One day is sufficient to see all the known temples of Rameswaram. The easiest thing is to sign up for a tour - daily trip from Madurai to Rameswaram is avaialble for approx. Rs. 200 per head.
It helps to know a little about Indian epic of "Ramayana" since all the temples in Ramaswaram are associated with the story. Temples associated with Ramayana epic. The view of Sri Lanka across a beautiful ocean. Feeling that you are on the southeastern edge of India.
General India TIp
This is for all of india (or from what i've seen of the country). in india haggling like a lot of the world is the norm. most indians know how much it cost for you to arrive in the country and find it pathetic the way we haggle. the price they give you is the same price they give middle class indians, and yes they will go down, but don't insult them. at the same time don't allow yourself to be ripped off. unless you are in a place that is frequented by foreigners for a couple of weeks at a time then the chances are you will not be given a silly top price.
a rickshaw driver may go down, but a little.
Rameswaram is located on an island off the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu, partway down the strange spit of land and barely-submerged islands and boulders that link the crow’s 20 km to the northern tip of Sri Lanka. From here, Lord Rama led his army of monkeys and bears against Ravenna. Nearby is Rama’s own footstep, and the spot from which Hanuman leaped in his search for Sita. Heady stuff.
Rameswaram is a pilgrimage destination for devotees of both Shiva the destroyer and Vishnu the preserver, one of few places in India that is. Pilgrims first bathe in the sea to remove all dirt, then stop at wells containing holy water from each of 22 rivers from around India and douse themselves, washing away all impurities, and, finally, worship at the temple. The very temple where Lord Rama worshipped Shiva after defeating Ravenna, founded formally by the Cholas, and expanded by the Nayakas. Myth becomes fact becomes faith.
A visit here is a lot of fun, especially doing the well circuit at the main temple. Inside the entrance, you get into a special line (on the left), either with a private guide (perhaps Rs250) or a group. The guide races you all over the temple, stopping at each of the wells just long enough to drop the liter-ish bucket down and dump it over your head (in my case, three times at each well – guess he thought I needed extra purification). The temple is crowded and wet. Like a water park.
Legend has it that each of the holiest rivers in India pass through here at the request of…someone (I’ll try to get more details on this). Each of the wells has a different temperature and taste – some of salt, some of metals – even wells that are next to each other. It takes less time than you’d think to go through them, and 63 liters of water gets you thoroughly soaked. (The last well is sprinkled at you rather than thrown at you.)
You’re not supposed to go for a darshan with wet clothes, although if you ask the right people you can get permission. Rs50 gets you into the fast line. The darshan is of the efficient get in, sit fast, get out variety…still, Lord Rama worshipped here, this very lingam…
You’re supposed to leave something behind at Ramesvaram – a bad habit, a memory maybe associated with a photograph, a despised vegetable, and never do it, remember it, or eat it thereafter. I burned my business cards, willed upon the ashes all my frustrations and mistrust and bad thoughts toward that company, and maybe by extension toward India in general, and flung them over my head into the sea. It was liberating.
We actually started the day with a visit to Danushkodi and the very tip of the spit of land supposed to be Rama’s bridge to Sri Lanka, which you can see here.
Dhanushkodi- one of the most toughest place to see sunrise, as u need to reach there by a truck which will costs 900rs for a breakeven for 15 km sand journey.and you need to be very lucky to get a vehicle at early morning hours, taking the long journey into account.
Helicop view of Dhanushkodi, this landscape is seperates bay of bengal and indian ocean. and also is supposed to be the place where the sethu, the bridge done to reach Lanka , during Ramayana.
It was Pranav and myself who intially left for Rameswaram, but destiny made us make new pals, Orla and Cludia. So 4 of us teamed up for Dhanushkodi sunrise and instead of reaching sunrise, we reached around 9.30 am. Neverthless the place was too beautiful !! look all coral coast !!
"Speechless- closest to Sri Lanka"
Our President APJ Kalam was born in this island. the place has beauty that cant be expressed. one has to go here.
May be, millions of years ago..Ram was here.
Let Me Tell You A Story
"So, I'm Trying To Get To Sri Lanka"
usually when i travel, i have no itinerary, just an end destination. on my trip last year that destination was sri lanka. i'm in goa, and i just heard news that the governments of india, and sri lanka have agreed to open their waterway, i was very pleased to hear this because i hate flying. the route was to be tutucorin to columbo. on arrival in tutucorin, i found my way to the shipping company that were to take care of ferry service. they told me that permission was not yet granted, it could be tomorrow, it could be next year. if you have any updated information on this, please let me know.
so, i didn't want to fly to sri lanka, but even if i did, all the flights were booked for the next few months. the least i could do was to go to adam's bridge, and i'd be 17km to sri lanka, so i did.
"From Rameswaram to Adam's Bridge"
I can't remember the distance, i hired a bycycle, left early in the morning, and was back before 17:00 if my memory serves me right. Once i left town, it was a straight road, pacing through some shady palm paths, and fishing villages. the road ended. i pushed my bike, adam's bridge seemed just aroud the corner, but that was many corners. someone in a truck much like the one in this photo offered me a ride, so i hoped on.
So the rest of the way to adam's bridge was about 4km. this is an important spot for hindu's, now here's what i remember, i would like it if there are any hindu vters out there to please elaborate.
now the bridge (which is a sand bar with a series of mini sandy islands) was built to transport Rama, hero of ramayana to sri lanka to rescue his wife from the demon king ravanna.
now why didn't i just do that you ask, well Rama didn't have the indian navy that i saw on the horizon to deal with.