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14 Best Places to Visit in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, South India

Rameshwaram – Delightfully Chaotic and Sublime

Located in Ramanathpuram District of Tamil Nadu Rameshwaram is a town where spirituality pushes through into the material world.  It is the southernmost point of sacred India. Continuous chains of pilgrims converge in this holy town into the dizzying spiritual whirlwind and also get carried away by Rameshwaram’s Kaleidoscope of colours.

A walk through the temples of Rameshwaram takes you to the days of the Ramayana and you would find enough evidences that will only reinforce your belief that there was once a man called Rama who walked on earth.

This town is blessed with the divine Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the Char Dhams in India.  When the delightfully chaotic vibes of the temple overwhelm, travellers escape into the clean sea beaches, lesser crowded temples and sacred ponds and to the famous destinations of South India like Pondicherry, Munnar, Kanyakumari and Madurai which are known for their picture-perfect landscape and religious significance.

These travel destinations are a must-see during a trip to Rameshwaram. I am sure you are eagerly waiting for me to throw light on the attractions of Rameshwaram. So, without much ado let’s discuss about the best places to visit in and around Rameshwaram in detail.

Also Check out: All Inclusive Tamil Nadu Tour Packages

List of Top Places & Attractions to Visit in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
  • Ramanathaswamy Temple
  • Jada Tirtham
  • Dhanushkodi Temple
  • Gandhamadhana Parvatham
  • Five Faced Hanuman Temple
  • Adam’s Bridge
  • Nambu Nayagiamman Temple
  • Water Bird Sanctuary
  • Ariyaman Beach
  • Kothandaramaswamy Temple
  • Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge
  • Lakshmana Tirtham
  • Villoondi Tirtham
  • Jatayu Tirtham Temple
  • Thiruppullani
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Ramanathaswamy Temple- Let’s go to the Divine hub where a God worshipped a God

Ramanathaswamy Temple

One of the twelve Jyotirlinga Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple of Ramanathaswamy is an architectural excellence built in the 17th century. A must visit pilgrimage for both the Vaishnavite as well as the Shaiva sect of Hinduism; the temple constitutes a major part of the popular spiritual tourism destinations in India. The actual temple is believed to have been built by Lord Rama himself and thus it has gained an esteemed position in Indian mythological reference.

Today’s Ramanathaswamy Temple houses the longest temple corridor in the world, which is 197 meters long and 133 meters broad and stands with 1200 massive granite columns.  The main attraction of this temple is the Sand mound, a lingam created by God Rama’s wife.

The temple is said to have 22 Theerthams and pilgrims come from across the world to bathe in its sacred waters before performing Puja. This blissful temple houses many exquisite sculptures on the walls and pillars which depicts rich traditions of Hindu Mythology.

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Jada Thirtham – A refreshing escape to the world Tranquil

Jada Tirtham

Around 3.5km from Ramanathaswamy Temple, on the way to Dhanushkodi Village, Jada Tirtham is known among the Hindu devotees for the sacred pond. It is believed that when Rama was about to worship Shiva Lingam in Rameshwaram after killing Ravana, he washed his Jata (matted hair) in Jada Tirtham.

It is also believed to be a place where a giant Bird Jatayu passed away while trying to save Goddess Sita from Ravana. There is a temple next to the pond of Jada Tirtham. Jada Tirtham is believed to be the only place in India where Lord Kapardisvara is worshipped.

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Dhanushkodi – Grandeur of Ruins

Dhanushkodi Temple

Dhanushkodi or ‘end of the bow’ is a small town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu. Lined with shallow beaches, historical remnants and vast horizons of azure sea, this South India tourist spot is a must-see in Rameshwaram.

Dhanushkodi was once a thriving port washed away in cyclone in 1964 but it still stands among the ruins in pride. Today’s Dhanushkodi Temple is nothing but a ruin of the temple described in different versions of the Ramayana. In case you are curious enough to discover the plot of Ram Sethu, do not forget to explore Dhanushkodi.  You will get to see the beautiful Sunrise and sunsets. It is also a perfect destination for adventurous drive across the silky sand dunes and Tarmac Road.

