“If it were proposed one Temple which should exhibit all the beauties of the Dravidian style in their greatest perfection and at the same time exemplify all its characteristic defects of design , the choice would fall upon that at rameswaram. In no other temple has the same amount of patient industry been exhibited as here and in none. Unfortunately has the labor been so thrown away, for want of design appropriate to its display .While the temple at tanjore produces an effect greater than its due to it’s mass or detail, this one with double its dimensions and ten times elaboration, produces no effect externally and internally can only be seen in detail, so that the parts hardly in any instance aid one another in producing the effect aimed at …” – Fergusson – History of Indian Architecture
Ramanatha swamy Temple is the main Temple of the Rameswaram Island, thousands of pilgrims and tourists visits Ramanathaswamy temple every day for its sacredness and its architectural beauty.
This Temple is considered as a holy pilgrimage place among three important Indian religious sects.
It is believed that the Shiva – Linga in this shrine was installed by lord Ram in Thretha yuga (1.2 million years ago).
As it believed by Hindus Lord Ram came to rameswaram with his crew to worship Lord Shiva for vanishing his sin of killing Ravana.
To perform the worship and rituals they need Shiva lingam. As per the order Hanuman flew to Kailash to bring 2 Shivalinga for performing poojas (worship and rituals), Hanuman did it delay due to some reasons, By the mean time Sita playfully built a Shiva linga by sand, as the auspicious time for rituals ran off the saints told ram to perform pooja to the shivling made by Sita in the sea sand.
Pooja’s and rituals were performed to Shivlingam built by Sita devi. Hanuman reaches the Rameswaram shore with the shiva lingas after all the rituals were finished.
He asks Rama to perform pooja to the Shivalinga that he brought and try to remove the Shiva lingam already prayed (The one built out of sand). But he failed in his attempt of removing the Shivalinga . Ram compromise hanuman and told that “It is announced by me , the first pooja should be done here after to the Shiva linga that you brought and after that only the poojas and sacraments done for the Shivalinga worshiped by me”.
It is believed as per words of lord Rama the first pooja starts from Vishwanathar lingam till date (the Shiva linga brought by Hanuman is named as Vishwanathar)
Till the 10th century the Rameswaram temple is in the form of a small thatched shed , which is maintained under the governance of a saint. The temple and its structural constructions as we see now are mainly evolved between the period of 12th and 16th century CE by various kings.
Ramanathaswamy temple is built in the Style named as “Dravidian style”. The temple complex was covered by a compound wall (thiru mathil ). The compound wall extends 865 feet in East – West direction and 657 feet in South – North . There are 4 Gopuras (Tower on the top of temple entrance) in Ramanathaswamy Temple Stands one in each direction.
The Architectural beauty and the grandeur of the Rameswaram Temple is adorable and spectacular.
The places of the Ramanathaswamy Temple can be divided into following Categories (Click on the Link to know more)