Ramanatha Swamy Jyotirling (Tamil: ராமேஸ்வரம் ரங்கநாத சுவாமி ஜ்யோடிர்லிங் | Hindi: रामनाथ स्वामी ज्य्होतिर्लिंग)The holy island of Rameswaram is known for one of India’s most venerated and most visited Shiva shrines, dedicated to Sri Ramanathaswamy. Located on an island off the Sethu coast of Rameshwaram, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu. Being situated in Rameswaram, the shrine is popularly known as Rameshwaram Temple.
Ramanatha Swamy - Abstract
Ramanathaswamy : Jyotirling
Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple is of the 12 jyotirlingas located in the island of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. According to Ramayana, Lord Sriram, the 7th incarnation of God Vishnu, has prayed to Shiva here.
Abode to one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
Adi Amavasai Festival
Thirukalyanam Festival (Marriage of Lord Ramanatha with Goddess Parvatavardhini)
Navaratri 9 day Festival
The temple remain open from 5 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm. The Elaborate pujas are offered six times daily.
|Palliyarai (Sayanagruha) Deeparadhana
|Saptika linga Deeparadhana
The temple is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham (four divine sites) sites comprising Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka. Though the origins are not clearly known, the Advaita school of Hinduism established by Sankaracharya, who created Hindu monastic institutions across India, attributes the origin of Char Dham to the seer.
- The temple in its current structure was built during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty.
- Parakrama Bahu (1153–1186 CE) One of the rulers of Sri Lanka – was involved in the construction of the sanctum of the temple.
- Chinna Udayar Sethupathy and his son Ragunatha Thirumalai (1500–1540 CE). – were contributed in the construction of second enclosure .
- Dalavai Sethupathy in 1649 CE – built the eastern tower and shrine of Nataraja.
- The contribution of the kings of the Sethupathy dynasty (17th century) to the temple was considerable. Large amount of money was spent during the tenure of Pradani Muthirulappa Pillai towards the restoration of the pagodas which were falling into ruins.
- Muthu Ramalinga Sethupathy (1725–1771 CE) – Constructed the third enclosure – his statue is located in the entrance of the corridor
- The Maratha kings who ruled Thanjavur established chatrams or rest houses all through Mayiladuthurai and Rameswaram between 1745 and 1837 CE and donated it to the temple.
- Between 1897 and 1904, the ALAR family of Devakottai completed the imposing eastern tower of nine tiers 126 feet in height from Thiruppani funds.
- Between 1907 and 1925 they renovated the Sanctum Sanctorum and the prakaram(inner most corridors) by replacing the lime stones by black granite with adequate provision for light and ventilation and also arranged for the performance of Ashtabandana Kumbabishekam in 1925.
- During the construction of first corridor, it was decided to renovate the second corridor. The lime stone structure in Second corridor was dismantled and started granite stone work. But only compound wall in west side and one portion in north side of western wing in south gate was renovated.
- The Sethupathy mandapam in front of the Temple’s Raja Gopuram main Tower was constructed by Ramanatha Sethupathy, a descendant of Ramnad Raja dynasty, with his own donation. This construction was started on 19-11-69 and completed on 11-2-74.
Architecture and Culture:
Rameshwaram Shiva Temple is a 17th century ancient Hindu temple and a typical example of Dravidian style of architecture. Situated near the sea on the eastern side of the island, the temple is renowned for its towering gopurams, huge walls and a gigantic Nandi Bull and also recognized for the largest temple corridor in India. Extending to about 4000 feet in length, this pillared corridor has about 4000 pillars. These granite pillars are built on a raised platform and are carved with beautiful images. The eastern Rajagopuram rises to a height of about 126 feet and has nine levels..
Parvathavardhini the consort of Lord Ramanatha and is enshrined separately to His right. There is a Sri Chakra installed inside. To the north of Ramalinga shrine,
Parvathavardhini the consort of Lord Ramanatha and is enshrined separately to His right. There is a Sri Chakra installed inside. To the north of Ramalinga shrine, Lord Vishwanatha or Vishwalinga has a separate shrine. This is one of the two Lingas brought from Kailas by Hanuman. Sayanagruha (Palliyarai) is in the north-eastern corner of the corridor.
To worship Lord Ramanatha or Ramalinga, the hallowed sand Linga made by Sita and installed by Sri Rama, pilgrims enter through the eastern gopuram. They offer prayers to Lord Anjaneya smeared with sindhoor. Then comes the Nandi Mandapa, which houses the flag staff and the Nandi. The stuccoed massive image of the bull is made of lime stone, measuring 17.5 feet high, 23 feet long and 12 feet wide. On either side of the Nandi, one finds interesting sculptural representations of the ocean gods Mahodathi and Ratnakara.
