The conch is auspicious to Hindus and Lord Vishnu is always depicted holding a conch in one of his hands. Rameswaram is a sacred island in the shape of a conch spread across 61.8 square kilometers in Tamil Nadu. The island is also known as Pamban Island and is separated from the mainland India by the Pamban channel. It is at the tip of the Indian peninsula and is 50 kilometers from Mannar Island of Sri Lanka.
Mainland India is connected to the island by Pamban Bridge.
Legend says that Lord Rama after his win in Sri Lanka over the demon king Ravana offered prayers to Lord Shiva at this place. This is also the place from where Lord Rama built the bridge, Rama Sethu across the sea to Sri Lanka to rescue his consort Sita from her abductor Ravana. The whole of this island has one or the other legend associated with Ramayana. There are many temples dedicated to Rama, Sita, Lakshamana, and Hanuman. Hence, this place attracts many pilgrims from all over India and aptly called as Kashi of South India.
As the Ramanatha Swamy temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, it is considered as one of the holiest places to visit along with Char Dham (Rishikesh, Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath) pilgrimage to attain moksha. The town revolves around the Ramanatha Swamy Temple, which occupies major area of Rameshwaram.
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Pilgrims take a holy dip in the Rameshwara Beach, 22 theerthas (holy water tanks), and at Dhanushkodi also known as Sethu Theertha. Dhanushkodi is the place where Bay of Bengal meets Indian Ocean. Rameswaram is a main fishing center of Tamil Nadu. The island attracts many nature lovers who enjoy the coral reefs, sun, sand, sea, and greenery.
While in Rameswaram you can shop for souvenirs made of sea shells to gift your dear and near ones.
Ideal Time to visit is from January to March.
Places of interest in Rameswaram:
Rameswara / Ramanatha Temple
22 Theerthas / Holy water tanks
Places of interest around Rameswaram:
Type of place: Island Town and Hindu Pilgrimage Center
Situated: Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu
Transport: Well connected by road and rail. Nearest airport is Madurai (163 Kms)
Distance: 163 Km from Madurai
Facilities: Hotels to suit all budget are available