Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rameswaram

Situated on the India Sri Lanka border, this beautiful island is  home to one of the most religious places in India. Rameshwaram derives its name from two Sanskrit  words Ram and Eshwaram. Which mean Ram 's God. As per Hindu mythology is believed that Lord Ram crossed over to Sri Lanka  from here. When he returned victorious from battle he prayed to Lord Shiva here. A temple was established in its place

Rameswaram Panorama
Rameswaram Panorama click photo for larger version 


The temple has great significance for Hindus. It is said a journey to Kashi is incomplete without a journey to Rameshwaram. The temple has beautiful architecture a beautiful representational of intricate stone work found in Temples in South India. The temple is also know as thousand pillars temple because the temple has a thousand pillars.


Apart from Hindus the place also has religious significance for Muslims. The place is also home to the tomb of Ibrahim Syed Aulia and attracts pilgrims from all over the world.




Once you are done seeing the main temple you can take a tour around the island. On one end of the island is a place called Dhanushkodi. This is the closest point between India and Sri Lanka (only 29 K.M. away). In the past this was a major tourist spot. There also ran a train to this place called the Boat Mail. 


In 1964 a cyclone hit the coast line destroying most of the place and the train line. There is now a road which connects to this place and on route you can see some of the remnants of the train line which once ran to this place.



In the past there used to be ferries which went from India to Sri Lanka now however, you need a government clearance take a boat ride.



Rameshwaram is also a bio diversity hot spot for marine life. Most of the surround area is a corral reef and is currently under threat due to an excavation project which would permanently damage the ecosystem. 





Due to the unique nature of the island and corral reef one can see a rare phenomenon. The waves no the sea front never rise beyond 3 cm. The island also has a national park which with large lakes which attract many migratory birds. Its a treat for nature lover. Not far from the island about 50 km is another bird sanctuary called the Alagankulam Birds sanctuary which is also worth a visit. The best time to visit is winter when many large water foul s come here to escape the cold winter.


Besides this there are many pristine beaches where the water is clear and can see a beautiful gradient can be seen in the sea. There are many other temples on the island but not all of them are maintained by the government. Some of them are privately maintained and there is a fee attached with entry to these temples. Weather you are a nature lover, an admirer of architecture, a person with religionists pursuits or just looking for some peace and quite this beautiful place has something for all.

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