According to Hindu epic Ramayana, Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon-king Ravana in Sri Lanka. According to the Puranas (Hindu scriptures), upon the advice of sages, Rama along with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the lingam (an iconic symbol of Shiva) here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya incurred while killing of the Brahmin Ravana. To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have a lingam and directed his lieutenant Hanuman to bring it from the Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita built a lingam, made of just Sands of the shores, which is also believed to be the one in the sanctum of the temple. This account is not supported by the original Ramayana authored by Valmiki, nor in the Tamil version of the Ramayana authored by Tamil poet, Kambar (1180–1250 CE). Support for this account is found in some of the later versions of the Ramayana, such as the one penned by Tulasidas (15th century). Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameshwaram from where Rama is believed to have built a floating stone bridge, the Ramsetu bridge, that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. According to another version, as quoted in Adhyatma Ramayana, Rama installed the lingam before the construction of the bridge to Lanka. Ramsetu Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals, between Rameshwaram and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 29 km (18 mi) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (North-East) from the Palk Strait (South-West). It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel. The temple records record that Rama’s Bridge was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480 CE. The bridge was first mentioned in Ramayana of Valmiki. The name Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu refers to the bridge built by the Vanara army of Rama in Hindu mythology, which he used to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. The Ramayana attributes the building of this bridge to Rama in verse 2-22-76, naming it as Setubandhanam. The sea separating India and Sri Lanka is called Sethusamudram meaning “Sea of the Bridge”. Maps prepared by a Dutch cartographer in 1747 CE, available at the Tanjore Saraswathi Mahal Library show this area as Ramancoil, a colloquial form of the Tamil Raman Kovil (or Rama’s Temple). Many other maps in Schwartzberg’s historical atlas and other sources such as travel texts by Marco Polo call this area by various names such as Adam’s Bridge, Sethubandhna and Sethubandha Rameswaram.
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Tamil Hindu Temple dedicated to the god Shiva. It is also one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. It is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanar, Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was expanded during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty and principal shrines sanctums were renovated by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom. The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India.
Pamban Bridge connects the town of Rameshwaram on Pamban Island to the mainland. Plans for a bridge to connect to the mainland were suggested in 1870 as the British Administration sought ways to increase trade with Ceylon. The construction began in August 1911 and was opened on 24 February 1914. The adjacent road bridge was opened in 1988. It was India’s first sea bridge and was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in 2010. The rail bridge is, for the most part, a conventional bridge resting on concrete piers, but has a double leaf bascule section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through.
Gandamadana Parvatham is an amazing location, is a hillock situated about 3 kms from the temple of Rameswaram. Sri Ramar Padam temple, residing on a hillock in Pamban Island is incidentally the highest point on the island too. The temple houses the footprints of Lord Rama.
Theertham There are sixty-four Tīrthas (holy water bodies) in and around the island of Rameshwaram. According to Skānda Purāṇa, twenty-four of them are important. Bathing in these Tīrthas is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram and is considered equivalent to penance. Twenty-two of the Tīrthas are within the Rāmanāthasvāmī Temple.
Panch Mukhi Hanuman Temple The origin of the Five-Faced (or panch Mukhi) Hanuman can be traced to a story in Ramayana. When Lord Rama was engaged in the final war with Ravana, Ravana asked Ahiravana, the king of Patala, to take Rama and Lakshmana to Patala Lok. Ahiravana, in the disguise of Vibishana, the noble brother of Ravana, took Rama and Lakshmana to Patala to kill them. When Hanuman got to know about this he entered Patala in search of Rama and his brother.
This house is the place where Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, one the most popular president of India and one of the greatest scientists that India has even produced, had lived as a child.
Villoondi Theertham literally translates to ‘buried bow’, is located around 7 kilometres from the main temple on the way to Pamban. It is believed to be the place where Rama quenched the thirst of Sita by dipping the bow into the sea water.
Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island and is about 18 miles (29 km) west of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The town was destroyed during the 1964 Rameshwaram cyclone and remains uninhabited in the aftermath. According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Rama built a bridge to connect India and Sri Lanka, in order to carry his troops.
Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu is a chain of limestone shoals, between Rameshwaram Island, Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 50 km long and separates the Gulf of Mannar from the Palk Strait. Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 1 to 10 metres (3 to 30 ft) deep in places, which hinders navigation.