May 15, 2013: Sri Aadi Sankaracharya Jayanthi
May 16, 2013: Sri Ramanujachaya Jayanthi
Rameswaram, as its very name implies is the holy place of Eswara installed by Rama the presiding deity is known as Rameswara. Rameswaram is the most ancient holy place for both Saivates and Vaishnavates that is located in Tamil Nadu at a distance of 160 kilometers from Madurai. The hereditary habit of worshiping the God in three forms viz., Moorthy, Sthalam and Theertham and is worshipped in common figure incase of Rameswaram. It is considered as one of the twelve Jyothir Lingams in our country and the other eleven are Sri Somanatheswara at Saurastra, Sri Mallikharjuna at Srisailam, Sri Maha Kaleeswara at Ujjain, Sri Omkareswara at Amaleswaram, Sri Vaidhya Lingam at Parali, Sri Bhima Sankaran at Dakini, Sri Nageswara at Tharukavanam, Sri Visveswara at Varanasi, Sri Thiram Bakeswara at Nasik, Sri Kedareswara at Himalayas and Sri Kumaresam at Ellore.
Rameswaram is an island and it has been divided by narrow sea from the main land. The rail bridge built upon this narrow sea connects Pamban railway station with Mandapam Railway Station. It is situated in the North-East of Pamban and Dhanuskodi in the South-East of Pamban. The Dhanuskodi Railway line was destructed in the cyclone from Pamban station. One can reach Dhanushkodi on foot along the sea shore or by Buses and Jeeps or by Boats. The Rameswaram island is found in the shape of Chunk (shell) one of the two instruments in the hands of Sri Vishnu who took the Avatar of Sri Rama.
Rameswaram is as old as the Ramayana. It is said that pilgrimage to Kasi will be completed only after worship at Rameswaram besides a holy bath in Dhanuskodi (Sethu) at the confluence of Mahodadhi (Bay of Bengal) and Ratnakara (Indian Ocean) Sethu is a Sanskrit word to denote a bridge way. It has now acquired special significance to mean the bridge across the ocean constructed and used by Rama to reach Lanka. It is said that Rama marked this spot for Sethu with one end of his famous bow. Bath in the holy Sethu at the junction of the two seas normally precedes the pilgrimage to Rameswaram. Performance of obsequies and immersion of ashes are also common at the conflux of the two seas. A series of rocks and islets found in a line are shown as remnants of the Ancient Sethu.
According to Epic Ramayana, Lord Rama went to Sri Lanka from Rameswaram to rescue Sita from Ravana, the King of Sri Lanka. For this Rama invoked the sea-God to provide away to trespass Lord Hanuman that sea and need the help of Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman and his monkey brigades built a bridge along the path way. By means of big rocks that enables them to reach Sri Lanka. On return from Sri Lanka with successive resuering of Sita. He worshipped Lord Shiva to absolve himself for the crime of vanishing the demon King Ravana. For which, he rushed up Lord Hanuman to fetch a Lingam from Mount Kailash. Since Lord Hanuman did not return within the time, Sita Devi prepared a Lingam out of sand which later becomes compact and concrete due to her divine touch. In the mean time, Lord Hanuman returned with a lingam and he was so much disappointed to see that premakaken Lingam. He tried to uproot that one but failed. Rama at once pacified Lord Hanuman and installed Hanuman's Lingam along with the Sita Devi's Lingam and ordered that all the pujas and punaskarams should be subjected to Lord Hanuman's Lingam only at first and later than the other. That Lingam brought by Lord Hanuman is referred to be 'Viswalingam' . The Lingam done by Sita is 'Ramalingam'.
The architecture of the Rameswaram temple stands out as a typical Ddravidan in style. The temple is near to the sea on the coast of the island is renounced for its magnificent three cordiors with massive sculptured pillers linking them. The temple is 865 feet long and 657 feet in width. The ceiling is supported by stone beams of 49 feet long. The sanctum sanctorum is built of polished granite stones. The temple mandapam is supported by 1200 giant pillars and the two gopurams of 130 feet and 80 feet high on eastern side and western side.
Sethu Madhava Theertham
Brahamahati Vimochana Theertham
The temple will be kept open for the devotees from 5am to 10pm except 12noon to 4pm. The pujas are performed six times a day.
Name of the puja - Time
Palliarai Deepa Rathana: 5.00am
Spadigalinga Deeparadhana: 5.10am
Thiruvanataal Deeparathana: 5.45am
Vila Puja: 7.00am
Kala Santhi puja: 10.00am
Uch Kala Puja: 12.00noon
Sayaratcha Puja: 6.00pm
Artha Sama Puja: 9.00pm
Palliarai Puja: 9.30pm
Devotees who want to offer abhishekam to Lord Rama and Goddess Sri Parvathavartini may on their own accord offer the same. Devotees coming there seeking divine blessings for an unmarried girl to get a good husband or couple having no child are blessed after having bath a theerthams and worshiping Lord Ramanatha Swamy.
Sahasra Kalsa Abhishekam
Asthothra Kalasa Abhishekam
Spadigalinga Abhisheka Darshanam
The major festivals are Maheswarathri, Adi Ramalinga Prathista, Adi Thirukalyanam and floating festival on Thai Poosam night in Lakshmana Theertham. Apart from this, the annual festival are Mahasivaratri, Vasantostavam, Ramalinga Prathista utsavam, Thiru Kalayana festival, Navaratri-Vijaya Dasami festival, Skanda Sashti festival and Arudhra Darshanam.