Rameshwaram - Ramanathaswamy Temple
According to Hinduism, this is the place from where the Hindu god Rama built a bridge, across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is located at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Rama Sethu was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
Rameswara means "Lord of Rama" , an epithet of Shiva, the presiding deity of the Ramanathaswamy Temple. According to Hindu epic Ramayana, Rama, the seventh avatar of the God Vishnu, prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon-king Ravana in Sri Lanka. According to the Puranas, upon the advice of sages, Rama along with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the lingam here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya incurred while killing of the Brahmin Ravana.To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have the largest lingam and directed his monkey lieutenant Hanuman to bring it from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita built a small lingam, which is believed to be the one in the sanctum of the temple. Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameswaram from where Rama is believed to have built a floating stone bridge, the Ramsetu bridge, that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. According to another version, as quoted in Adhyatma Ramayana, Rama installed the lingam before the construction of the bridge to Lanka.
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