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1 Mar 2003

RAMESWARAM

The sacred island town of Rameswaram, at the extreme south-eastern limit of the Indian Peninsula, has one of India's most venerated temples. A fine example of South Indian architecture, the temple is renowned for its many pillared corridors, about 1220 metres in length. According to the Hindu epic "Ramayana", Rama sanctified this place by worshipping Lord Shiva here, after the war against Ravana and it is therefore held sacred by both Shaivites and Vaishnavities.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Agnitheertham (2.5 Km.) : A calm bay, sacred to Hindus who believe that a bath in these holy waters washes away one's sins;

Gandamadana Parvatham (4 Km.) : It is the highest point on the island and gives an excellent view of the surrounding area. There is a two storeyed Mandapam with Rama's padham (footprints) placed on a Chakra for worship, that attract pilgrims;

Kothandaramaswamy Temple (8 Km.) : It is believed that Vibishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered before Rama at this spot. There are idols of Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibishana here;

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple (3 Km.) : Built during the 17th century, this temple has a gopuram (tower) which is 38.4 metres high. The most impressive feature is the many pillared corridor covering a length of 1220 metres.

EXCURSIONS

Mandapam (19 Km.): It is the rail and road centre in the mainland connecting to Rameswaram. A boat to Kurusadai island can be taken from here. Medium ranged private accommodation is available here;

Kurusadai Islands (20 Km.): These islands lie west of the Pambam bridge between the mainland and the island and can be reached via Mandapam. A paradise for biologists, the islands are surrounded by a chain of coral reefs. The shallow waters of the region sustain a remarkable variety of marine life;

Ramanathapuram (54 Km.): An ancient town from where the Sethupathis ruled their territory. The Ramalinga Vilasam palace with good paintings is worth visiting. The tomb of Thayumana Swamigal, a Philosopher saint is located here;

Tirupullani (68 Km.): Also known as Dharbasayanam, it is 14 kms. from Ramanathapuram. There is a Vishnu temple here dedicated to Lord Adi Jaganathaperumal;

Devipattinam (69 Km.): Also known as Navabashanam, it is a coastal village 15 kms. from Ramanathapuram where pilgrims perform penance;

Uthirakosamangai (72 Km.): There is an ancient Siva temple here dedicated to Lord Nataraja, with the deity carved in Emerald;

Erwadi (78 Km.): The tomb of Ibrahim Syed Aulia here is visited by Muslim pilgrims from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. The annual festival in honour of this muslim saint takes place in Dec;

Uppoor (84 Km.): This place is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha;

Kanchirankulam (89 Km.): A water bird sanctuary is located here;

Valinokkam (90 Km.): A sea side village with a verdent beach and natural scenery.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area : 51.8 Sq.Km. Altitude: Sea level.

Temperature : Summer Max: 37.0 Deg.C. Min: 30.0 Deg.C.

Winter Max: 30.0 Deg.C. Min: 25.0 Deg.C.

Rainfall : 50 Cm. (Average) Season: Throughout the year.

STD Code : 04573.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION

Air : The nearest airport is Madurai (173 Km.),connected with major cities. Fare : Mumbai - Madurai : Rs.6910/- (Y) ; Rs.10065/- (J).

Rail : Rameswaram on metre gauge section of the Southern Railway is connected by rail with Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirchy.

Fare : Mumbai – Rameshwaram (via Madurai) : IInd A/c : Rs.2438/- IInd class: Rs.578/-

Road : Rameswaram is connected by road with Chennai 666 Km, Kanyakumari 302 Km, Karaikudi 118 Km, Madurai 173 Km, Mandapam 19 Km,  Pudukottai 188 Km, Ramanathapuram 37 Km, Sivaganga 136 Km, Thanjavur 258 Km, Tiruchendur 205 Km, Tiruchirapalli 258 Km. and Tuticorin 180 Km.

ACCOMMODATION

The tariff of the following hotels ranges from Rs. 200/- to Rs. 300/- for a single room and from Rs.250/- to Rs. 500/- for a double room.

Hotel Chola, Tel: 21307; Hotel Maharaja, Tel: 21271; Santhanam Lodge, Tel: 21229; Swami Ramanatha Lodge, Tel: 21217; Hotel Venkatesh, Tel: 21296.

Other Accommodation

Hotel Tamilnadu, Near Beach, Tel: 21277 Dbl A/c. Rs. 600/-; Non A/c. Rs. 400/-;

Non A/c. Family Room (3 beds) Rs. 400/-; Non A/c. Family Room (5 beds) Rs. 450/-

Non A/c. Family Room (6 beds) Rs. 500/-; Dormitory (12 beds) Rs. 450/-

Devasthanam Lodges and Cottages, Tel: 21241/21223/21292. Rs. 100-150/-

Resvn:The Executive Officer, Ramnathswami Devasthanam Trust,

Dharamshalas

Arya Vaisya Choultry , Bansilal Dharamshala , Chitra Kanthiah , Gujarat Bhawan , Habirchand Dharamshala , Jammu Choultry , Mahabeer Dharamshala , Reddiar Choultry , Shri Ramkrishna Mutt , Shri Srinagari Mutt and Thuruvasalu Choultry.

For TTDC Accommodation Booking Contact

Central Advance Booking Office, TTDC Ltd., 4, EVR Salai, Chennai; Tel : 5382916/ 5360294, Fax: 5361385.

TTDC, G-2(A), Royal Grace, Lokmanya Tilak Colony Marg No.2, (Behind Swamy Narayan Temple), Dadar (East), Mumbai - 400 014, Tel: 4110118 / 4154621.

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES

Govt of Tamil Nadu Tourist Office, Bus Stand Complex, Rameshwaram,Tel: 21371.

Executive Officer, Devasthanam Office, East Car Street, Rameshwaram, Tel : 21223; TTDC, G-2(A), Royal Grace, Lokmanya Tilak Colony Marg No.2, (Behind Swamy Narayan Temple), Dadar (East), Mumbai, Tel: 4110118 / 4154621.

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