The Ramanathaswamy Temple, situated in the holy city of Rameswaram, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Revered as one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites, the Rameshwaram Temple is one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples. In this temple, the jyotirlinga is worshipped instead of a Shiva idol.
Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526, India
Opening Hours: 4.30 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8.30 pm
Established in: the 12th century CE by Pandya and Jaffna kings
Deity: Rameswara and Rameswari (Shiva and Parvathi)
History of the Jyotirlinga
Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had killed a Brahmin during his battle against Ravan. So to pay penance and to please Lord Shiva, he wanted to build the biggest lingam. So he then n instructed Lord Hanuman to go to the Himalayas and get a big lingam, but since Lord Hanuman could not return on time, Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, started building a lingam with sand.
Even in today’s time, the Ramanathaswamy Temple has two lingams; Hanuman brought the bigger one from Mount Kailash is known as Vishwalingam, and Sita built the smaller lingam is known as the Ramalingam. Both are worshipped today, but as per Lord Rama’s directive, the smaller one is honoured only after the bigger one. Out o the 12 jyotirlinga list, the one in Rameswaram is said to be the southernmost.
How to Reach Ramanathaswamy Temple by Bus
Rameshwaram is considered one of the holiest places in India. The c ty is the closest point to Sri Lanka, where it is believed that Lord Rama spent his time and built a bridge that connected to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife, Sita. The R manathaswamy temple is in the city's centre and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Though, it is closely associated with Lord Rama too.
You will have to cross the Pamban bridge to get to Rameshwaram, as the city is an island not connected to mainland India. However, there are the most sacred trains and buses you can take to reach the destination and drive a car. You can easily book a bus via redBus to explore the available buses and their schedules. Here’s what you need to know about how to reach Ramanathaswamy Temple by bus.
How to reach Ramanathaswamy Temple from Bangalore?
Ramanathaswamy temple is about 608 km from Bangalore, making it a 10-11 hours journey. No direct trains or planes are scheduled for this route, making bus travel the most feasible and convenient option for you. Moreover, the temple is about 2 km from the bus stand, making it easy to haul an auto to get there.
You can book a train to Salem or Madurai, then take another train or bus to the destination. The train station is also less than a km away from the temple. For a flight, the nearest airport is Madurai, situated about 174 km from the location. Again, you can take a cab, hire a car, or book a bus or train to get there.
How to reach Ramanathaswamy Temple from Mysore?
It takes about 11-12 hours to reach Ramanathaswamy Temple from Mysore. The temple is around 550 km from Mysore via NH87. There are no direct trains, buses or flights from Mysore to the destination. The cheapest way to travel to the temple is to take a train to Bangalore and board a bus to Rameshwaram.
There are many private and government buses making this trip from Bangalore. The cheapest is the TNSTC bus via Karaikudi. The journey takes about 13 hours and has seven boarding points. This is the only direct bus operated by TNSTC.
Highlights of the Rameshwaram Temple
In the beginning, the temple was built with a thatched roof. Then, in the seventeenth century, Dalavai Setupati built a significant portion of the eastern Gopuram. Later, in the eighteenth century, Muthuramalinga Setupati built the third corridor called the Chokkatan Mandapam, which is famous worldwide. The Chokkatan Mandapam is like a chessboard in between the third corridor and the paved path that runs through the western Gopuram and the Setumadhava shrine.
The outer corridors measure about 6.9 meters in height and are re-known for being the world’s longest corridors. With as many as 1212 pillars in the outer hall, the Rajagopuram is the most prominent among all the pillars, with a staggering height of 53 meters. The Anuppu Mandapam, Setupati Mandapam, Nandi Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam, and Sukravara Mandapam are the five main halls at the Ramanathaswamy Temple. In addition, a corridor runs between the shrines of Lord Ramanathaswamy and Goddess Parvathavardhini. In addition, separate shrines have been constructed for Goddess Vishalakshi, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, and the sayanagriha.
One of the most important parts of the temple is the twenty-two holy water tanks or tirthas within the premises. It is a common practice among all the pilgrims and devotees to bathe in the sacred tirthas to wash themselves of their sins.
Other than the one in Rameswaram, the others in the 12 jyotirlinga list are Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Vaidyanath, Bhimashankar, Nageshwar, Kashi Vishwanath, Trimbakeshwar, Kedarnath, and Ghrishneshwar.
Festivals Celebrated at the Temple
Being one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples, it holds a place of prominence as one of the holiest places in Southern India. The temple celebrates several festivals and is regarded as an important pilgrimage site.
- Maha Shivratri: Celebrated over ten days, the Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated with a lot of festive fervour in the Rameswaram Jyotirlinga Temple. On the day of the festival, the idols of the God and Goddess are taken out in the streets in a long procession.
- Navratri: Celebrated in the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin or Kartik, Navratri is a nine-day long festival that ends with the holy day of Dusshera.
- Ramalingam Pratistha Utsavam: The ten-day festival is a celebration of the installation of the sand lingam built by Sita. Even during this festival, the idols of all the Gods and Goddesses are taken out into the streets in a procession.
- Arudhra Darshanam: During this ten-day festival, devotees see the sight of Natraja idol concealed with sandalwood paste all through the year.
- Vasantha Utsavam: The festival is celebrated to welcome spring. Lord Shiva is worshipped during the celebrations with sandalwood paste, flowers, incense, and rose water.
- Thirukkalyanam: The festival celebrates the divine wedding between Lord Shiva and Ambal. The seventeen-day celebration starts with the flag hoisting with a procession of the presiding deity in a golden chariot to the Agnitheertham and later with Goddess Parvathavardhini in a silver chariot around the Rameswaram Jyotirlinga Temple.
Pooja Timings and Entry
Pooja is performed six times daily, and darshan timings for the devotees are between 5:00 -13:00 and 15:00-21:00 on all seven days of the week. Entry to the Rameshwaram Temple is free, but visitors must pay Rs. 25 for the camera.
The Ramanathswamy Temple, its mythological story, and the rich history of Rameswaram make it an ideal place for a pilgrimage and a holiday. For a smooth and hassle-free journey and to save big on online bus tickets, visit redBus.