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Gandhamadhana Parvatam – A Place where death was conquered

Gandhamadhana Parvatham

Remember the mountain mentioned in the Ramayana from where Hanuman was about to fetch the medicinal herbs to save Laxman. Yes! It is Gandhamadhana Parvatham which was carried by Lord Hanuman on his shoulders. This utterly pious and quaint religious spot is 3 km away from the centre of the town.

A double storied temple of Lord Rama houses the imprints of his feet on a chakra. It is also considered to be the highest point in Rameshwaram, so you can have a birds’ eye view of the whole island from the peak.

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Five Faced Hanuman Temple – Temple of Floating stones

Five Faced Hanuman Temple

Highly revered by the Hindus, the temple of Five Faced Hanuman is only 2 km from the Ramanathaswamy Temple also known as Panchmukha Anjaneya It is believed that Hanumana revealed his five-faced form for the first time in this place. The statue of Lord Hanuman is smeared with sindoor and worshipped with utmost devotion.

The temple here enshrines the statues of Rama, Laxman and Sita. There is a floating stone in the temple which is believed to have been used during Sethu Bandhanam as mentioned in the Ramayana. It is one of the most sacred places in India.

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Adam’s Bridge – Blissful road to Enchantment

Adam Bridge

Adam’s Bridge or Rama Setu is a debatable historic bridge that connects Rameshwaram island of India to the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. It is a chain of limestone shoals starts from Dhanushkodi tip of India’s Pamban Island. Pamban Island is connected to mainland India by a 2 km long bridge.

It is believed that Lord Rama along with his monkey companions created a floated bridge to reach Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. As a result, Adam’s Bridge is known as Ramasethu Bridge by Indians. It is also known by the name of Nala Setu as it is said that Nala, the son of Lord Vishwakarma was the architect of this Bridge.

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Nambu Nayagiamman Temple – Seek the wealth of Health

Nambu Nayagiamman Temple

A small South Indian shrine associated with many deep-rooted beliefs; Nambu Nayaki Amman Temple is only 8km from Ramanathaswamy Temple. Goddess Dakshina Kali is worshipped here for good health and getting kids.

It is believed that the deity appeared in front of the two sages namely Dakshina Duruvan and Pachima Duruvan in the form of Dakshina Kali. After they were blessed with the sightings of Mother Goddess, they started living at the same place to cure the local people. That is why people of the neighbouring villages visit this temple to get solution to all their problems.

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Water Bird Sanctuary – Let the song of Birds be the meditation to your mind

Water Bird Sanctuary

Rameshwaram is not solely a religious spot. If you are here and want to explore something different other than the temples, do visit this bird sanctuary which is certainly different from the conventional sanctuaries. The best thing is you can see a lot of native as well as migratory water birds in this sanctuary.

It is during the months of October to January when flocks of migratory like Flamingo, Pelican etc fly to this land for breeding and feeding their off springs. The bird sanctuary is located in Ramanathapuram District and indeed one of the most popular tourist places in Rameshwaram.

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Ariyaman Beach – Retreat to the Sun-splashed Beach

Ariyaman Beach

An ideal place to spend a relaxing evening with your friends or family, Ariyaman Beach is located in Ramanathapuram District. It is a 150 m wide beach stretching to a length of 2 km. Tourists can enjoy boating in this beach or get involved in different water-based sports like wind surfing or water scooter ride.

The beach has a children’s park, an aquarium and a museum as well. Parasailing is an exciting activity one can enjoy here. If you have a free weekend, plan a picnic party along the beach side where arrays of Casuarinas work for perfect shading.

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Kothandaramaswamy Temple- Temple dipped in Serenity

Kothandaramaswamy Temple

An approximately 500 year old temple located at the southernmost tip of this island, Kothandaramaswamy Temple is yet another pilgrimage destination in Rameswaram. The temple is very close to the sea and appears as an ideal place to trace the footprints of Rama.