The sanctum is flanked on either side by shrines of Vinayaka and Subramanya. Inside the sanctum, we worship Sri Ramanathaswamy. It is said this Linga contains marks of Hanuman’s tail, with which he tried to uproot it in a fit of anger. The Linga is decorated with silver kavacha. It is customary to offer abhisheka to the Lord with holy Ganga water.
In the front mandapa, there is a canopy, carved under which are images of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman with the two Lingas brought from Kailas, and Sugriva, appearing to be informing Rama about Hanuman’s return. In three other canopies in the front hall, we find exquisitely-carved figures of Hanuman, Gandhamadhana Linga and Agastya Linga.
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple,
Rameswaram – 623 526
Phone No.04573 223230 – Computer Section and fax
The legend of Rameshwaram is mentioned in scriptures like the Skanda Purana and the Shiva Purana.
The more popular legend has the lingam built on Rama’s return from Lanka after slaying Ravana. Ravana was a Brahmin and it was a sin to kill him even in war. Hence Rama decided to atone for this sin at the place from where he began his battle march. Hanuman was dispatched to Varanasi to bring the image of the lingam from the Kashi temple there. However he was delayed and the auspicious moment was about to pass. Therefore Sita built a lingam of sand and the prayers were conducted. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam. When Hanuman returned with the lingam from Varanasi he was peeved to find that the prayers were completed. To placate him Sita also installed the Kashilingam and decreed that this lingam should be worshipped before the Ramalingam.
There are Twenty Two Theerthams (sacred water resources) inside Rameswaram temple.
Significance: King Kasibar got rid of his curse and located jn the West of the Hanuman Temple
Significance: King Kasibar got rid of his curse and located jn the West of the Hanuman Temple
Significance: Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom and located jn the inner corridor of the Temple
The Theerthams Outside the Temple, Their Significance and Location
- Vedhala Varatham Theertham:
- Papa Vinasa Theertham:
- Bhairava Theertham:
- kabhi Theertham
- Seetha Kundam
- Mangala Theertham
- Amirtha Valli Theertham
- Runa vimochana Theertham
- Lakshmana Theertham
- Rama Theertham
- Seetha Theertham
- Sugreeva Theertha
- Angatha Theertham
- Jambava Theertham
- Gandhamadhana Theertham
- Pancha Pandava Theertham
- Dhroupathi Theertham
- Brahma Theertham
- Hanuma Gunda Theertham
- Naga Theertham
- Agasthiya Theertham
- Jadayu Theertham
- Dhanushkodi Theertham
- Deva Theertham
- Kajan Theertham
- Vibeeshana Theertham
Significance of Rameswaram Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple:
- The Jyotirlinga in Rameshwaram temple is the southernmost of all the twelve Jyotirlingas.
- Rameshwaram is one of the holiest pilgrim centre for the Hindus. A pilgrimage to Benaras is considered incomplete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.
- According to scriptures, this is also the place from where Rama started building the famous Ram Sethu (floating bridge) to rescue Sita from Lanka.
- It has great strategic importance as it is situated at the top of Indian Peninsula in the Gulf Of Mannar region. This temple has its roots in the stories of Ramayana.
- Rameswara means “Lord of Rama” in Sanskrit, an epithet of Shiva, the presiding deity of the Ramanathaswamy Temple. 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.
The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
Other Key Temples and sites around Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple:
12 km from Rameshwaram, this temple was the only structure to survive the 1964 cyclone which swept the rest of the village away. Legend states that Vibishana, brother of Lankan King Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot.
Adam’s Bridge is the name known to the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka with India. According to myth, these are the stepping stones used by Hanuman to follow Ravana, in his bid to set free Sita.
Ramanathapuram also called as Ramnad is the district headquarters and a ancient business town. Main attraction in this place is Sethupathi Raja’s Ram Vilas Palace . Here you can find some wonderful oil paintings of the Rajas of the past centuries, the beautifully designed ceilings and walls embroidered with eighteenth century murals makes this place more interesting.
Uthirakosamangai is a small village, renowned for the Lord Siva temple measured to be 3000 years old. The core attraction of this temple is a statue of Maragatha Nataraja made of emerlad which is about 51/2 feet high and the deity is always covered with sandal paste. Only in the Tamil month of Margazhi on Tiruvathirai nakshtram day the sandal paste gets removed and this special darshan is known as Arudhra darishanam. Large number of devotees visit the temple on this day and on the next day again the idol gets covered with sandal paste. On regular days, to have a darshan of this idol, one must be there around 12.00 noon.
Thirupullani is one of the important Vaishnavite shrines, nearly 10 km. from Ramanathapuram. It has the special honor of having visited by Lord Rama twice – before going to Lanka and when returning from there. Vibishana, who had by that time crossed over to the side of Rama from Ravana recommended that Rama should meditate on Lord Varuna, the Lord of the Sea and seek his consent to cross the sea. Rama lay in meditation for three days on the bed of grass and that’s why the people called this palce as Thiru-pull-ani . “Reclining on the bed of grass“.