Lord Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) :
The primary deity of this temple is Lord Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of Jyotir lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum - one built by Goddess Sita from sand, residing as main deity, the other is Lord Ramalinga which was brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Lord Rama instructed that this Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Lord Hanuman - the tradition continues even today
The temple was built as Dravidian architecture Style. Like all ancient temples in South India, there is high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises measuring about 865 feet long from east to west and one along of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers (Gopurams) to east and west and finished gate towers to the north and south. The temple has striking longest corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high.
The second corridor is formed by sandstone pillars, beams and ceiling. The junction of third corridor on the west and the paved way leading from the western Gopuram to Lord Sethumadhava temple forms unique structure in form of chess board, popularly known as Chokkattan Mandapam, where the Utsavam of deities are adorned, stored during the Vasanthotsavam (Spring festival), which is on 6th day of festival in Adi (July–August) and Masa (February–March) conducted by the Setupati of Ramnad.
The outer set of corridors is reputed to be the longest in the world, measuring of 6.9 m in height, 400 feet each in east and west and is 640 feet in north and south. The inner corridors measuring at 224 feet each in east and west and at 352 feet each in north and south. Their width varies from 15.5 feet to 17 feet in the east and west with 172 feet on north and south with width varying 14.5 feet to 17 feet. The total length of these corridors is thus 3850 feet. There are total of 1212 pillars in the outer corridor. Their height is above 30 feet from the floor to the center of the roof. The main tower or Rajagopuram is 53 metres tall. Most pillars are carved with individual compositions. At early periods lord Ramanathaswamy Temple was in thatched shed. The present structure was the work of many individuals spread over number of centuries. The pride of this place is in the establishment of Temple which relates to the King or Setupati of Ramanathapuram. In 17th century then the Dalavai Setupati built one portion of the main eastern Gopuram. In late eighteenth century, the world famous third corridor was constructed by then Muthu Ramalinga Setupati who lived for forty nine years and ruled between 1763 and 1795. The corridor was called “Chokkattan Mandapam”. The Mukhya Pradhan (Chief Minister) was Muthuirullappa Pillai and the Chinna Pradhan (Deputy Chief Minister) was Krishna Iyengar. The Setupati statue and those of his two Pradhan’s (ministers) can be seen at the western entrance of the third corridor.
There are separate Temples for Lord Ramanathaswamy and his consort goddess Parvathavardhini separated by corridor. There are separate Temples for the goddess Vishalakshi, also utsavam images, Shayanagriha for Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha. There are various halls inside this temple, namely Anuppu Mandapam, Sukravara Mandapam, Setupati Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam and Nandi Mandapam.
Theerthams inside Rameshwaram Temple
According to the words of scriptures there are totally 64 theerthas(sacred water bodies) in and around Rameswaram. Out of them twenty two theerthas situated inside the Ramanathaswamy Temple premises. The names of the 22 theethas in Rameswaram temple with their respective location is given below:
According to the legend behind Sri ramanathaswamy Temple, Lord Rama had worshipped Lord Shiva here. Lord Rama, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, while coming back after killing demon Ravana had offered his prayers to Lord Shiva. Demon Ravana, who had abducted Goddess Sita, was a Brahmin king. As Lord Rama had killed him to end his cruelties and to rescue the Goddess, had decided to seek atonement by worshipping Lord Shiva. In order to offer prayers, Lord Rama had asked Hanuman to get lingam from Himalayas. However, Hanuman couldn't return with lingam on time owing to which Goddess Sita has created a lingam herself. Lord Rama then worshipped Lord Shiva at the pre decided auspicious moment. Pleased, Lord Shiva blessed Lord Rama and upon his request also manifested himself in the lingam. It is the believed that the same lingam is now present in the sanctum of the temple.
As per the legend, the lingam brought by Hanuman from Kailash has also been kept in the temple. The lingam is known as Vishwalingam or Hanumalingam. As per the instructions of Lord Rama, prayers are offered at Hanumalingam first before offering prayers to the Lord Ramanathaswamy.
The Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple has two Lingas - Lord Ramalinga - made out of sand by Goddess Sita, and Vishwalingam - brought by Lord Hanuman. Since Hanuman had brought the Linga all the way from Kailash Parvatha it is Lord Rama instruction that one should worship Vishwalingam first.
The entire islands of Rameswaram and nearby areas are associated with Lord Rama. Several incidents from the Ramayana are believed to have occurred here; hence this place is revered by both Shaivite and Vaishnavite Brahmins.
Since Lord Rama had killed the Brahmin King Ravana, he was affected by Brahmahatya Doshas. He therefore worshipped Lord Shiva and performed certain rituals as per Agama custom to absolve of his Doshas. Rameshwaram has many as 50 Theertha or holy wells, and 22 of them are inside this temple. The water from these wells is believed to possess medicinal properties. It is believed that the water from each Teerthaa tastes different and offers various remedies.
The first of the holy wells - the Agnitheertham which lies immersed in the sea, 100 meters from the main temple. This is where Lord Rama is believed to have performed the rituals for the Brahmahatya Doshas. Therefore, devotees first take dip in this well before entering the temple.
The Linga is made of Spatika. The temple arranges for an early morning special darshan called the Mani Darshan, where the devotees can see and worship the Spatika Linga.
It is auspicious to perform Abhishekam (bathe) the Linga with the water from the Holy River Ganges. Devotees, who visit (Varanasi) Kashi, are always expected to carry a pot of Holy River Ganges water and offer it to the Lord Linga here. It is believed that this offering of Ganges water here completes their spiritual journey.
The Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple has the world’s largest temple corridor. They measure around 1220 meters and comprises of nearly 1200 magnificent granite pillars in total.
Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple
Pincode : 623526
Ramanathaswamy Temple is Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu.
By Road :
The city is well connected to Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai and Trichy. It is also connected to Pondicherry and Thanjavur via Madurai.
While traveling within township, you may hire jeeps, auto rickshaws and even cycle rickshaw.
By Rail :
Rameshwaram is connected by rail with Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Thanjavur and other important cities. The two kilometers stretch of Indira Gandhi Bridge connects island of Rameshwaram to the mainland of Mandapam.
Madurai to Rameswaram : 167 K.M., Chennai to Rameswaram : 596 K.M.
By Air :
The nearest airport is Madurai, which is 163 km from Rameshwaram.
Government General Hospital. Phone: 04573 - 221233
Ayurvedic Hospital run by the Temple
Post Office :
Situated at West Street. Phone: 04573 - 221233
Situated at Middle Street. Phone: 04573 - 221225
Social Welfare Schemes Run By The Temple :
|SL.No||Sevas / Poojas||Amount|
|1||108 Kalasa Abishegam||1000/-|
|5||Swamy Sahasranama Archanai||200/-|
|6||Ambal Sahasranama Archanai||200/-|