places of Rameshwaram that formed a part of my trip and are highly recommended by me: –
1. Ramanathaswamy Temple
My sightseeing trip to Rameshwaram had to start with the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The temple is famous for its sacred sand mound or lingam that Goddess Sita herself created so that Lord Rama could worship Shiva. Credited as being one of the holiest shrines of India, the temple draws travellers from all over the world. I was very excited to see the 22 theerthams and 1000 pillar halls of the temple.
The temple is one of the most important tourist places in Rameshwaram which you should visit during your trip.
Useful tip – Do not take bags, phones, and cameras inside the temple’s premises.
2. The childhood home of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Rameshwaram is the town where Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam spent his childhood days. Because I have always been his fan, I had to visit his childhood home which is now a museum. It is maintained by the elder brother of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and is one of the most important sightseeing places of Rameshwaram. On visiting the museum, I was able to gain more insight into the achievements of Dr. Kalam. I highly recommend a visit to this place if the life of Dr. Kalam interests you too.
3. Lakshmana Theertham
Constructed in the honour of the brother of Lord Rama, a visit to the Lakshmana Theertham formed the next part of my list of sightseeing places in Rameshwaram. Upon visiting the temple I saw intriguing sculptures of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. The most interesting part of my trip to this place was admiring Lord Lakshmana’s marble statues. A major highlight of the place is the Dravidian architectural style in which the temple is built that I really came to like.
Additionally, I went on my sightseeing trip to Rameshwaram during the time of Thaipusam festival that takes place at the Lakshmana Theertham. The festival includes a floating car procession that is fascinating to watch. In all, make sure you make a stop at Lakshama Teertham on your sightseeing trip to Rameshwaram.
4. Villondi Theertham
Villondi Theertham has an interesting history and was already there in my local sightseeing plans for Rameshwaram. Situated at about 7 kilometres from Ramanathaswamy Temple, the place offers immaculate views of the sea. Villondi, upon translation, means ‘buried bow’. The place is called so because this is the place where Lord Rama is believed to have buried his bow and arrow.
Upon reaching this place, I walked along the platform that led to a holy well. The walk on the platform alone was enchanting as I was flanked by the sea on both the sides – the view on the horizon was mesmerizing.
Surprisingly, the water of the well is sweet in contrast to the surrounding saltwater. When I stood at the platform reflecting on my own thoughts, I caught a glimpse of a tiny temple-like building and it further added to the solemn experience that I had at the place.
5. Adam’s Bridge
Adam’s Bridge is believed to be the bridge built by Lord Rama so that he could rescue his wife Sita from the evil clutches of Ravana. The task was made possible with the help of Hanuman and his sena. I happen to have a keen interest in Indian mythology, so as part of my sightseeing tour in Rameshwaram, a visit to Adam’s Bridge was a must. A part of the reason I was so excited was that I had never seen a natural bridge before. As soon as I entered the area, I could see a beautiful bridge made of stretches of reefs, rocks, and sandbanks. Honestly, I was blown away by what I saw. Working as a separation to Gulf of Mannar from Palk Strait, the bridge is something that one will really come to appreciate upon visiting it.
Make sure a trip to the bridge makes it to your list of sightseeing places in Rameshwaram. The scenic bridge begins to take form from Dhanushkodi’s tip and culminates at Mannar Island of Sri Lanka.
6. Agni Theertham
Listed among the 64 places for taking sacred baths in the country, Agni Theertham is another one of the places that find a spot in the list of local sightseeing places of Rameshwaram. It is believed that people who bath here get rid of their sins. Situated on the beachside of the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple, Agni Theertham finds its reference in mythological legends and ancient texts. It was particularly interesting to watch the activities taking place at Agni Theertham and I strongly urge people travelling to Rameshwaram to check out this place to fully explore every facet of the town of Rameshwaram.
7. Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge
Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge is the link between Rameswaram Island and the mainland. Being 7 km from Rameshwaram, the bridge is also known as the Pamban Bridge and is a great sightseeing place to visit near Rameshwaram. Situated just beside Pamban, the bridge took 14 years to get completed. When I visited the bridge, I stood and gazed at it for hours. It truly is an immaculate piece of architecture!
If you wish to go sightseeing near Rameshwaram, make a pit stop at the town of Dhanushkodi. A beach town sitting on the coast of Tamil Nadu, Dhanushkodi is enough to give you the chills. The town is a picture of grandeur even after almost getting wiped out by a cyclone that hit it in 1964. The place is termed a ghost town which really piqued my fancy during my sightseeing trip in Rameswaram. Upon reaching the town, I saw remnants of history strewn here and there looking radiant even in ruins. I spotted what remained of a church and a post office. Located half an hour away from Rameshwaram, a visit to this town is highly recommended.
9. Dhanushkodi Beach
The Dhanushkodi Beach lets your stroll silently on the beach and offers unspoiled views of its sapphire waters. I made sure to visit this beach because I wanted some solitude after concluding the major part of my sightseeing trip in Rameswaram. All I did at Dhanushkodi beach was to lie on the white sands, eat some delicacies, and watch the sun going down with my pals.
There are plenty of places for sightseeing in and near Rameshwaram that offer you the perfect getaway you are looking for. Apart from pristine temples, the town offers the ideal set-up to unwind and relax. I really wished I could have stayed for more in this quaint town that has a lot to offer. I will surely be coming back to this simple place because it simply oozes serenity.
If you wish to explore this tiny paradise on your own, I recommend that you book a Rameshwaram tour package. That way, you get to travel with a pre-planned itinerary and you don’t have to worry about trip planning because everything is taken care of beforehand.