The temple here has the idols of Rama, Sita and Laxman along with Vibhishan. It is believed that Rama did the last rites of Pattabhishekam of Vibhishan in this place. The temple walls are scribled with the paintings depicting the same story.

This temple is near Nandavanam, a place where Lord Rama is believed to have rested in the Ashram of Sage Bhringi for a few days. There is also a temple tank named after Sage Bhringi.

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Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge – 100 years of Magnificence

Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge

Claimed to be the first sea bridge in India, Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge or Pamban Bridge is a cantilever bridge on Palk Strait that connects Rameswaram Island with the mainland India. Initially, the name used to refer the rail route only which has a double leaf bascule section midway.

This double leaf bascule functions well till date and it can be raised to let ships go. The bi-lane road passing next to this bridge is another attraction in Pamban and obviously allows you to have a glimpse of the railway bridge if you are driving over the bridge. This 100 years old bridge contains 143 pillars, each of which is 220 feet in length and 100 tonnes in weight.

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Lakshamana Teertham – Drops of Divine bliss

Lakshmana Tirtham

A sacred pond dug near the temple of Laxmana, Lakshamana Tirtham is a divine place close to Ramanathswamy Temple. The temple of Laxmana contains several instances of Ramayana engraved on its walls. People coming to the temple for a visit often go for taking a dip in this pond.

There is a Mandapam in the centre of the pond looks divine. It is said that Lord Lakshamana had placed a Shiva Lingam for the atonement of his sins. Also, Floating car procession during Thaipusam festival adds to the charm of Lakshamana Teertham.

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Villondi Teertham – God’s blissful Resting Place

Villoondi Tirtham

Literally meaning the buried bow, Villoondi Tirtham is a quaint religious destination where Lord Rama dipped his bow into the seawater to quench his consort Sita’s thirst. It is said that before burying the bow here Lord Rama shot an arrow into earth from where a stream of sweet water emerged to quench Sita’s thirst. There is Ekantha Ramar Temple which is constructed on the same place where Lord Rama took rest before launching attack on Lanka.

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Jatayu Tirtham Temple – Memories of the Royal Past

Jatayu Tirtham Temple

The very name of the temple is enough to tell you about the significance of this shrine. It is a memorial sort of construction which was built in memory of the great loyal eagle of Ramayana called Jatayu who informed Rama about Ravana’s misdeeds and abduction of Sita. He sacrificed his life while fighting with Ravana to save Sita.

Apart from these major attractions, Rameswaram encloses several lesser known destinations that you can add to your day outing list. Attractions like Saatchi Hanuman Temple, Agnitheertham are not to be missed as they are considered highly pious in Rameshwaram.

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Thiruppullani – Launch your spiritual boat to this divine bliss

Thirupullani

Located at a distance of around 12km from Ramanathapuram, Thiruppullani is a small village known for the Adi Jagannatha Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram that stands facing east. The temple enshrines the idol of Lord Vishnu along with Sri Devi and Bhudevi.

There is a separate shrine close to this temple, where the consort of (Adi Jagannath) Lord Vishnu, Padmasini Devi is worshipped. Another temple enshrined the statue of Lord Dharbasayana Ramar in a reclining posture. This temple is also mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana and Ramayana written by great Tamil Poet Kambar.

How to Reach Rameshwaram?

The city of Rameshwarm is connected with other famous South Indian cities by all means of transport. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is around 559km from Rameshwaram. To reach at Rameswaram one needs to either fly to Chennai Airport or has to take train for Chennai Railway Station.

By Air: The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is at Madurai which is well connected to Chennai. Regular flights operate between Chennai and Madurai. From Madurai, you can hire a taxi to reach Rameshwaram.

By Train: To reach Rameshwaram via train one needs to reach Chennai. Four trains run from Chennai to Rameswaram. Chennai Railway Station is a prominent railway station and is connected with almost major Indian cities.

By Road: Rameshwaram is connected to Chennai by road. Regular buses ply from Chennai to Rameshwaram. Volvo buses are available for tourists for a comfortable and relaxing journey. Also, tourists can opt for government run buses which are available at a reasonable price.

