Rameshwaram – A bridge between Lord Shiva and Lord Rama

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Then next day it was time to go to our prime destination Rameswaram for which this trip was planned. We had gone to Kashi in last March 2011. It is said that after kashi yatra , it is necessary to perform Rameswaram Yatra. Unless you perform Rameswaram yatra , your Kashi yatra is incomplete. Secondly and most important , Ganges water should be poured on Rameswaram jyotirlinga to attain mukti , said by Tulsidas.

Rama’s bridge Rameswaram on left and Srilanka on right

I will define Rameswaram as a bridge between Lord Shiva and Lord Rama, between Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
It is to state That Lord Shiva and Lord Rama are one and the same and both ( Harihara) are part of same Omkara .
RAMESWARAM :- Rameswaram, is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Kashi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. Hence, it is a bustling pilgrim centre.
It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legend, this is the place from where Lord Rama built a bridge Ram Setu (also known as Adam’s Bridge) across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita from her abductor Ravan
a. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage centre which is known as the Varanasi of the south.

Lord Rama and Lord Shiva

Depiction ofLord Shiva in Rameswaram

LEGEND :- According to the Puranas(the historical records of ancient India), upon the advice of Rishis (Highly respected sages), Bhagwan Rama along with Mata Sita and ShriLakshmana, installed and worshipped the Sivalinga(A form of Lord Shiva) here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahmin).Ravana, the son of Vishrava and the great grandson of Lord Brahma). Shri Rama fixed an auspicious time for the installation and sent Shri Hanuman to Mount Kailas (Kailash parvat)to bring a lingam. As Bhagwan Hanuman could not return in time, Sita herself made a linga of sand. When Hanuman returned with a linga from Mount Kailas the rituals had been over. To comfort the disappointed Bhagwan Hanuman, Rama had Hanuman’s lingam (Visvalingam) also installed by the side of Ramalinga, and ordained that rituals be performed first to the Visvalingam.
The above account is however, not supported by the original Ramayana as authored by Maharishi Valmiki, nor in the Tamil version of the Ramayana as authored by Kambar. Support for this account may however be found in some of the later versions of the Ramayana as penned by Tulasidas (15th Century) and others.

In Rameswaram Temple, a spiritual “Mani Darisanam” (Mani Darshan) happens in early morning everyday. This “Mani” is made of “spatikam”[a precious stone] and in form of “Holy shivling”. According to some accounts, this is “Mani” of “sheshnag” (Bhagwaan Vishnu’s bed).

Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameswaram from where Bhagwaan Ram is said to have built a Floating Stone Bridge Rama sethu from Rameswaram that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka as mentioned in the great epic Ramayana.

SHRI RAMNATHASWAMY TEMPLE WEBSITE :- http://www.rameswaramtemple.org

Ramanathswamy Temple Gopuram

Ramnathswamy temple was built in the 17th century. Situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island, this temple is famous for its 1200 gigantic granite columns. The 54 metre tall gopuram (gate-tower), 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and the flamboyant columns embellish and render fame to the temple. The water in each of the 22 sacred wells in the temple tastes different.

Agniteertham Rameswaram

100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself from the killing Ravana.
TRAVEL :- On 4th Friday November 2011 , we had booking in Chennai Rameswaram Sethu Express No. 16713 directly from Srirangam . Well you can catch this Train rom Trichy also.The train reaches Srirangam at 21.25 and reaches Rameswaram at 4.45 am. From There we took auto to our Hotel Maheswari Bhavan. ( 40 rs. )
As soon as we reached Maheshwari Bhawan the person told us to have mani darshan .Its shivalinga in crystal form of some precious stone. Some people are in opinion that this crystal lingam is directly from vaikuntha.
Timing for Mani darshan :- 5.00 to 6.00 am for ticket of 20 rs. Or 50 rs.
Then we went to sea Agni teertam for bathing and then we bathed with Koditeertham ( holy water from 22 teerthams in temple).

At entrance

Entrance Pillars

Decorative pillars

One of the 22 teertahms in Ramanathswamy temple

Three Kundas in same place but different water and taste

Ramanathaswamy corridor

Ramanathswamy corridor taken from ground

Temple is renowned for magnificent corridors with massive sculptured pillars lining it. The corridor is the longest in India. It is 197 metres long East-West, 133 metres in length South-North.

Inside the Temple

Then we went to sight seeing in Rameswaram . we took a auto who charged us Rs. 250 which is standard in Rameswaram.
First we went to Gandamandana Parvatam . This is the place where there are foot prints of Lord Rama.This is place where Hanuman gave information of Sita Maa to lord Rama. There is also Sakshi Hanumantemple on the way.This is also highest place in Rameswaram . You get breath taking views from here.

Gandamandana parvatam top most point in Rameswaram

Doordarshan Tower from Gandamandana

Then we went to Kothandaramaswamy temple. This is the place where Vibheeshana surrendered to Lord Rama . Lord Rama did his crowning ceremony here .

Kothandaramaswamy Temple

Painting in Kothandaramaswamy Temple

Hoarding Kothandaramaswamy Temple

From Kothandaramaswamy Temple

After that we went to Rama Teerth and Lakshmana teerth where they both bathed.

Rama Teerth

Lakshmana teerth

Lord Rama Temple

Stone Nagraja idol to remove naagdosha

Finally Panchmukhi Hanuman temple. Here you can also see the setu stone floating on water.

Hanuman temple

After that we came to Hotel at around 11.00 oclock in afternoon. I had darshan in Rameswaram in evening and attended aarti also. Next we left for Madurai where early in morning passenger Train from Rameswaram at 5.25am, where I took the following video.

Rameswaram calm sea early morning

Video of the ride

Pamban bdrige rameshwaram

Pamban Bridge :- The Pamban Bridge is a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait connects Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India. It refers to both the road bridge and the cantilever railway bridge, though primarily it means the latter. It was India’s first sea bridge. It is the second longest sea bridge in India (after Bandra-Worli Sea Link) at a length of about 2.3 km.
The railway bridge is 6,776 ft (2,065 m)[1] and was opened for traffic in 1914. The railroad bridge is a still-functioning double-leaf bascule bridge section that can be raised to let ships pass under the bridge.
Next post I will take you to Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple and some places in Madurai ………………………

Please click here – http://www.view360.in/virtualtour/rameswaram/ . It is a great watch.

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