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Rameshwaram Temple is situated in the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and is reached via the Pamban Bridge across the sea. Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama of the famous Hindu epic Ramayana offered his prayers to Lord Varuna, the sea god, to build the route to Lanka. Lord Varuna blessed him, offering an approval, stating that he will diminish the intensity of the sea waves in order to help him construct a stone bridge. The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kilometers and happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies major area of Rameshwaram. The eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height of 126 feet and has nine levels. The Western Rajagopuram is also quite impressive though not as tall as the Eastern one. The temple also has several mandapams with mini shrines to other deities.According to yet another legend, while returning to Ayodhya, Ram worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita. The huge temples are known for its long ornate corridors, towers and 36 theerthams. Rameshwaram Jyothirlinga represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and has been a time honored pilgrimage center held on par with Benaras. It is said that Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from Benaras. Anticipating delay in Hanuman’s return from Benaras, Rama offered worship to a Shivalingam at a pre-chosen auspicious moment. It is said that the names Ramalingam and the town Rameshwaram were thus got. The puja procedure at the principal temple Mani Darshanam, Samudra Snanam, Teerth Snanam, Main Puja are main pujas take place six times a day in the temple. From east to west, the length of the corridor is 197 meters and from south to north, the breadth of the corridor is 133 meters. There are other shrines dedicated to various minor deities and 22 ‘theerthams’ (source of sacred water) within the precinct of the temple. Devotees bathe in these waters before proceeding to the inner sanctum to receive ’dharshan’.

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