Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on an island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is less than 40 kilometers from the Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka. Together with Kashi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus. Hence, it is a bustling pilgrim centre.Rameswaram is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legend, this is the place from where Lord Rama built a bridge Ram Setu(also known as Adam's Bridge) across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita from her abductor Ravana. This is also the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to be absolved of the sin of killing Ravana, who is believed to have been the greatest worshipper of Lord Shiva - reason why Ravana is also known as Ravaneeswara (Ravana God) in many parts of Southern India. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage centre which is known as the Varanasi of the south.

Attractions:

Ramanathaswamy Temple: It is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located on the island of Rameswaram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was expanded during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty, and its principle shrines were renovated by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom. The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India.[1] The temple is located in Rameshwaram, an island town in South India, considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. The Temple is also one of the 12 Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam meaning "pillar of light"

Dhanushkodi: This place has the only land border between India and Sri Lanka which is one of the smallest in the world-just 45 meters in length on a shoal in Palk Strait. Before the 1964 cyclone, Dhanushkodi was a flourishing tourist and pilgrimage town. Since Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) is just 19 miles (31 km) away, there were many ferry services between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar of Ceylon, transporting travellers and goods across the sea. There were hotels, textile shops and dharmashalas catering to these pilgrims and travellers. The Railway line to Dhanushkodi – which did not touch Rameswaram then and was destroyed in the 1964 cyclone − went directly from Mandapam to Dhanushkodi. Dhanushkodi in those days had a railway station, a small railway hospital, primary schools, a post office, customs and port offices etc. It was here in this island in January 1897, Swami Vivekananda after his triumphant visit to the west to attend parliament of religions held in USA in September 1893, set his foot on Indian soil from Columbo.

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