OT Travel Itinerary: A Two-Day Guide To Resplendent Rameswaram

The temple town is a leisure and religious destination which will capture your heart the moment you get there
Pilgrims at a theertham in Rameswaram
Pilgrims at a theertham in RameswaramDenis.Vostrikov/Shutterstock

Situated on Pamban Island, Rameswaram rests on a serene strip of land where the spectacular natural beauty and religious sites provide a heady atmosphere of spirituality and tranquillity. The town is connected with the mainland of India by the magnificent Pamban Bridge. The place is the closest point to Sri Lanka from India and is steeped in mythologies associated with the “Ramayana.” While the Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the holiest places in India, travellers may not know beforehand that the town is also a leisure destination with plenty of gorgeous beaches where they can go scuba diving and swimming.   

Here’s a two-day guide to your Rameswaram tour.

Day 1


The sculpted pillars of Ramanathaswamy Temple
The sculpted pillars of Ramanathaswamy TempleCRS PHOTO/Shutterstock

It’s a no-brainer to start your Rameswaram tour with a visit to the Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of 12 jyotirlinga temples in the country. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and it’s believed that the “Ramalingam” which was established here was worshipped by Rama before he went to the island of Lanka. The temple is one of four to constitute the “Char Dham” sites alongside Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka. What’s most eye-catching about the temple is its splendid architecture. It has the longest corridor of a temple in India and the sculpted pillars are pretty to behold.

Rameswaram contains 64 theerthams or holy water bodies, 22 of which are within the temple’s bounds. It is believed that taking a bath in them is equivalent to receiving penance, which makes them major pilgrimage attractions. Among them, the Agnitheertham is considered to be the primary seashore that is associated with the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Taking a dip in this water body is believed to wash away all your sins. Regardless of whether you take a dip or not, it is worth checking out to see the crowds that descend here.


Flamingoes at Dhanushkodi Beach
Flamingoes at Dhanushkodi BeachJimmy Kamballur/Shutterstock

Next, head to Dhanushkodi Beach on the southern tip of Tamil Nadu. This pristine beach is surrounded by the Gulf of Mannar on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other. Visitors can see the meeting of the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal at the “Arichal Munai” point. Extending up to 15km in length, the Dhanushkodi is a popular relaxation spot for families, friends and solo travellers alike. The region also attracts various migratory birds such as gulls and flamingoes which add to the natural bliss of the place.

The Kothandaramaswamy Temple is a shrine which is dedicated to Rama. The temple is the only historical structure to survive the 1964 cyclone that washed away Dhanushkodi. It houses the idols of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman and Vibhishana. As per popular belief, this is the place where Ravana’s brother, Vibhishana, surrendered before Ram. The walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful paintings depicting stories from the “Ramayana.” A major attraction of the temple is the “Athi Maram” tree, which is said to be the oldest here.


Pamban Bridge
Pamban BridgeJohnraja/Shutterstock

Wrap up the first day of your Rameswaram tour with a visit to Pamban Bridge. The sunsets from here are a feast for the eyes. It was constructed by the British during the early 20th century and is the country's first sea bridge to stand on concrete pillars. The bridge opens from the middle to make way for huge ships and barges to pass through. A drive across the bridge allows visitors to witness the beauty of the sea. Tourists visiting the bridge can also head to Pamban Beach for a unique boating experience in a glass boat. With natural coral reefs visible in the turquoise waters of the sea, the boat ride is a delightful and unforgettable experience.

Day 2


The Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial
The Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam MemorialKiran-Sharma/Shutterstock

Your first stop of the day is the Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial. Dedicated to the former president of India and world-renowned scientist, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) initiated the construction of the memorial to pay tribute to India’s “missile man.” It has been structured after consideration of Dr Kalam’s interests and likes. The entrance of the main gate looks similar to that of India Gate, while the main dome is a replica of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. There is also a bronze statue of Dr Kalam playing the veena. The memorial consists of four halls that reflect various facets of Dr Kalam’s life, including the Pokhran-II atomic tests. There are replicas of rockets, missiles and paintings all of which highlight his association with the DRDO and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Mughal-style garden is decorated with plants brought from Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.

A visit to the Villoondi Theertham beckons. The place is also known for its pure water spring inside the sea and the views will take your breath away. According to legend, when Sita said she was thirsty, Rama shot an arrow into the sea and a spring sprang forth gushing pure water. There is also a Shiva shrine near Villoondi Theertham which you can check out.


The Gandhamadhana Parvatham
The Gandhamadhana ParvathamLalam photography/Shutterstock

Check out the Ramar Padam Temple which is situated on a hilltop. Also known as the Gandhamadhana Parvatham, this place is believed to have imprints of Rama’s feet on a stone chakra. It’s the highest point in Rameswaram from where one can see a panoramic view of the place, alongside attractions like the Pamban Bridge, the Villoondi Theertham and Ramanathaswamy Temple, to name a few.

Next, visit the Lakshmana Theertham which was constructed in the memory of Rama’s brother, Lakshmana. Several sculptures of Lakshmana have been carved out from the marble here and the place is designed to evoke the love and loyalty between the two siblings.


The Sri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir
The Sri Panchmukhi Hanuman MandirMTD_myTravelDiaries/Shutterstock

The final stop on your Rameswaram tour should be the Sri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir which is right next to the Lakshmana Theertham. The temple features a large black stone statue of Hanuman with five faces, four of which correspond to the Hindu deities of Narasimha, Adivaraha, Garuda and Hayagriva. According to legend, this form of Hanuman emerged when he extinguished five lamps simultaneously to defeat Mahiravana and save Rama and Lakshmana. The theertham here supposedly contains the floating stones which were used to build the bridge to Lanka.

Where To Stay

For luxury stays consider the Residency Towers Rameswaram or the Hyatt Place Rameswaram. For budget stays you can choose between Hotel Aalayam Rameswaram and the Hotel Ganesh Palace. Backpackers should consider the Sri Vinayaga Residency and the Hotel Harish.

Getting There

Madurai Airport (179km) and Rameswaram Railway Station (RMM) are the closest airport and railheads to the temple town, respectively. Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Puducherry and Tiruchirappalli have plenty of bus and taxi connections to Rameswaram.

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