The Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the most sacred shrines of the Hindus in India. The Jyotirlingam at the Ramanathaswamy temple is the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India. It is considered as holy as Banaras/Kashi. The Ramanathaswamy temple is situated on the Rameshwaram Island, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu. According to legends, this temple is associated with Ramayana and the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
The Ramanathaswamy temple is greatly revered, as it is believed that
Lord Rama himself built the temple. According to the legends, after
killing Ravana Lord Rama returned to India and offered worship to Lord
Shiva at Rameshwaram to expiate the sin of killing the demon king. Lord
Rama directed Hanuman to bring the lingam from Kailasha within a certain
time but Hanuman was delayed and Sita had to prepare one of sand, before
the auspicious hour. It is said that this is the same Linga of Sri
Ramanatha in the temple.
Shrines at the Ramanathaswamy Temple
In the main sanctum at the temple there is the Linga of Sri Ranganatha.
It is the same one, which Lord Rama had sanctified. The Vimana is three
storeys tall and contains images of Hanuman, Agastya Linga and the
Gandhamadhana Linga. The Linga of Vishvanatha, which is said to be
brought by Hanuman, is enshrined in another sanctum to the north.
Another shrine houses the image of Visalakshi, the Consort of Visvanatha
while Parvathavardhani, the consort of Ramanatha is enshrined in a
sanctum to his right.
How to Reach the Ramanathaswamy Temple
The nearest airport is Madurai (167 Km), connected by flights with
Bombay, Calicut and Madras.
Rameshwaram is connected by rail to Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and
Rameshwaram is connected by regular bus services with Kanykumari,
Karaikudi, Chennai, Madurai, Ramanathapuram and several other cities of
Tamilnadu and neighboring states.