of Tourist Interest
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple:
This temple situated near the sea on the eastern side of the
island is renowned for its magnificent prakaras or
corridors with massive sculptured pillars on either side. The longest
corridor in the world is here and it is 197 metres long from East to
West and is 133 metres wide from South-North. The temple has a Gopuram
38.4 metres tall. Different rulers built the temple as it stands
today, at different periods from the 12th century A.D.
Pooja is performed for an hour early morning daily to the
Spadikalingamthat was given by the Shankaracharya to this
Ramanathaswamy temple faces east. The seashore, about 100 metres from
the main entrance of the temple, is very calm and therefore ideal for
bathing. The water at this place is considered sacred and known as
Agni theertham. Pilgrims perform poojas in honour of their
ancestors at this seashore
It is a hillock situated 3 kms away and is the highest point in the
island. Here one can see the imprint of Lord Rama’s feet on a chakra.
The entire island of Rameswaram is visible from this point
It is situated on the way to Gandamadana Parvatham near the
Satchi Hanuman Temple:
This temple is considered to be the place where Hanuman delivered the
good news of finding Sita to Rama with satchi or
evidence, Choodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita. Situated 3
kms from the main temple, on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.
Badrakaliamman Temple: This is a temple for Devi
Durga, situated 2 kms from the main temple on the way to the
The Five-faced Hanuman Temple: This temple is 2 kms
from the main temple, the deity of Hanuman drawn with
senthooram. Idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman brought
from Dhanushkodi during the 1964 cyclone were placed here. The
floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanam
or the bridge between India and Lanka can be found in this temple.
Jada Theertham: About
3.5 km from Rameswaram on the Dhanushkodi road. Legend has it that
Lord Rama, on his way back after killing Ravana, Worshipped Sri
Ramalinga (believed to be installed by him). Before doing so, he
washed his hair (Jada) in this theertham to purify himself.
Nambu Nayagiamman Temple this temple is greatly
venerated by the people of Ramnad District. It is situated 8 kms from
the main temple in Rameswaram on the way to Dhanushkodi
Kothandaramaswamy Temple This temple
is located 12 kms away from Rameswaram. A popular belief is that
Vibishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered before Rama here.
Dhanushkodi (18 kms) The southern tip of the
island, Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the 1964 cyclone.
Tourists can witness the remains of the devastated town. Tourists can
do surfing here.
Villoondi Theertham This Theertham is situated 7 kms
from the main temple on the way to Pamban.
Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge (12 kms) It is also
known as the Pamban Bridge that connects the Rameswaram island with
the main land. It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is
nearly 2.2 kms and stands as a fine example for Indian architecture.
The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. The islands near
by and parallel rail bridge below can be viewed from this bridge
Kurusadai Island (23 kms)
This island can be seen off the main land of Ramanathapuram
in the Gulf of Mannar. It is a Marine Biosphere, a paradise for the
Marine Biologists and Nature lovers. Marine wealth abounds here and
this attracts many a scholar and researcher to this Island. It is
about 4 kms from Mandapam. The Fisheries Department gives permission
to visit this Island. Off Kurusadai Island one can see plenty of coral
reefs, and marine life such as the dolphins and sea cows or the
Dugong. There is much potential here for eco-tourism, scholars and
Ramalingavilasam Palace This palace in Ramanathapuram
that is currently under renovation. The Sethupathi Rajas built the
palace in the latter part of the 17th century. The colourful, huge
murals painted with natural dyes depict everything from business
meetings to military conflicts. They are truly breathtaking to behold.
The palace also houses a museum of the weapons used by the Sethupathis
in the various wars.
Dhanushkodi This is a
strip of land about one km wide and 18 kms long on the eastern end of
Rameswaram island. On one side are the waters of the Indian Ocean and
on the other the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The two seas otherwise
known as Ratnakaran and Mahodadhi with their confluence is shaped like
a bow while the strip of land resemble an arrow poised for release.
Devout Hindus consider the Adi Sethu or the arrowhead, a sacred place
to perform religious rites. It is also place worth visiting for its
scenic beauty and bird life.
Water Bird Sanctuary
There are around five hundred water tanks in Ramanathapuram District
and most of these are happy hunting grounds for water birds from
October to January during the north-east monsoon season. The native
birds come for feeding, while the migratory birds, from as far as
Europe and Australia, come for breeding. The Arichamunai Bird
Sanctuary at Dhanushkodi, the Kanjirankulam and
Chittirankudi Sanctuaries on the mainland in Ramanathapuram
are a paradise for bird watchers. October to January is a good time to
visit Ramanathapuram and explore these sanctuaries.
(70 kms) Also known as Navabashanam, this coastal
Village has a temple dedicated to Devi who is said to have killed the
demon Mahishasura at this spot. It is said that Rama calmed the sea at
this coastal village to install nine stones representing the
Navagrahas or the nine planets. The Hindus perform religious rites for
the forefathers here.
Uthirakosamangai (72 kms)
is an ancient Shiva Temple here, where the deity here is carved in
Emerald. The annual Arudhra Festival in December
attracts a large number of devotees. The famous Shaivite saint
Manickavasagar sang in praise of this temple as the first place where
Lord Shiva was consecrated
The rare life-size 1.83 metres tall,
emerald Nataraja statue that remains covered in sandal paste
throughout the year is unveiled for just one day in December on the
Arudhra darshanam day. To witness this sacred event,
thousands for pilgrims come from all over the country.
The temple tower soars into the sky in
all its grandeur. The broad pathways and arcades, the tanks and other
structures inside the temple compound take you back in time.
Erwadi (80 kms): The
tomb of Sultan Ibrahim Syed Aulia who came from Arabia via Cannanore
is about 800 years old. Pilgrims visit it from Sri Lanka, Malaysia.
and Singapore. The Sandanakoodu festival is held in
honour of this Muslim saint.
Uppoor (85 kms): There is a Vinayagar temple at this
place. It is said that Lord Rama worshipped the Vinayagar here on his
way to Lanka.
Ariyaman Beach: On the
side of Palk Bay in Ramanathapuram district, is the Ariyaman Beach.It
is a much sought after tourist spot because the waters here are calm
and the waves gentle. The beach is clean and fringed by casuarina
trees that offer shade to those who like to picnic here. The
watchtower and children's park are ever popular. Adding to the
attraction are the waterside attractions with water scooters and wind
surfing, and for the less adventurous the aquarium and museum.
Road Bridge This engineering marvel took 14 years to complete and
was inaugurated in 1988. It is designed like a bow over the sea to
allow ships to pass beneath it.
The bridge is 2.34 km. long, with a clearance of 24.4 mts. and it is
supported by 79 pillars, 64 of which are built in the sea.