Ramanathswamy Temple, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, Mythology

Ramanathswamy Temple, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwar – One of the chardham (four) tirtha yatra place is a city full of blissful, divine and mysterious temples. The one chosen for today is Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram, one of the auspicious Chaar Dham and One Jyotirlinga.

Being one of the Char Dham it is considered as one of the holiest place in India for Hindus, which is situated at Gulf of Mannar, at the tip of Indian Peninsula.  

Ramanathaswamy Temple is a temple in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu dedicated to Bhagwan Shiv. The temple is also counted as one of the twelve jyotirlinga.

 

The mythology behind this temple

According to historical sources, it is believed that Bhagwan Rama, the seventh avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu, was established and worshipped in this place in treta yuga.

While some believe that before crossing the bridge to Lanka, Ram installed the Shivlinga to seek blessing from Bhagwan Shiva, it is mostly believed by people that the history is different.

The other story lies in the fact that, after returning from the battle in Lanka between Rama and Ravan who abducted Devi Sita, Bhagwan Ram offered his prayers to Bhagwan Shiva to forgive him for his sins of filling Ravan, a Brahmin during the war. Ram instructed Hanuman, the lieutenant of his army and his devotee to bring a large lingam from the Himalayas to worship Bhagwan Shiva, but as Hanuman took it longer to bring the linga, and the auspicious moment was passing by, Devi Sita made a small Shivlinga out of sand available and Bhagwan Ram installed it, which is now known as Ramalinga.

After returning with the linga, Hanuman got disappointed by seeing another linga in the place. Bhagwan Ram asked him to try to remove the linga and place the one bought by him, after lots of effort, Hanuman decided to put his tail around the lingam to bring it out of the place but failed (the marks on his tail are still slightly visible in the lingam). Rama pacified him and promised that anyone worshipping Ramlinga will first worship the linga installed by Hanuman, and Ram named it Vishwalinga, also known as Kalinga, or Hanumanlingam.

So, the temple now has two Shivlings, one Ramalinga and another one Vishwalinga.

 

History of the temple

As per the mythology, it is believed that Lingam was installed by Mata Sita and Hanuman.

The temple was further expanded by the Kings of the Pandya Dynasty in the 12th century. The Srilanka rulers also contributed to this temple. In the 13th century, stone blocks were sent to Koneswaram temple to renovate the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Many kingdoms such as Travancore, Mysore, Pudukkottai, and Ramanathapuram have contributed to the development of this temple. 

Between the 13th to 16th centuries many nearby villages, kingdoms, and rulers contributed to the expansion of this temple. 

In the 17th century and 18th centuries, Setupati kings, including Dalavai Setupati, and Muthuramalinga Setupati built more portions of the temple and the present structure of the temple was built in the 17th century.

 

Architecture

The architecture of this temple is believed to be one of the best architecture with an extremely strong foundation and spectacular beauty of ancient times.

The present structure is spread across 15 acres of land. The temple is built huge and spread across a wide area with the ancient temple is surrounded by four walls measuring about 865 feet from East and West and about 657 feet from North and South with huge towers. The gate towers are to the North and South. The corridor is one the longest in the world with about a total length of 3850 feet for all the corridors and there are 3 corridors. The outer set of corridors is about 6.9m in height, 640 feet in North and South each and 400 feet in East and West each. The inner corridors are about 224 feet each in the east and west and about 352 feet each in the north and south.

There exist 1212 pillars with a height of about 30 feet each from floor to roof in the outer corridors. The carving on these pillars is magnificent and the construction is in the Nayak Style of architecture. The pillars resemble a gigantic chessboard. There are also two gopurams, one in the east with a height of 78 feet and five tiers and one in the west with a height of 126 feet and nine tiers, known as the Rajagopuram, the main tower.

The main material used to build the temple was Granite, which was somewhere shipped in 1414CE. The colossal Nandi statue measures about 17 feet in height and 12 feet in width, made of limestones, bricks and seashells.

The four entries to temple to the temple from the doorway are pyramidal in shape.

The most unique feature of this architecture is, that if a person stands and tries to look from the end of the pillars to another end it will look like one single dot.

Temple tanks – History believes that the holiest water bodies of this temple are the tanks or wells. There are 64 tirthas in and around Rameshwaram, out of which 24 are believed to be pivotal. 22 tirthas are present within the temple, which exist in form of ponds as well where every devotee takes bath before worshipping in the temple as they consider it pure and holy. The first and main teertham is called Agni teertham.

The Gandhamadhana Parvat provided the best view of the temple.

Other Highlights of the temple

  • The Priests of the temple are Marathi Brahmins, from Maharashtra and they get their Disksha from Sringeri Math in Karnataka.
  • The temple has its own set of rules(few), where you cannot carry a mobile phone, however, still cameras can be taken with a ticket of Rs 25/-. 
  • There is no entry fee to enter the temple. However, pilgrims can buy tickets for Rs 50/- for Mani Darshan at the temple.
  • The temple does not have a dress code, although an appropriate dressing is preferable.

 

How to reach the temple?

Being one of the most famous cities of Tamilnadu, Rameshwaram has various transportation available to reach all the temples in the city. One can easily find regular buses, or private vehicles to reach the temple.

By Air, the nearest airport to this temple is Madurai Airport at a distance of 170 km from the temple.

One can also take a flight to Chennai International Airport to reach Rameshwaram if he/she is travelling from a Foreign.

By Railway, Mandapam railway station is the nearest railway station at a distance of 2kms only. 

By Road, various buses are available to Rameshwaram from various cities of Tamil Nadu. After reaching Rameshwaram it’s very easy to find public transport or book a private vehicle to reach the temple.

Timings –

Devotees can visit the temple throughout the year.

The daily ritual and darshan timings: 

Morning Puja Timing’s Evening Puja Timing’s
 5 AM to 1 PM 3 PM to 9 PM

 

Contacts –

Address – Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nādu, India. 623526.

Ramanathaswamy Temple has its own website where one can book online and,

Contact number – 04573-221-223

http://www.rameswaramtemple.in/

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