Rameshwaram Tourism

Of Gods, ghosts and other adventures

The town of Rameshwaram is steeped in history and mythology, finding mention in the great Indian epic, Ramayana. If you are one of those people who have grown up on a rich course of Indian tales of kings and heroes, then you must definitely know of Rama and his legendry battle with the king of Lanka, Ravan. It was at Rameshwaram that Rama built a floating stone bridge to walk to Lanka and rescue his wife from her abductor, Ravan. The town attracts religious tourists as well as curious visitors wanting a glimpse into India’s mythological heritage. Rameshwaram tourism and fisheries are the two main industries here.

Rameshwaram Tourism: A Quick View of the City
State Tamil Nadu
Official Language Tamil, English
Dial Code 4573
Population 44,856
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Time Zone GMT +5:30 (IST)
Area 55 square kilometres

Highlights: It’s not just about religion


Take your blessings here

Tourism in Rameshwaram is mostly about the Ramanathaswamy Temple, and it is one of the biggest draws to the town. While the town is associated with Lord Ram, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that Ram worshipped Shiva to ask for forgiveness for killing Ravan, a Brahmin. The temple is beautiful and whether you are religiously inclined or not, you will be mesmerised by the magnificent architecture and design. Unfortunately photography is no longer permitted and you will have to leave your digital devices in a locker before entering the temple. Around the temple are also 23 theerthams, holy water bodies. While it is not compulsory, they say that you must take a dip in all of them, that too in a particular order, before visiting the deity inside and to wash all your sins.

When in Rameshwaram, you must visit Ram Setu, the bridge that is believed to have been built by Ram when he set out to rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravan. Today the stones that make up the bridge are mostly submerged. It is anyway illegal to cross the bridge as it would lead you to Sri Lanka. You can get to Ram Setu by jeep or by boat.


Thrills and adventures

Have you ever been to a ghost town? Rameshwaram gives you an opportunity. Barely 30 minutes away is Dhanushkodi, an abandoned trade town that was devastated by a cyclone in 1964, after which the government declared it unfit for living. One of the eeriest places to visit in Rameshwaram, here you can walk through the windswept, half-broken structures of the church, post office and the railway station. Try and find the tracks under the sand. Step ahead a little ahead to Arichal Munai and you will be standing right at the edge of India.

To enter Rameshwaram, you have to take the train or come by road over the sea. If you take the road bridge, quickly stop to take some stunning pictures with the strong breeze for company. The railway bridge sits quite close to the sea and it feels like you can almost touch the water.

Did you know that besides temple tourism you can indulge in some adventure sports here? Rameshwaram is recognised as one of India’s best destinations for kite surfing and you have two options to choose from. One is Kathadi North, more upmarket with cottages and open-air bathrooms, and then there is Kathadi South where you need to rough it out a bit with huts and tents. If kite surfing is not your thing, you can go snorkelling, kayaking or paddle-boating too.


Markets and shopping

You will find plenty of opportunity to shop for souvenirs and gifts here. Look for handcrafted artefacts and jewellery made from shells and crystals. Rameshwaram, being an island, has plenty of palm trees, the coir from which is used to fashion handbags and other keepsakes. Most shops are located around the temple, the agnee theertham and at Dhanushkodi. You can also visit Gandhi sea shell mart, Kalam sea shell mart (named after APJ Abdul Kalam, who was raised in Rameshwaram), Leema shopping, mosque street, and more.


Cuisine

Gorge on delicious and elaborate vegetarian south Indian platters and thaalis that can be found at most eateries. However, being a coastal town, seafood lovers are in for a treat. You can get non-veg thaalis as well as a host of seafood preparations. When in Rameshwaram, delight your taste buds to the local flavours of cuttle fish, crab meat, baby octopus and keema vadas. Of course, you will also get traditional south Indian fare like rasam, sambhar, idli, vada, dosa and more. End all meals with a hot and sweet filter coffee. Explore Rameshwaram to get a sense of its rich and varied flavours.


Interesting Facts about Rameshwaram

  • Rameshwaram Island was known as ‘Gandhamadhanam’ before the arrival of Lord Rama.
  • Some of the stones used in the renovation and reconstruction process of the Ramanathaswamy temple were obtained from a Sri Lankan mountain, Thirkonamalai
  • The Pamban Rail Bridge also fondly called the ‘Queen of Indian Bridges’, is the first sea bridge in India.
  • The first train on this bridge ran on February 24, 1914 and the bridge celebrated its centenary anniversary in 2014.
  • The 17 feet tall Great Nandi Statue is made from bricks, lime stones and sea shells.
  • The third corridor of the Rameshwaram Temple, with 1212 pillars and reaching 22 feet 7.5 inches in height, is the world’s largest temple corridor.

 

Location: At one end of the nation

Rameshwaram is on Pamban Island, separated from the mainland by a channel by the same name. It is the farthest tip of the Indian peninsula and it is barely 40 kilometres from Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. When you move about in Rameshwaram, the first thing you will notice is the sandy soil. The conch-shaped island is 61 sq km, practically making it a beach island, and most of its area is occupied by the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Today, the island is connected by the Pamban Bridge, but had you made a trip earlier, any time before 1914, you would have had to come to the island by boat.

