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Introducing Rameshwaram

Best time to visit : October to April
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The place where Lord Rama is believed to have spent some significant moments of his journey when in exile, Rameshwaram (or Rameswaram) is a busy pilgrimage centre in South India. Located on Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar in the Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu, this holy town is one of the holiest sites in Hinduism. The island is separated from peninsular India by Pamban Channel and is located close to the border of Sri Lanka. The main attraction of the island is Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple which has links with the greatest Indian epic called Ramayana. Other tourist places in and around the town include beaches, sea bridges, activities like scuba diving and plethora of religious and sacred places. While the summers here are moderately hot, winters are cool and monsoons are humid.


‘Rameshwaram’ translates to ‘Lord of Rama’ and refers to Lord Shiva. In this respect, the town is of religious importance for the followers of Lord Shiva as well as for those of Lord Vishnu (Rama being an incarnation of Vishnu). As per the legends, Lord Rama and his consort Sita erected the present day Shiva Lingam in the holy shrine. Rameshwaram is counted among the 12 Jyotirlingas (Shiva’s form of endless light pillar) located in different parts of India. It is also one of the four holy places of Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The town is also called the Benaras of South (Benaras or Varanasi being a holy city of North India) because of its religious significance. Apart from pilgrims, adventure tourists visit the region in huge numbers. It is recommended to act according to the religious tourist information in order to observe the traditions of this holy town.

Rameswaram has restaurants offering multiple cuisines. However, it is recommended to choose authentic Tamil food prepared from rice and many indigenous spices. Idli, sambhar, vadai, pongal, uthappam, rasam and South Indian thalis are popular items. West Car Street is the busiest corner of the town with many good restaurants. Get refreshed with fruit juices, shakes and buttermilk. Though vegetarian food is recommended at the holy town, tourists can also enjoy fresh seafood and fish at some places.

Visit Kalam Seashell Mart, probably the most popular shopping venue in the town and look for extremely attractive seashell items like pen stands, wall hangings and jewellery items. Shops selling handcrafted items (made of palm leafs, beads and seashells) can be found all over the town. You can also buy authentic silk sarees, a well-known handicraft in Rameshwaram and in the whole of Tamil Nadu.

Nearby Places:
  • Dhanushkodi (about 19 km.): A neighbouring town on the island, Dhanushkodi is well-known for being located at the confluence point of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal and also for its picturesque beauty and religious significance.
  • Ramanathapuram (about 57 km.): Popular for Raja Palace and entertaining beaches of Ariyamaan and Puduvalasai located nearby.  
  • Erwadi (about 59 km.): A popular Muslim pilgrimage village, it is known for its holy shrine and some grand festive celebrations.
  • Thirunallar (about 91 km.): Popular for its Saneeswaran Temple dedicated to Shani (Saturn), this religious town also has temples dedicated to many other Hindu deities.
  • Madurai (about 169 km.): A revered Hindu pilgrimage city, Madurai is famous for its architectural wonder called Meenakshi Amman Temple and other places like Koodal Azhagar Temple, Kazimar Big Mosque and rich cultural heritage.

When in Rameshwaram, you may also visit other tourist destinations like Devipattinam, Ramlinga Vilas Palace, Kanchirankulam Bird Sanctuary, Uthirakosamangai and Kurusudai Island.

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