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Rameshwaram - Things to See at One of The Char Dhams in India

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India is known for places with spiritual and philosophical significance. Sacred residences and temples of gods and deities. For centuries, these pilgrim sites have been frequented by seekers of spirituality, those on the path of self-discovery, and even those who find joy in exploring different places. Among these are many cities with Samadhis, Melas, Gurudwaras, TirthaJyotirlings, Shakti Pithas and Char Dhams.

Rameshwaram or Rameswaram whichever way you choose to transliterate it, is one such abode in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu. The town, located on Pamban Island, the southeastern tip of Tamil Nadu, is well known for its temples, and religious sites that will connect you, with yourself.

There is no lack of things to see in Rameshwaram, no matter whether you are spiritually inclined or not. Besides holy sites and temples, there are several beaches and museums that you can visit to loosen up on your vacay. In this blog, we have listed some of the best places to visit and things to do on your Rameshwaram trip. Here is a little sneak peek:

Top Things to See in Rameshwaram

  • Rameshwaram - As a Place of Worship
    • Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple
  • Rameshwaram - As a Place of Exploration
  • Things to See in Rameshwaram
    • Dhanushkodi
    • Thiruppullni
    • Kalam National Memorial
    • Villondi Theertham
    • Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge

From prayers and soft melodies floating from the temples to gentle waves lapping the golden sand, Rameshwaram is the perfect destination if you want to get away and spend some time amidst nature, and the natural.

Rameshwaram - As a Place of Worship

Rameshwaram, its name derived from Sanskrit origins, when broken down into two - Ram and Eshwar (Sanskrit word īśvaram, meaning “Lord” or “God”) is a place devoted to the “Lord of Ram” - The Auspicious One, Lord Shiva. It is believed, that Rameshawarm is the place where Lord Ram worshipped Lord Shiva to seek his blessing before embarking on the battle against Ravana, the King of Sri Lanka.

Celebrated for its many temples, and spiritual sites and as one of the Char Dham - the four abodes including Badrinath, Dwarka and Puri, Rameshwaram is one of the high pilgrim destinations in India. Many believe a tour of all four places can help a person attain salvation. As the epitome of spirituality, a place of worship, every nook and cranny of Rameshwaram holds authenticity and coos about Hindu mythology.

Though there are several things to do in Rameshwaram, we are going to begin our journey with the namesake - Rameshwaram Temple.

Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Mandir

Among the many temples to visit in Rameshwaram, Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Mandir or Rameshwar Temple is a humble abode of the presiding deity, Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas that was placed by Lord Ram and later settled inside a temple built in the 15th century by King Udaiyan Sethupati and Vaishya residents of Nagoor. Ramanathaswamy Temple is a prominent place of worship where Lord Shiv is worshipped in the form of Jyotirlinga, the “pillar of light”.

Ramanathaswamy Temple is among the top hots of “what to see in Rameshwaram” lists. Inside, with the sounds of bells ringing through the long ornate corridors, sculpted pillars, and carefully crafted colourful columns placed inside this colourful temple, Rameshwar Temple welcomes visitors with awe and leaves them in wonder whether there is anything better to see in Rameshwaram. Built in the Dravidian style architecture, the temple is a paradise for devotees. What’s more interesting is that, in the inner sanctum, there is another jyotirlinga that was supposedly brought by Hanuman from Mount Kailash.

Walking barefoot through the corridors and praying to the idol is among the best things to do In Rameshwaram and has claimed to open doors to good fortune.

Rameshwaram - As a Place for Exploration

Dhanushkodi (Dhanushkodi - the ghost town)

Dhanushkodi

Located on the southeastern tip of the Rameshwar Island where the Bay of Bengal meets the Gulf of Mannar, Dhanushkodi is an old abandoned town that holds a lot of significance in Hindu mythology. Legend has it, that it is here Lord Ram set the foundation of Ram Setu, a bridge made of limestone shoals, with the help of vanaras to reach Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita. Though most of the structure is beneath the water, remnants can still be seen scattered on the beachfront. Visiting Dhanushkoti is one of the best things to do in Rameshwaram - Sitting by the beach, contemplating the true meaning of life, love and sacrifices made by people.

Dhanushkodi is not just a destination, it's an experience that will leave you revered. What's more interesting is that till the mid-1900s, Dhanushkodi was a thriving town until it was devastated by a cyclone,  wiping out the population and leaving behind scattered remains of buildings - a haunting reminder of the past.

Thiruppullani Temple

If you are looking for things to do near Rameshwaram, then plan a trip to Thiruppullani Temple. Also called the AadhiJagannatha Perumal Thirukoil Thirupullani,  this temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam temples of Lord Vishnu.  Steeped in mythology and Hindu lore,  this sacred sanctuary beckons travellers from across the world. The temple's architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles, each detail narrating tales of devotion. The serene ambience of the temple is coupled with the sculptures of Lord Dharba Sayana Rama in reclining pose as if resting, separate shrines for Goddess Padmasini, Goddess Shridevi, Goddess Bhudevi, Lord Krishna.

Kalam National Memorial

Kalam National Memorial is where history and inspiration intertwine. Built to honour India's beloved former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the memorial stands as a testament to his remarkable life and contributions to science, education, and humanity. The memorial showcases his journey from humble beginnings in Rameshwaram with displays and exhibits of his belongings, writings, awards, personal items, and timeless pieces reflecting his life, thoughts, innovation, perseverance and service to humanity. Beyond the artefacts, the memorial stands as a testament to Mughal and Indian architecture with garden areas and reflective spaces surrounding the building. Kalam National Memorial is one of the finest things to see in Rameshwaram.

Villondi Theertham

A famous tourist attraction, Villondi Theertham holds a significance of its own. Located a short distance away from the Ramanathaswamy Temple, the calm shoreline of Villoondi Tirtham is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, spiritual significance and calm. It is believed, that Lord Ram had dipped an arrow into the sea after the epic battle, from whence emerged a spring that quenched the thirst of his beloved wife, Sita. Pilgrims and devotees often visit this site to take a dip in the holy waters and seek blessings from both Lord Ram and Sita. Mysteriously, despite being surrounded by salt sea water, the water in the well is the sweetest. Legend also says that it is in Villondi where Lord Ram had also buried his bow and arrow.

Besides the spring, another amazing thing to do at Villondi Theertham in Rameshwaram is to take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or explore the quaint village dotting the area.

Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge

Separating the town from the mainland is India's first sea bridge - the Pamban Bridge. Standing parallel to the railway bridge, the Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge is a symbol of human innovation, craftsmanship and determination. Built over the sea, the bridge has played a crucial role in facilitating trade and travel between Rameshwaram and the mainland. A tour across the bridge will leave you mesmerised. The panoramic views of the turquoise waters below, the gentle sea breeze, and the rhythmic sounds of waves crashing against the pillars create a serene ambience. Especially during sunsets, as the sun dips below the horizon, the bridge transforms into a breathtaking spectacle, a place to slow down and introspect.

Whether you are attending the Sayaratchai Aarti at Rameshwar Temple, praying at the Panchmukhi Hanuman temple, silk shopping from local artisans, gazing at the exhibits at Kalam National Memorial or taking a long walk along the Villoondi Theertham Beach there is something magnetic about Rameshwaram. It is a place that calls to the very core of every person. As you embark on this journey and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of spirituality, history, and natural beauty, prepare yourself to have an eye-opening experience. And we promise that your trip to Rameshwaram, be it a short one or a week-long itinerary of relaxing and traversing the town at leisure will leave you fulfilled.

March 02, 2024

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Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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