in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga
temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve
Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Ramesvara
("Lord of Rama") pillar.
Temple in Tamil NaduRameshwaram Temple is situated in
the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil
Nadu and is reached via the Pamban Bridge across the
sea. The huge temple is known for its long ornate corridors,
towers and 36 theerthams. Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga represents
the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and
has been a time honored pilgrimage center held on par
with Banaras. Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga is associated
closely with the Ramayana and Rama's victorious return
from Sri Lanka.
behind Rameshwaram Temple According to a popular legend,
it was Lord Rama who installed this Linga here. Story
goes that when Lord Ram was on his way to attack Ravana,
he reached this place where he made a linga of sand
and worshipped it. It is said that when Lord Rama was
drinking water on the seashore there was a celestial
proclamation - "You are drinking water without worshipping
me". Listening to this Lord Rama made a linga of sand
and worshipped it and asked to be blessed so that he
could vanquish Ravana. Lord Shiva blessed him accordingly.
He also requested Lord Shiva to reside eternally here
so that entire mankind should benefit from it. Shiva
then manifested himself as the Linga and got installed
there for eternity.
to yet another legend, while returning to Ayodhya, Ram
worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam
made of earth by Sita. It is said that Hanuman was entrusted
with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from
Banaras. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from
Benares, Rama offered worship to a Shivalingam at a
pre-chosen auspicious moment. This lingam is referred
to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram.
There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathar
said to have been brought by Hanuman from Banares. This
Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam.
Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered
to Ramanathaswamy. Structure of Rameshwaram Temple Rameswaram
Temple is spread over an area of 15 acres and has lofty
gopurams, massive walls and a colossal Nandi. Rameswaram
Jyotirlinga also boasts of a 4000 feet long pillared
corridor with over 4000 pillars, supposedly the longest
in the world. The carved granite pillars are mounted
on a raised platform. Worth noticing fact about this
corridor is that the rock is not indigenous to the island
and is said to have been brought in from elsewhere in
Tamil Nadu across the sea.
eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height of 126 feet and
has nine levels. The Western Rajagopuram is also quite
impressive though not as tall as the Eastern one. The
temple also has several mandapams with mini shrines
to other deities. There is a huge Nandi measuring 12
feet in length and 9 feet in height with the idols of
Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker. The lingams
are housed in the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara.
High walls enclose the temple, forming a rectangle with
huge pyramidal gopura entrances on each side. Significance
of Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga Significance of Rameshwaram
Temple Jyotirlinga has been described through a shloka
in Manas: Je rameshwar darshan kari hahi | Te tanu taji
mam loka sidaari hahi || Meaning: Those who go to Rameshwar
and seeks my blessings, shall always reside in Shivloka.
It is said that there is greatness associated with the
ceremonial bath given to the linga by water of the Ganga.