A famous hindu temple of South India; considered as second prominent (after Kasi) abode of Lord Shiva in Hinduism.
Legend is that Lord Sriram, on his return from Sri Lanka, consecrated the Shiv Linga here; he offered pooja to it as a thanksgiving on his victory against the demon king Ravana.
There is an interesting story on the origin of worship at this temple. When they reached Rameswaram, Sriram asked Hanuman to bring a Shiva Linga from Kasi (Varanasi). He took much time to return. So Sita prepared a Shiva Linga out of the sea sand; Sriram offered pooja to that Linga.
Meanwhile, Hanuman returned with a Shiva Linga. Thus this temple has two Lingas in worship; but the Linga made by Sita is considered as the principal one.
This mythological link between Kasi (Varanasi) and Rameshwaram is still alive. Many devotees, after having darshan at Kasi temple, collect holy Ganga water and offer it as abhishekha at Rameshwaram temple.
The temple has many peculiarities. The twenty two theerthas within the temple complex is noteworthy. Traditionally, one has to take holy bath at all these theerthas before entering the temple. Twenty one theerthas are within the temple complex; the twenty second is the sagar- that is sea- which is nearby.
The temple also houses the biggest corridor with 4000 pillars. The statue of Nandi, which is 18 feet in length, is another eye catcher.
Dhanushkodi and Gandhamadana Parvat, associated with the epic of Ramayana, are also nearby.
Rameshwaram is 590 kilometers from Chennai-the State Capital.
Madurai is the nearest major city- 172 kilometers far.
Rameshwaram is directly connected by train to other parts of the country.