Rameshwaram is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is deemed extremely importance by the Shaiviks since Shiva was worshipped by Lord Ram in this temple premises, from where the Jyotirlinga secures its name from. Located in Tamil Nadu, the temple is regarded as one of the 275 ‘Paadal Petra Sthalams’ which sings of the hymns and verses of Saiva Nayanars during the 6th-9th CE. Rameshwaram is indeed best place to seek the piousness of mind and pray for repentence of the soul since it is surrounded by 64 water bodies or tithas, and the most important of all, the Bay of Bengal or Agni Tirtham. Besides worshipping Lord Shiva, other shrines of Ramanathaswamy and Parvathavardini, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, and Goddess Vishalakshi are also found in separate sanctums inside the grand temple premises.
Rameshwaram has a long standing history, with the earliest records coming from the 12th century CE, when Parakrama Bahu from Sri Lanka initiated the construction. The Sethupathy Dynasty carried on the construction work, with the completion of the grand structure in the 17th century. Several royal dynasties from Travancore, Ramanathpuram, Padukkottai, and Mysore have laid their patronage over the temple and beautified it.
Rameshwaram is also regarded as an architectural marvel. Spread over a large area of 15 acres, it has tall gopurams or pyramidal structure enclosing the corners of the temple. Moreover, there are around 4,000 other well carved granite pillars in the temple premises, spread over a 4,000ft. corridor. This well decorated corridor is known to be the longest one in the world. Another interesting facet about the temple is the presence of two Lingas, one of which is Ramlinga, the original deity of the temple, and another is that of Viswalinga, brought by Hanuman from Mount Kailash. Beautiful arching halls, such as Setupati Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam, and Nandi Mandapam adorn the temple grounds.
According to the legends and folklore associate with the temple, it is said that Lord Rama had worshipped Lord Shiva in the present temple premises while he was returning after defeating the demon, Ravana. Ravana was both a devotee of Lord Shiva and a Brahmin. Hence, Lord Rama wished to atone his sin by worshipping Lord Shiva himself to seek his forgiveness. Since no deities or idols of Shiva prevailed in the present-day temple grounds, Rama sent Hanuman to Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva to get the Linga. However, Hanumana could not bring up the Linga within the stipulated time of the puja. Sita made a Linga with sand using her own hands to perform the rites and rituals of the puja. Therefore, the idol is known as Ramalinga. It is said that Hanuman was disheartened that Lord Rama did not wait for his return to perform the puja, and to pacify Hanuman’s hard work and dedication, Rama asked the devotees to worship the Linga which was brought by Hanuman first, which is known as Viswalinga before Ramalinga.
|Mandir Name||Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Mandir (Rameswaram Mandir)|
|Deity||Ramanadhaswamy (Lord Shiva)|
Parvatavardini (Goddess Parvati)
|Address||Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Mandir, Rameswaram, |
Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu 623526