The third stop on our pilgrimage journey was Rameshwaram.
Visited in : Dec 2011
Distance from Kanyakumari : 307 km
Best way to reach there : By road (it takes around 5 hrs to reach Rameshwaram from Kanyakumari)
However, there is a train from Kannyakumari to Rameshwaram too - Cape Rmm Express
Good place to stay at : We stayed at Royal Park. There are not many well known hotels in Rameshwaram and the ones which are there offer standard facilities, nothing fancy.
Places to see here:
- Ramanathaswamy Temple
Image Courtesy : Kumbakonamtemples
Shiva (Ramanathaswamy) is the main deity here and is present in the form of signature lingam. Two lingams are the main attraction of the temple. One is believed to be built by Sita and the other was brought by Hanumana from Kailash (which is worshipped prior to the Sita's lingam).
Image Courtesy : vettriparavaigal
In line with other South Indian temples, Ramanathaswamy temple has long corridors lined with tall pillars. It is noticeable that these temples are usually very dark inside, not letting sunlight light up the interiors.
- Pamban bridge
It is a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait connecting the town of Rameswaram to mainland India. It was opened in 1914 and is India's first sea bridge. The name Pamban bridge is used for both road bridge as well as the railway bridge. The rail bridge can be raised in order to let ships and barges pass through this strip of ocean.
It is a small town or village at the southern tip of Rameswaram island. It had a railway line which got destroyed in 1964 cyclone. It is believed that Lord Rama built a bridge between mainland India and Sri Lanka in order to take his army to Lanka. After Rama won the war and Vibhishana was crowned the new king of Lanka, he requested Rama to destroy the bridge. Rama did so with one end of his bow and hence the name Dhanushkodi (end of a bow).
Dhanushkodi town now wears a completely destroyed and deserted look. There are ruins of some old temples, some idols of Gods and railway station.
Fun of seeing the ground water up so close...
You can actually see Sri Lankan land from the edge of Dhanushkodi.
The dancing waves bathed in the early morning rays of sun looked spectacular, so a visit to this place must not be missed.
- It will take 2-4 hours inside the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Since one needs to take bath (a bucket/pot full water is poured on you) at all of the 22 tirthas within the temple, it takes time, so plan accordingly.
- The Pamban railway bridge looks beautiful so must watch out for it while driving.
- Visit Dhanushkodi during the day time preferably because the place is very lonely and may appear spooky at night.