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The temple town of Rameswaram is situated south east of Madurai on an island in the Palk Strait. It is a very sacred place for the Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology, Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here to absolve himself of the sin of sending Ravana to the netherworld by assasinating him. A devotee who visits Varanasi is also expected to visit this place to gain the full fruit of his prayers. This place is sacred to Shaivites and Vaishnavites. Rameswaram is also one of the major marine food centres in the south with much of its fish and prawn catch being exported.
An Indo Norwegian fisheries project is functioning at Mandapam which also has a pearl culture project run by the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation from where pearls can be produced.
Places to see
The 1200 metres long pillar corridor of the Ramanathaswamy Temple, is the longest corridor in India. The temple is located close to the sea, on the eastern side of the island. It was built in the 17th century, and has 22 sacred wells, the water of each having a distinct taste.
This is the actual place where Lord Rama is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva. It is just 100 metres away from the Ramanathswamy Temple.
This shrine bears the imprint of Lord Rama's feet on a chakra. It is situated on the pinnacle of the island.
Located at a distance of 8 kms from Rameswaram, Lord Rama is said to have bathed here. The legendary bridge to Sri Lanka, where Ravana kept Sita after abducting her, was built from this place. This place has a great significance as most of the incidents mentioned in the Ramayana are said to have taken place here.
Ramanathapuram (56 kms)
The district headquarters and an ancient town, Ramanathapuram, is worth visiting for its Ram Vilas Palace. This palace of the Sethupati Rajas, houses oil portraits of the Rajas, of the past centuries. Ceilings and walls are decorated with early eighteenth century murals, depicting subjects such as business meetings with the English, and battles with the Maratha Sarabhoji, as well as scenes from epics.
Tirupullani (64 kms)
Also known as Dharbasayanam, the Vishnu temple at Tirupullani, is dedicated to Lord Adi Jagannatha Perumal.
Uthirakosamangai (72 kms)
The site is famous for the Shiva temple, the deity of which is carved in emerald. The annual 'Arudhra' festival in December, attracts a large number of tourists.
Erwadi (18 kms)
An important site for Muslim pilgrims, Erwadi houses the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. The annual festival in honour of this saint, takes place in December.
A large part of the state being on the coastal edge of the country, the weather is tropical and sultry for most part of the year. The summer months of April, May, June are hottest where temperature ranges to 40 degrees.
December and January are the peak months for Chennai. The temp ranges from 20-22 degrees. To avoid peak rush October is better. The weather in these months is pleasant and easy to bear the humidity.