Trip to Rameshwaram holds immense religious significance for the Hindu faithful. The island of Rameshwaram is one of the main goals of Hindu pilgrims who come here to pay tribute to Lord Ram, the hero of the epic Ramayana, who came here in search of his consort, Sita. Ram is one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu and, to many pilgrims, Rameshwaram is as holy as Varanasi (Banaras / Kashi). On arrival, the pilgrims head straight for the Ramanathaswamy Temple, built on the site where Lord Ram worshipped Lord Shiva in order to do penance for having killed Ravan, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka (the ancient name of Sri Lanka). Rameshwaram is so intimately linked with the life of Lord Ram that, to the Hindus, every grain of its sand is considered sacred. Naturally, Rameshwaram pilgrimage tour happens to be very popular among the devout Hindus.
The temple of Rameshwaram is probably one of the most beautiful in all India in terms of sculpture. It rises above a lake as a vast rectangle about 1,000 feet long and 650 feet wide. It dates back to the 17th century although the process of building it took no less than three-and-a half centuries. The inspiration for its construction came from one of the princes of Sri Lanka. Though the tall gopuram is true representative of Dravidian style of temple structure but the corridors of the Rameshwaram Temple are unique. They surround the rectangle, stretching out over a distance of 4,000 feet. Through occasional apertures, light filters into these corridors and flits over the carved pillars lining every foot on both sides. Each pillar is an individual composition carved out of solid granite. But it is only one of an army, and the total effect of the two ranks standing watch on the sides of the corridors is quite overpowering. Leading authorities call this the most evolved of all Dravidian temples.
The Hindu pilgrims take holy bath at Dhanushkodi, the spot where the Bay of Bengal (Mahodadhi) meets the Indian Ocean (Ratnakara). It is considered one of the most pious duties. In addition to Ramanathasway Temple, Ram Setu, Gandhamadan Parvat & Dhanushkodi, a tourist must visit the village of the Setupatis. To the ancient and royal family of the Setupatis of Ramnad has from time immemorial been given the proud privilege of being wardens of the Ram Setu and protectors of the pilgrims that visit the sacred places cluster round the Setu and Rameshwaram. The inspiring scene of the meeting of the two oceans, the grand Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the noblest specimens of Dravidian style of temple architecture and the many holy and important places that the pilgrim has the chance of seeing and enjoying on the way are some of the highlights of Rameshwaram travel packages. In addition to visiting various shrines and sacred spots, special ‘darshans’ are arranged and ‘pujas’ are carried out on regular basis. Though Rameshwaram is visited by the Hindu pilgrims for religious purposes but several serene beaches like Pamban, Dhanushkodi and Olaikuda offer opportunity for leisure tourism to the visitors. Optima Travels specializes in hassle-free Rameshwaram holiday packages, depending on a tourist’s budget with options to stay at a luxurious hotel or budget hotel.