One of the 12 Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu built by Ravana, Sri Ramanathaswamy temple is situated on top of Parvat Hill near Hemambika Temple. The ancient shrine was initially a thatched hut until it was built into an imposing concrete structure during the various reigns between 12th and 17th century. The additions involved pieces brought over from the Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee and were renovated during Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan's rule between 13th and 16th century. In the next few centuries, many kingdoms such as Mysore, Travancore and Pudukottai added to its depth resulting in a magnificent construction. There have been few additions to this temple that include the majestic corridor built in the 18th century by King Mohammed Ali Khan.
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is built over 15 acres of land. The magnificent pillars, lengthy corridors, and vast walls allure each visitor. The granite walls have intricately spruced up carvings that have been mounted on a raised stage.
This temple is encircled by tremendously high walls on all the four sides with height of about 865 feet to 657 feet. The outer corridors of Rameshwaram Temple are set as the longest in the world, with a total length of 3850 feet for all the corridors. There are 1212 pillars in the outer corridor with a height of 30 feet. The tower of Rajagopuram has a height of around 53 meters.
This temple's impressive gopurams are modeled after ancient South Indian Temples. In its corridors, you'll find intricate carvings. It's said that the rocks used in it were brought from a different region but found their way to this temple. Additionally, the paved path leading to an outer hall is designed in an unusual manner so that it looks like a giant board for playing chess. This place is called Chokkattan Mandapam, where deities reside during the Spring Festival.
At the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, you can see many shrines from various parts of India. You can find some important idols like the Nandi statue and the Vishwanatha and Visalakshi Shrines. The temple is also famous for its tanks, where people come to cleanse themselves. There are 22 tanks in all, but one of the most sacred ones is Agni Theertham, which literally means "well of fire."
Since ancient times, pilgrims have traveled long distances to visit Kashi and Rameshwaram. The religious importance of the temples can be seen from the belief that a pilgrimage to Kashi is incomplete without a visit to the Rameshwaram temple.
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is the most important place of a Rameshwaram tour. One of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, this temple is very popular. It's said to be one of the best examples of architectural excellence. It also houses 22 bathing spots that are considered holy to Hindus. According to sacred Hindu scripture, this is where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva after Sita was rescued from Ravana.
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, or Rameshwaram Temple, has an opening time from 5 AM to 1 PM. You can also see the temple during evening hours from 3 PM to 9 PM. The temple is open on all weekdays and weekends.
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