Friday, 15 April 2011

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple in India dedicated to god Shiva. It is located in the island of Rameswaram. According Myths, Lord Rama is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravana. The temple is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham shrines that has to be visited in one's lifetime and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

This temple has high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises measuring about 865 feet furlong from east to west and one furlongs of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers (Gopurams) at the east and west and finished gate towers on the north and south. The temple has striking long corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high.

Six worship services are carried out each day, the first being at 5am. Special worship services are carried out every Friday. Rama's worship is commemorated in the month of Aani (June 15-July 15); two annual Bhrammotsavams are celebrated in Aadi and in Maasi.

Legend has it that Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from Benares. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama is said to have offered worship at a pre-chosen auspicious moment to a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth by Sita. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram.

There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathar said to have been brought by Hanuman from Banares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered to Ramanathaswamy.


Agnitheertham is a pilgrim place where in people believes that taking bath in the place washes away their sins. The temple is constructed facing the eastern direction and there is a large lake in the temple whose water is considered to be holy enough. There are about 22 wells in this place and it is one amongst the 12 jyotirlings of India. The water of all the 22 wells has different taste and one can taste the waters of all of them so as to have all flavors of life in it.

It is believed that the water has several medicinal properties too and several different life threatening diseases can be cured by taking water from the different wells from this place.

Theethams are shallow waters of the sea extending upto some metres. There are 22 such theerthams in Rameshwaram. Hindus believe that a bath in all of these theerthams will remove our sins. In legend, Lord SriRam took a bath in Agni theertham after killing Ravana and worshipped the deity here. Hence these theerthams are considered as holy for pilgrims.

The site is very peaceful and free of irritants. You will be under the open sky. The sun could be harsh in the noon, so carry along your sunshades, hat, sunscreen lotion, and a bottle of drinking water. It will Open through the year.

Satchi Hanuman Temple

Satchi Hanuman Temple
Satchi Hanuman Temple, it is considered to be the place where Hanuman delivered the good news of finding Sita to Rama with satchi or evidence, Choodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita. Situated 3 km from the main temple, on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

Hanuman occupies a prized place in the Great Indian Epic, the Ramayana. He was  ardently devoted to Lord Rama and helped him rescue his consort goddess Sita from the Rakshasa King Ravana. Ravana was extremely powerful and was blessed with several boons. It is a five faced temple located in Rameshwaram, the city of temples. The shrine houses the beautiful idol of Lord Hanuman drawn with sindoor. It is called five faced temple because according to the great Hindu mythology, Hanuman revealed his profile with five faces. The five faces are of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha,Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva and Lord Garuda.

According to the legend the idols of Lord Rama, goddess Sita and Hanuman which were transported to Rameshwaram from Dhanushkodi  when cyclone hit it in the year 1964. Hanuman symbolises sacrifice, devotion, loyalty and bravery. He is worshipped across the country with great faith.

For the devotees of Hanuman number five holds immense importance. The reasons for this is the association of the number with the Lord. According to Hindu mytology Hanuman has five faces(pancha mukha), and five bodies(pancha daha). He rose above the five senses(pancha indriyas).

Badrakaliamman Temple

A giant temple of Badrakali exists in southern India and there is a wonderful tower with its top studded in gold and at the same time the statue too is made from gold. This is what attracts everyone to visit the place. Several voluntary organizations have come up to manage the giant temple and its functioning.

The temple has been renovated from time to time and hence different master pieces of different ages can be seen in the temple. It is the largest temple of Ma Kali in southern India and she is the holy mother for several followers in southern India.

The temple has seen many renovations over the times, which explains the variety of masterpieces belonging to different periods.

