Tamil Nadu: Rameshwaram and Tapu

 

Rameshwaram, the famous pilgrimage spot for Hindu communities, spread across a
rambling area of 51.8 square km, is situated at a distance of 163 km towards south eastern
side of the temple city, Madurai. The petite city is congested and dusty.

Considered as one temple amongst the twelve Jyotirlingams, Rameshwaram tends to draw innumerable devotees from every part of the counter as well from outside. The chief deity of this divine
temple is Ramnathswami. Ramnathswami is residing on the throne which is made up of
gold. The deity has a golden five faced shade on his head. Nandi (15*16 feet), Parwati
and many more idols of various Hindu deities are pulling innumerable spiritual crowds and
temple lovers. The shrine, located right in front of the Natmandir, is covered by expensive
and classy gold plates. The pyramid style Gopurams, placed at four different sides (East-
West-north-south), mark the entrances of the sanctified temple. However, all the devotees
can get into the temple through the 38.6 meters tall eastern Gopuram. The day starts with
the devotional worship of Sphatic (crystal) lingam (Shiva).

The temple, built on a high base, is covering 6 hectors of area. It is the third largest South
Indian temple and pulls huge mob all over the year.

The Dravidian architectures of the temple look majestic and engrossing. The tales of Hindu
epic, Ramayana, are written on the eastern Gopuram. The divine temple is standing tall
with its divine power on 1212 pillars. The longest balcony (1220 meters) of the world is
there in the Rameshwaram temple. The ceiling of the temple is designed with the colorful
pictures. The pillars of the temple also look impressive for the architectural excellences
and grandeur. The temple is carved out of granite stones. The carvings of the temple are
breathtaking and gratifying.

                                           Rameshwar Temple

                                           Rameshwaram Temple

Apart from Sitatirtham, Makshmantirtham, Ramtirtham, 22 other tirthams are there. Take
a bath and your sins could be forgiven. Pilgrims can watch a number of animated fishes in
the water of Lakshman tirtham. A floating rock on the water surface of Ramatirtham entices
many.

The Agnitirtham or the adjoining ocean (100 meters) is tranquil. Pilgrims can also take a
bath in the divine ocean.

Rameshwaram is the birth place of the former Indian president, A P J Abdul Kalam.

A new Math, dedicated to Acharya Shankar, was constructed right beside the sacred temple.
The Ram Jharaka temple, atop the Gandhamadan hill, at an elevation of 30 meters, is
located at a distance of 3 km towards the north of the Rameshwaram temple. The chief
deity of this fastidious temple is Sriram-Padam. The city of Rameshwaram is visible and
noticeable from the Gandhamadan hill. The well decorated Jafna looks marvelous at night.

Tapu, the newest allurement of Rameshwaram, about 1.5 km from Tamilnadu hotel, can
be accessed by hiring a boat in one hour. The place is renowned for the inundated Corals,
Different types of rocks, Sea-horse, star fish and other colorful fishes.

Five faced Hanu, Ramkunda, Ramnathswami temple and Parvati temple are the other
sought after destinations of Rameshwaram.

Nambunayagi Amman Kali temple, about 3 km from the city towards Dhanushkadi, attracts

plenty of devotees. It is believed that a lot of diseases are cured if devotees visit he sacred
temple.

Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean are meeting at Dhanushadi which is 19 km towards the
south of Rameshwaram. The place is really stunning. Birds like Flamingo, Little stint,
Whimbrale, sandpiper, agreat and Heron wander around to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere.

Talai Manna and Srilanka were connected by ships previously. Take a holy bath in
Dhanushkodi and refresh yourself. A temple of Ram-Lakshman- Sita- Hanu- Bhibhisan is
there at a distance of 3 km from Dhanushkadi. The temple was revamped and reconstructed
in 1976 by Ramkumar Bangur of Kolkata. The devastating cyclone had demolished the
charm and essence of the fort city but the homes in the vicinity still recollect the memories
of yester years. The temple also affirms the full divinity of the Holy Spirit. A newly
constructed temple of Hanuman in Dhanushkadi is attracting temple lovers since 1995.

The land of fishermen, Ramkrishnapuram and Vivekanda Kuthi are the other coveted
destinations of Dhanushkadi. Vivekananda visited the place on 26th January, 1897.
Migratory birds fly into Dhanushkadi from faraway places. The lingering sea beach is
situated at a distance of 3 km from Dhanushkadi. The place is connected to the city of
Dhanushkadi and Ramnathswami temple by road.

Mandapam: Indo- Norway fisheries project and Kurusadai Island can be reached by hiring
a boat from Mandapam. Kurusadai Island is the work place of a number of renowned
scientists.

A museum and an aquarium of Central Marine Fish Research, about 2 km from Mandapam,
have an impressive anthology of sea animals and fishes. Pearls are produced artificially and
are also sold to the interested people. Tourists can buy various items from marine museum
as well. A number of coral islands are dotted around the place as well. Special permission
will allow tourists to visit coral Islands and Paradise for marine biologists. It’s a pleasant
experience to see animated fishes around the inundated corals.

The national park of Mandapam houses rare and atypical Dugang or sea cow. To enjoy the
place to the fullest tourists should carry necessary equipments for Scuba diving.

You can stay at Hotel Tamilnadu of TTDC, about 19 km away from Rameshwaram.

Ramnathpuram: Ramnathpuram, about 36 km from Rameshwaram, is popularly known for
the palace, Ramlinga Vilas, of Setupati king. Even thought the palace is in ruins but ardent
holiday makers can still watch the old glory. Tourists can also watch the ruins of the fort of
Raghinath Setupati.

The sea beach of Raghunathpuram is located at a distance of 16 km from the fort. Plenty of
Tamil refugees flock to Raghunathpuram from Srilanka.

Hotel Aiswarya, Hotel Rupee Sky Palace, Hotel Khaja Palace, Hotel Blue Doamond, Hotel
Goodnight and Shanmuga Drive Inn are the places where tourists can stay at.

Manmadurai: Manmadurai, about 46 m towards north-east of Madurai, has a Perumal
temple which houses an idol of Hanu. The meaning of Manmadurai is “Vanara Veera
Madurai” in Tamil.

Somnathswami temple, built between 1783 and 1801, depicts excellent Ceramic
architectures. If you have a plan to visit Madurai from Manmadurai, then you have to
travel across the prolonged and engrossing Bhaigai valley through NH-49. The environment
around the road will fascinate nature lovers.

How to reach: Madurai railways station is connected to Chennai Tambaram and Trichi by
railways. Madurai can also be accessed by road from Chennai and other prime South Indian
cities. You can also fly to Madurai. Check our Transportation links below.

Where to stay: Hotel Venkatesh, Hotel Maharaja, Maharaja Sangam Lodge, Hotel Island
Star and Lodge Santhya. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.

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