Rameshwaram is a coastal town in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on an island called on Pamban Island.
Rameshwaram is known for its religious and historical attractions. Here are some must-visit places in Rameswaram:
- Rameswaram Temple – A popular Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Dhanushkodi Temple & Beach – A beautiful temple close to the beach; which had gotten washed away in a cyclone some years ago, and currently only the remains exist.
- Jatayu Tirtham – A temple dedicated to Jatayu - a loyal eagle who is known to have helped Lord Rama during his forest exile.
- Gandhamadana Parvatham – An ancient temple dedicated to Gandhamadana who’s the deity of several communities in southern India, and a highly revered one.
- Agnitheertham – A sacred bathing place for pilgrims in the city.
- Lakshmana Tirtham – A holy place (tank) which was built in the memory of Lord Rama’s most loyal brother Lakshmana; to whom prayers are offered here.
- Five-Faced Hanuman Temple – A temple dedicated to hanuman, a monkey god, Lord Rama’s devotee and the son of Lord Vayu (the god of winds); the lord’s idol here is shown with 5 faces – which is believed to be a representation of his multiple strengths.
Some of the best museums to visit in the city are:
- House of Kalam – This is the previous home of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, one of India’s ex-Presidents, and one of the most loved scientists and leaders in the country, who was born and grew up in Rameswaram. The house has now been turned into a museum with all his precious belongings, and laurels.
- Electronic Moving Statue Museum – A unique museum that is a must-see.
Some popular festivals celebrated in Rameshwaram are:
- Maha Shivarathri – A Hindu festival where people worship Lord Shiva and fast for long hours.
- Rama Navami – A Hindu spring festival that celebrates the birth anniversary of Lord Rama (the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu – the saviour).
- Thirukalyanam – A festival celebrated for seventeen days and is one of the longest festivals in Tamil Nadu, usually celebrated at the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram; It celebrates the marriage of the Lord Ramanatha with Goddess Parvatavardhini.
- Pongal – A harvest festival celebrated in January.
- Deepawali – Festival of lights, celebrated in October or November.
Rameshwaram has a beautiful shopping scene – consisting of small shops and markets that sell souvenirs of all kinds including sea shell products (there are shops where people can even get their name etched on a unique seashell surface), clothes, fancy jewelry and accessories. Here are some of the best shopping spots to check out in the city:
- Kurinji Textiles – the best place in the city for pure silk sarees and clothes.
- Temple shops – most temples have their own shops with souvenirs and other interesting items.
- Kalam House – this house-cum-museum of our ex-president also houses a gift shop with various items like handicrafts, silk and cotton woven products and other things.
Some popular foods to try in Rameshwaram include Filter Coffee, Rasam, Sambar, Idli, Vada, Dosa and so on. Though the cuisine in this city is mostly vegetarian, one can find some non-vegetarian specialities also here such as Cuttle fish, Baby octopus and Keema Vadas.
Some good restaurants in Rameshwaram to try these foods and many more specialties are:
- Ashok Bhavan
- Ram Nivas
- The Curry
- Chola Hotel
- Hotel Tamil Nadu (Pure Vegetarian, Multi-cuisine)
- Sri Murugan Mess
- Nellai Sri Madhura
- Pearl Restaurant
- Shabari Restaurant
Some of the best places for a comfortable stay in Rameshwaram (ranging from affordable to luxury) are:
- Hotel Rameshwaram Grand
- Daiwik Hotels Rameshwaram
- Blue Coral Cottage
- Hotel Pearl Residency
- Hotel SS Grand
- Hotel Brindavan Residency
- Kushi Beach Resort
- Jiwan Residency
- Star Palace
Rameshwaram also has a few good pubs and nightclubs such as:
- Bike And Barrel
- Flame Le Club
Rameshwaram city STD Code – 04573 (to be used before dialling the following numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Rameshwaram town police station – 221227
- Women’s Police station/help – 223151
- Fire Helpline – 221273
- Railway Police Station – 221232
Tamil is the official language of Rameshwaram.
- What's your name? - Unga peranna?
- My name is - En peru
- Where are you from? - Nienga engirundhu varrienga?
- Congratulations! - Paaraattukkal
- Good night and sweet dreams! - Nalla thoungunga!
- What Is This? - Idhu enna?