Click here to view Rameshwaram on Google Map


Timings: Best time to visit

Whether you are visiting Rameshwaram with a religious intent or simply to sightsee, ideally plan your trip around winter, between October and March. Being a coastal town, the weather in winter is pleasant, and you won’t feel the heat and humidity much. Temperature hovers between 20-30 degrees Celsius. The breeze feels cool and is great company as you walk around checking out the temples and beaches.

Summer in Rameshwaram is from April till July. Day time gets hot, with the afternoon temperature hitting the 40s. Early mornings are still pleasant, and you can go explore the town then, heading back to the hotel for the rest of the day. The evening cools down again once the sun sets.

Rainfall here is moderate and the temperature ranges between 28-35 degrees Celcius. Because of the sandy nature of the land, it can get mushy and messy to step out when it rains.

 

How to get to Rameshwaram: Separate, yet connected

Once upon a time Rameshwaram was cut off from the mainland, but that is not the case today.

By Road - The other cities of Tamil Nadu, like Chennai, Kanyakumari, Madurai and Trichy among others, are well-connected to Rameshwaram thanks to the regular Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses that ply between them. There are Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation buses daily from Tirupati as well.

By Rail - The Rameshwaram railway station is a major station for trains coming from Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Thanjavur, Palakkad and Bengaluru. You can hire a taxi to take you to your hotel from there.

By Air - You can fly into Madurai and then hire a taxi to cover the 174 km distance to Rameshwaram. Madurai is well-connected to major Indian cities, like Chennai, Trichy, Bengaluru and Mumbai.


History: Everyone wants to rule Rameshwaram

The town has always been attractive to rulers because of its proximity to Sri Lanka. One of the other Rameshwaram famous places, the Ramanathaswamy Temple, too has held appeal and many rulers and kingdoms vied for their right to be custodians of the religious structure. Among the more noteworthy kingdoms that were established in Rameshwaram include the Cholas, the Jaffna kingdom – who claimed the title Setukavalan which means custodians of the Rameshwaram – the Pandyan princes and the Vijaynagara Empire. Malik Kafur, the head general of Alauddin Khalji, who was then the ruler of Delhi Sultanate, also managed to reach Rameshwaram sometime in the early 14th century.

The Sethupathis, notably Muthu Kumara Ragunatha and Muthu Ramalinga Sethupathi, were responsible for transforming Ramanathaswamy temple into an architectural masterpiece. In 1795, Rameshwaram was taken over by the British East India Company. After independence, the town became a part of independent India.

 

Unlike what you might have been led to believe, Rameshwaram tourism is not just about the temple and worship. Head down to the farthest point of southern India and explore its untouched beauty.

 

Language Spoken

Tamil, English

Currency used:

Indian Rupee (INR)

JUL-OCT 25oC
DEC-FEB 20oC
MAR-JUN 30oC

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Rameshwaram Tourism Guide

Rameshwaram is famous for its temples and beaches; tourismhere plays an important economical factor.Rameswaram is a famous town and a second grade municipality in the beautiful state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is situated on the Pamban Island which is separated from India by the Pamban channel in south India.

You can choose the best Rameswaram Tourism Package to explore this magnificent place. Besides the man made attractions, it has the wealth of historical and cultural sites and a vast number of Forts to make your trip a memorable one. However, it is advisable to get a Rameswaram Tourism Guide online to gather information about the attractions of this place before your trip.

The town of Rameshwaram is located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It houses a number of temples which known for their marvelous architectural styles and unique designs. These buildings are preserved by the Rameshwaram tourism are open to public visit. A number of Rameshwaram tour packages are now available online, making it easier for the tourists to book their travels.

The Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the famous Jyotirlingas dedicated to the God Shiva. Located in the center of the town of Rameshwaram, this temple is a famous tourist attraction specifically known for the huge sculptured pillars and the massive corridors. Almost all Rameshwaram tour packages and individual Rameshwaram tours include a visit to this temple in their itinerary. The Kothandaramar Temple and the Ramarpatham Temple are other popular tourist attractions within the town. They are known for their scenic views along with amazing architectural designs.

The best time to visit Rameshwaram is considered as the time between the months of October and April, when the weather is dry and pleasant. The summer months provide a nice weather for sightseeing while the winter months are cold. Being a coastal town, the rainy season brings about extreme humidity in the weather. This makes the place unpleasant to visit during this season. Most Rameshwaram tour packages and basic Rameshwaram tours are offered during the summer or autumn months. These months are considered as the peak tourist season and see a huge influx of tourists. These months are also the best time to go for sightseeing or visit the exotic beaches such as Olaikuda, Dhanushkodi and Pamban, located in the town.

We here at Thomas Cook make sure that our tourists get the best in services online and hence, have specialized packages for every location. For example, the Rameshwaram tour packages can be easily customized by you during the time of booking, which helps you getting the required services. Basic Rameshwaram tours are also provided for those who only wish to do some sightseeing. For international tourists, additional services like flight booking aid is also provided online, along with forex services like EUR to INR and even INR to EUR, all done with reliable sources.

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