Rameshwaram Temple or Ramanathaswamy Temple is a world-famous Hindu Temple that is located on Rameshwaram Island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This post shares with you Rameshwaram Temple History and Timings.
The Rameshwaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is regarded among the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva. It is considered a holy pilgrimage site by the Shaivites, Vaishnavites, as well as Smarthas. The Shiva Lingam here (Lingam of Ramanathaswamy) is believed to have been established and worshiped by Lord Rama.
The temple’s corridor is the longest among all Hindu temples in India. The Rameshwaram Temple is regarded as one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams where many Shaivite saints (known as Nayanars) such as Appar, Tirugnana Sambandar, and Sundarar, have gone on to glorify the temple with their songs.
The Pandya Dynasty expanded the temple during the 12th century. It principal shrines sanctum have been renovated by King Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan who belonged to the Jaffna Kingdom.
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Rameshwaram Temple History
The Rameshwaram Temple is considered the abode of Lord Shiva. According to the Ramayan epic, it was Lord Rama who installed the Shiva Lingam here and worshiped Lord Shiva after the Ramayan War to absolve himself of the sins committed that ensued from the killing of Ravana and other demons in the war.
Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva at the Rameshwaram by installing a Shiva Lingam. Lord Rama wanted to install a large Shiva Lingam here at Rameshwaram, so He directed Hanuman to bring a Shiva Lingam from the Himalayas. However, Hanuman got delayed in bringing the Shiva Lingam from the Himalayas. So, Mata Sita (wife of Rama) built a small lingam from the sand that was available at the nearby seashore. It is this lingam that is being worshiped at the Rameshwaram Temple sanctum.
The temple has a long history of developments which has resulted in this inspiring and gigantic architectural wonder in the form of Ramanathaswamy Temple at the island town of Rameshwaram.
Several rulers contributed to the development of Rameshwaram Temple during its long history. The present structure was completed during the 17th century. Raghunath Thevar was the main patron who started building the present temple structure.
Even the Jaffna Kings of the Sethupathy Dynasty contributed immensely in building the temple structure. King Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan renovated the sanctum sanctorum of this temple by transporting large stone blocks from Koneswaram Temple, Trincomalee. It was Pradani Muthirulappa Pillai who spent huge sums of money for restoring the falling pagodas of the temple.
It was between 1897 and 1904 that the Alar family of Devakottai completed the magnificent eastern tower of nine tiers and 126 feet in height. They also renovated the Sanctum Sanctorum and Prakaram (innermost corridors) between 1907 and 1925.
Lord Shiva is worshiped here as Ramanathaswamy, a form of Shiva who blessed Lord Rama. However, there is also another Shiva Lingam here known as Vishwalingam that was bought by Hanuman from Kailash.
The legend says that Lord Rama sent Hanuman to Kailash to bring the Shiva Lingam. However, Hanuman got delayed, and thus Mata Sita built a lingam out of the sand. When Hanuman bought the Shiva Lingam from Kailash, then both the lingams were kept.
The one that was made by Sita was called Ramanathaswamy and the one bought by Hanuman was named Vishwalingam. According to the wishes of Lord Rama, the Vishwalingam is worshiped first, and this tradition is followed till date.
The temple features separate shrines for Ramanathaswamy and his consort Parvati. The other shrines in the temple include for Goddess Visalakshi, the Utsav idols, the Perumal temple, and Mahaganapati temple.
The different mandapas in the temple include Nandi Mandapam, Anuppu Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam, Sukravara Mandapam, and Sethupathy Mandapam. The temple also features twenty-two holy wells known as tirthas, which is believed to wash away all the sins. It is a major highlight of pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.
The Rameshwaram Temple Architecture
There are two lingams inside the temple sanctum – one that was built by Sita, known as Ramalingam, and the other bought by Hanuman from Kailash called as Vishwalingam.
The temple is surrounded by a high compound wall on all four sides. It measures 865 feet furlong from east to west and 657 feet furlong from north to south.
There are huge towers (known as Gopurams) to the east and the west. The temple has finished gate towers to the north and south. The temple highlights being the long striking corridors.
Its outer set of corridors is recognized as the longest in the world. The total length of these corridors is about 3850 feet. The main tower or “Rajagopuram” is 53 feet tall. Many individuals over several centuries built present structure.
There are twenty-two holy water bodies within the Rameshwaram temple. Bathing in these “Tirtas” is considered a major aspect to the pilgrimage of Rameshwaram.
Rameshwaram Temple Pooja Timings
- Morning: 05:00 am to 01:00 am
- Evening: 03:00 pm to 09:00 pm
- Palliyarai Deepa Arathana: 05:00 am
- Spadigalinga Deepa Arathana: 05:10 am
- Thiruvanthal Deepa Arathana: 05:45 am
- Vila Pooja: 07:00 am
- Kalasanthi Pooja: 10:00 am
- Uchikala Pooja: 12:00 Noon
- Sayaratcha Pooja: 06:00 pm
- Arthajama Pooja: 08:30 pm
- Palliyarai Pooja: 08:45 pm
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