Rameswaram (Chennai to Rameswaram 572 km) is a small island in
the Gulf of Mannar, is a major pilgrim centre. It is connected
to the mainland by road and railway bridges. Rameswaram is a holy place because
Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed
pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana.
Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple.
This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu
Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved
of one’s sins. It is 197 metres long.
The Ramanathaswamy temple is renowned for its magnificent corridors and massive
sculptured pillars. The third corridor of Ramanathaswamy temple is the longest one
in the world.
Besides pilgrimage, Rameswaram Island has several places, which are ideal picnic
spots. There are beautiful beaches at Olaikuda, Dhanushkodi and Pamban. The Olaikuda
beach is 1 km from the main temple and s engulfed by coral reefs, which makes bathing
in the sea safe and enjoyable. With diving glasses and respiration tubes, scuba
diving is safe and possible. Flamingos, sea gulls and a variety of birds migrate
to the Rameswaram Island during winter.
Rameswaram is a main fishing centre of Tamil Nadu. Variety of fishes including export
quality fish like prawns, sea cucumber, and lobster are available here. Rameswaram
is also famous for its dry fish.