One of the Char Dhams of India, Rameshwaram might be a tiny speck of land on the edge of India but this is hallowed ground for an uncountable number of Hindus from across the world. Rameshwaram is a place that straddles the thin line between logic and legend as the sights here increasingly challenge you to deny that Ramayana might just be a story or that God once walked on earth in the form of Lord Rama. The serene ambience here with the clean beaches, the awe-inspiring Rama Setu or Adam’s bridge also have their own appeal to travellers. However, it is the temples here that steal the limelight and irrespective of whether you are a Hindu or not they will enchant you.
Top 11 Temples To Visit In Rameshwaram
- Ramanathaswamy Temple
- Gandhamadhana Parvatham
- Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple
- Jada Tirtham
- Dhanushkodi Temple
- Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple
- Kothandaramaswamy Temple
- Lakshmana Tirtham
- Villondi Tirtham
- Jatayu Theertham Temple
- Adi Jagannatha Perumal Temple
1. Ramanathaswamy Temple
One of the most famous temples of Rameshwaram is the Ramanathaswamy Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and devotees from all around the world visit Ramanathaswamy Temple 356 days a year. This temple has a Jyothirlinga and is among the 12 Jyothirlinga temples. During the 12-century, Ramanathaswamy temple was extended. The deity is in the form of phallic stone or lingam and this is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham sites in India. Another reason why the Ramanathaswamy Temple is also famous because it has the longest temple corridor.
This temple opens on every day and you can visit Ramanathaswamy temple from 4:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Ramanathaswamy Temple does not allow anyone to wear jeans, hence you will have to follow a simple traditional dress code when making a visit to this sacred place. The temple celebrates a lot of Hindu festivals hence, the best time to visit Ramanathaswamy Temple is during festivals. This is definitely one of the best holy places to visit in Rameshwaram.
2. Gandhamadhana Parvatham
Gandhamadhana Parvatham Mountain’s name is mentioned in the Ramayana as well. Lord Hanuman was supposed to visit here to collect the medicinal herbs in order to save Lord Laxman’s life. Hanuman then carried the entire mountain on his shoulders. This mountain has a double storied temple, which has the feet imprints of Lord Rama on a chakra. Gandhamadhana Parvatham Temple is among the 7 most visited places in Rameshwaram. Once you visit Gandhamadhana Parvatham Temple, you will see the steps colours are in red and white horizontal bars. This design is common in most of the South Indian Temples.
This temple is open on all days and you can visit Gandhamadhana Parvatham Temple from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The temple does not have any strict dress code, but since it’s a sacred place it is advisable to visit the temple in traditional attire. The best time to visit the temple is during Rama Navami.
3. Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple
Located at just a distance of 2 kilometres from Ramanathaswamy Temple lies Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple. This is a temple, which is considered to be extremely holy and is one of the most sacred places in Rameshwaram. It is believed that this is the temple where Hanuman revealed his five-faces. Apart from the Lord Hanuman statue, the temple also includes the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, and Lord Laxman. Once you visit the temple you will see a floating stone, which is said to have been part of Sethu Bandhanam whose reference is also mentioned in the Ramanaya.
Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple remains open on all days and you can visit the temple from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and again reopens from 4:00 pm till 9:00 pm. The temple allows everyone to come and visit the deity and they don’t have any specific dress code. The best time to visit the temple will be during Hanuman Jayanti, although this is the time where a lot of people visit the temple, still, Hanuman Jayanti is without a doubt the best time to visit.
4. Jada Tirtham
Jada Tirtham Temple comprises of a famous sacred pond and is 3.5 kilometres away from Ramanathaswamy Temple. This is another of the holy places to visit in Rameshwaram. It is believed that Lord Rama had washed his matted hair or in other words his Jata in this very pond. He washed his hair to worship the Shiva lingam after killing Ravana. A temple dedicated to Lord Kapardisvara is located just beside the pond.
Jada Tirtham is open throughout the week and you can visit the temple from 6:00 am till 11:00 am and again from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The temple does have a dress code and everyone should be in ethnic traditional dress when making a visit. Rama Navami is the best time to visit the temple and you can also come here during Shivratri.
5. Dhanushkodi Temple
Located in a small town of Dhanushkodi lies the beautiful Dhanushkodi temple. This town is popular for its shallow beaches and historical ruins. This small town is the home to an ancient temple, which is in ruins now. Dhanushkodi Temple has been mentioned many times in the Ramayana too. This is a temple which gives you a glimpse of history along with beautiful scenic beauty of the surrounds.
Dhanushkodi Temple opens daily and you can visit the temple anytime between 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Because of its historical importance, this temple is visited by many domestic and international visitors. To enter the temple, you must be in a simple dress code. No one is allowed to wear jeans inside the temple. The best time to visit the temple is on any day.
6. Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple
At a distance of 8 kilometres from the famous Ramanathaswamy Temple lies a small South Indian shrine, the Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. People worship her for fertility and also for good health. It is believed that Goddess Kali appeared in front of two sages in the past, they were Pachima Duruvan and Dakshina Duruvan, the goddess was in Dakshina Kali form. These two sages stayed in the area to bless the locals since they were blessed by the divine herself. Another popular belief about this temple is that couples who don’t have any kids and want to have kids often visit the temple to worship Lord Dakshina Kali and those who come with pure heart, their wishes come true. Lord Kali never disappoints true devotees. People who are struggling to get married or their marriage is getting postponed also visit Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple and it is believed that after their visits, these people start receiving good proposals. These are some of the most popular beliefs associated with the temple and some of the reasons why people come here to offer their prayers.
The temple does not have any dress code, you are free to wear anything, but dress conservatively and most preferably in ethnic attire, since it is a pious place. It remains open on all the days and the best time to visit Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple is during the Navratri festival.
7. Kothandaramaswamy Temple
Another important temple in Rameshwaram and one of the must-see holy places to visit is the Kothandaramaswamy Temple. This is an old temple and is said to be around 500 years old. The temple has an idol of Lord Shiva, Laxman, Sita, and Vibhishan. If you go by popular beliefs the paintings on the walls of Kothandaramaswamy Temple is said to be about the last Lord Rama performance of Pattabhishekam rites of Vibhishan, which was performed here. Another feature about this temple and the reason why it is so famous is that during 1964 cyclone, this is the temple which survived, whereas everything else was destroyed.
The temple remains open on all days and a devotee can visit Kothandaramaswamy Temple from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. The temple does not have any strict dress code, but it is advisable to wear simple ethnic dresses. The best time to come here is during festivals and other than that the temple remains open throughout the year.
8. Lakshmana Tirtham
Near the vicinity of the temple of Lakshmana lies a beautiful pond, which is known as Lakshmana Tirtham, just like the Jada Tirtham. Along with the idol of Lord Lakshmana, you will also see the idols of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. Once you visit the temple, you will see many engravings of Ramayana on the temple walls. Devotees often visit the temple to take a dip into this holy pond. It is said that the pond has a significant importance in history. Lord Lakshmana took a dip in the pond where he placed a Shiva Langa and prayed to Lord Shiva to vanish all of his sins. Thai Pooyam Festival is celebrated massively at Lakshmana Tirtham.
The temple remains open on all the days and you can visit here from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and again from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There is no dress code that a visitor has to follow and the best time to visit Lakshmana Tirtham is definitely during the Thai Pooyam Festival.
9. Villondi Tirtham
Villondi Tirtham means the buried bow. Lord Shiva dipped his bow into the water to satisfy Goddess Sita’s thirst. Villondi Tirtham also has an Ekantha Ramar Temple, which is believed to be the temple where Lord Rama took some rest before he attacked Lanka. Villondi Tirtham is not only famous for its historical importance, but also for the scenic surrounds. You can walk through a narrow bridge, which is constructed just above the sea. The view is as divine as the Villondi Tirtham.
The best part about Villondi Tirtham is that you can visit this place anytime. It remains open 24 hours. The temple has a strict dress code men have to wear dhoti or mund and no one is allowed to wear western or modern attires. You can come here on any day to this beautiful location.
10. Jatayu Theertham Temple
The Jatayu Theertham Temple is one of the 22 Theerthas in Rameshwaram. This temple was built to pay tribute to Jatayu – the king of birds. This temple is one of the finest temples in Rameshwaram. It is a memorial shrine dedicated to the mighty Garuda who gave his everything to save Mata Sita during the fight and save her from the demon Ravana. This temple is surrounded by sand dunes and is built at the exact location where Jatayu finally fell and his soul departed his body. He sacrificed his life to save Goddess Sita.
This temple is famous for its surroundings and the peaceful atmosphere. Jatayu Theertham Temple opens on a daily basis, you can come here from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and again from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The temple follows a dress code where you are not allowed to wear jeans. Females are asked to wear ethnic clothes with a dupatta or a shawl covering their heads and for men, dhoti is allowed. The best time to visit Jatayu Theertham Temple is anytime.
11. Adi Jagannatha Perumal Temple
12 kilometres away from Rameshwaram lies a small tiny village named Thiruppullani and this small village is the home for Adi Jagannath Perumal Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is one of the most visited temples in Rameshwaram. Along with Lord Vishnu, this temple also has idols of Goddess Sri Devi and Bhudevi. The most striking feature of this temple is the posture of Lord Dharbasayana Ramar who is resting in an elegant reclining posture.
This temple is famous for the statue of Lord Vishnu and the Dravidian style architecture. You can visit the temple on any day from 7:00 am to 12:30 pm and also from 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm. To enter the temple, devotees are requested to wear a proper ethnic dress and no western or modern dresses are allowed.
One of the best places to visit in Tamil Nadu, Rameshwaram will surely be among the most picturesque and gorgeous places that you will see in India. October to April and August during the monsoons is the best time to visit Rameshwaram and the best part is that since places like Madurai, Chennai, Kanyakumari, and Pondicherry are not far away from here you can combine your visit to the sacred places of Rameshwaram with visits to these places too.