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Popular Weekend Getaways from Rameshwaram

Adam Bridge Rameshwaram

Well! I am sure if you are hiring a private vehicle and do not mind travelling for whole day (obviously taking little break), you will be done with all the major sightseeing options of Rameshwaram within 2 to 3 days. So, in case you are left with a weekend or even a day or two, you can plan for an instant tour to the nearby travel destinations of Rameshwaram.

List of Top Weekend Holiday Destinations Nearby Rameshwaram
  • Madurai
  • Thanjavur
  • Thekkady
  • Kanyakumari
  • Munnar
  • Pondicherry
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Madurai

Madurai

Madurai is only around 148 km from Rameshwaram. So, in case you feel like planning a short trip, it won’t be a bad idea to go to Madurai. Rightly called the temple city of South, Madurai’s central attraction is undoubtedly the great Meenakshi Devi Temple. Tourists must know that just like Varanasi, Madurai is also among the oldest cities in India.

So, history buffs can get enough food for their taste bud in Madurai. The other sightseeing options of Madurai are Gandhi Memorial Museum, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Pudhu Mandapam etc.

Also Check out: Complete Mudurai Travel Guide

Thanjavur

Thanjavur

If you want to bag something more than spirituality from your trip to Rameshwaram, you should head to Thanjavur. Popularly known as Tanjore, this city is around 170 km from Rameshwaram and can be added to the list of weekend getaways from Rameswaram.

A significant number of Great Living Chola Temples are found in Thanjavur that are UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, if you are a lover of history and architecture, do not forget to visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, Maratha Palace and Rajarajachola Mandapam.

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Thekkady

Thekkady

Thekkady is around 233km from Rameshwaram. And I would love to suggest you to make a trip to Thekkady simply for the fact that one of India’s most popular wildlife reserves Periyar National Park is located in this region of Idukki District. The major attraction of this national park is the huge population of tigers. If you go for a boat ride in this park, you would be certainly blessed with tiger spotting.

Also Check out: Popular Tour Packages for Kerala

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari

Located at a distance of around 294 km from Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari is a temple town in the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. The temples found at this South Indian travel destination are historically enriched and let you take a bath in spirituality. The significant attractions of this town are Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, and Devi Kumari Amman Temple.

Also Check out: Complete Kanyakumari Travel Guide

Munnar

Munnar Hill Station Kerala

If you have heard of Munnar since childhood as an ideal nature retreat, plan for a weekend trip to this exotic travel destination. It is only around 262 km from Rameshwaram. All that you can will in Munnar is dark green hilly terrains and tea gardens set on the slopes of the mountains. Salubrious weather, easy to climb mountains and the friendly locals make Munnar a nature lover’s paradise.

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Pondicherry

Pondicherry

An ancient French colony, dotted with magnificent heritage buildings, Tree-lined avenues and Mediterranean style houses, Puducherry brings out the old world charm alive. Delectable cuisines, clean roads and above all the popular ashramas make Pondicherry a pick of the travellers of all taste. To the sightseeing options of Puducherry, you can add Promenade Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram or Arikamedu. Do not forget to visit the ‘Matrimandir’. Pondicherry is around 300km from Rameshwaram.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What are the best places of shopping in Rameshwaram?

Rameshwaram is not only the most popular pilgrimage town of India but also one of the best destinations for shopaholics. Some of the best places of shopping in Rameshwaram are – House of Kalam, Kurinji Textiles, Temple shops, Sea shell. Also there are many markets around the temple to purchase magnificent gift items and souvenirs.

Q.What are the most popular adventure activities in Rameshwaram?

Popular adventure tourism activities in Rameshwaram are:

  • Wind Surfing and Kite surfing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Banana Boat Rides

Q.How many days are needed to completely enjoy in Rameshwaram?

Maximum 3-4 days are needed to completely feel the bliss of this holy pilgrimage town – Rameshwaram. Rameshwaram offers spiritual bliss as well as many interesting adventure activities to the tourists. Also, it is a great place to indulge oneself in local shopping. Regional delicacies are really worth to have.

Published: 02 Mar, 2021

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.