Devi Durga, situated 2 kms. from the main temple on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Five faced Hanuman Temple

Five faced Hanuman Temple

It is an ancient temple; you can tell from the weathered-look of the structure, and an unmistakable old-world aura. Inside is a rare depiction of Lord Hanuman with five faces. Hindu mythology has it that Lord Hanuman revealed his five-faceted avatar at this site, and was soon after smeared with orange-colored vermilion. The revealed five-faces with five different bodies were of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva and Lord Garuda. At this point, he, supposedly, rose above the five senses.

The little temple also has an idol of the most loved deity of Rameshwaram, Lord Rama along with that of his wife, Goddess Sita, and brother Laxman. Lord Rama’s and Sita’s idols were salvaged from cyclone hit Dhanushkodi in 1964, and brought to Rameshwaram. The shrine of five-faced Hanuman is hugely popular among the locals, and outsiders as well. So deep-rooted is their faith that they regard the deities like living beings in flesh and blood.

Another curious feature of the temple is the floating stones in a smallish water tank in the courtyard. The stones (or rocks) are oval-shaped covered with tiny craters - like a coral – and stays afloat. Examine by thrusting them downwards, and watch them bob back up! These floating stones are believed to be the ones that make up the legendary Ram Setu (Adam’s Bridge), spanning across the sea from Rameshwaram all the way up to Mannar in Sri Lanka. According to Hindu mythology, Sugreev's monkey army built this bridge of stepping stones across the sea for Lord Rama to crossover into Sri Lanka to rescue Sita from demon king, Ravana.



Jadayu, King of the Birds, who fought in vain with Ravana, the demon to save Sita, is said to have fallen down here as his wings were severed.  Sand dunes surround the temple and the pond.  The water in the pond is as sweet as that of a tender coconut.  

Jada Tirtham, a small temple enclosed within the holy tirtham, Kaveri Tirtham which is dedicated to the God Kapardishvara. The Jada Tirtham temple is located near a large and huge Peepal tree and is significant as mythology says that the deities rested here during their banvas. Although small in structure, its art work and lattice work are astonishing and are masterpieces. It is renowned for its charm, unique art work and beauty.

To reach Jada Theertham :

By Air:

Madurai is the nearest airport to Rameshwaram, which is located at a distance of 163 km away from Rameshwaram. Madurai is connected to many cities by air including Coimbatore, Chennai and Bangalore. International travellers have to get connecting flights from Chennai International airport. Pre-paid taxi services in Madurai airport charge about Rs 3500 to Rameshwaram.

By Rail:

Rameshwaram (Mandapan station just 2 km away) is well connected by rail with many south Indian cities including Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Thanjavur and Trichy.

By Road:

Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses connect Rameshwaram with all cities in Tamil Nadu, including Kanyakumari, Madurai, Trichy and Thanjavur. Overnight deluxe super fast buses connect Chennai and Bangalore with Rameshwaram; both cities are nearly 600 km away. The bus fare is about Rs 1700.

Nambu Nayagiamman Temple

Nambu Nayagiamman Temple

Rameshwaram has many temples and many are dedicated to Lord Rama; out of these temples one stands out by way of its unique and special features of being a huge yet simple temple; the 14th century Nambu Nayagiamman Temple which is situated in Ramnad district and built by the locals of Ramnad itself. It has gigantic bells and lovely gardens surrounding it giving it an aura of beauty and simplicity. It comes on the way towards Dhanushkodi and a trip here is incorporated in all the tours and pilgrimage journeys of Rameshwar.

As you approach the shrine, the synchronized chiming of bells will catch your ears. Gigantic bells dangle from the temple entrance, and a lovely garden spreads out around it. The main shrine is an open, airy space allowing ample sunlight in. On the way to Dhanushkodi, the Nambu Nayagiamman temple is a good stopover, particularly for its pleasant ambience.

This ancient shrine built by the locals of Ramnad village to immortalize their faith in Lord Rama. The shrine is well on your way to Dhanushkodi. The site is very peaceful and free of irritants An early morning visit is preferable, before the pilgrims begin to trickle in. Besides, morning the weather remains pleasant to explore the surrounding area on foot.