Travel   Engine

Rameswaram - Top 10 places to visit


Top 10 Places To Visit In Rameswaram

This Guide Contains

Top Places (Detailed)

Time Required

Ticket Links

Cost Breakdown

Interactive Map with Day Plans

Transport Options

What to Eat/Drink?

Rameswaram is a beautiful little town in the southern most tip of India and is located on an island called Pamban Island. This island is connected to India only via two bridges. You would visit Rameswaram to explore either one (or both in some cases) of its two specialties - Its spiritual side or its adrenaline filled ‘water-sports’ side! Apart from these two main attractions there are a couple of unique places and viewpoints that interests its visitors - Pamban bridge, Dhanushkodi and Rama Setu to name a few. Read on to find out more about each of these places.

(Map included at the bottom of the article)


🥘 What should I eat?

South Indian vegetarian cuisine is most widely available and is the go-to option preferred by the locals.

🍛 Dosa with sambar, curry and chutney
🍛 Idli and Vada with chutney
🍛 Vegetarian meals (comes with an array of mouth tingling curries)

Sri Saravana Bhavana is the most famous chain of restaurants for authentic vegetarian food. They have multiple outlets spread throughout the town.

Mr Fish Seafood is a good one to try fresh and spicy seafood dishes.

Daiwik Hotels - If you are looking for a more formal and elegant place to eat.


1) Pamban Bridge

 💳 Free  | 🕑 30 mins 

What is it?

Built in 1915, it is claimed to be the first bridge in India which was constructed over a sea. Located around 7km away from the holy town of Rameswaram, it is a cantilever bridge that connects Pamban Island with mainland India. (I know that you don’t know what that means so here you go: basically a part of the bridge opens up in between to let ships pass by - The part that opens up shoots vertically upward and then once the job is done it gets back to its place!). This 100 year old bridge contains 143 pillars and with its remarkable length of about 6,000 feet, it is the second longest sea-bridge in India (only after Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai). The most unique feature of the bridge, like we saw, is that it opens up right in the middle to let its ship buddies pass by. Quite a cool bridge eh!

Up until 1988, this was the only land way to get to Rameswaram from India. In 1988, a road bridge was constructed parallel to the Pamban bridge and was named the Indira Gandhi Road Bridge.

💡 Some parts of the movie Chennai Express was shot on this bridge. Next time you watch the movie, try to spot it!


2) Ramanathaswamy Temple

 💳 Free  | 🕑 1.5 hrs 

What is it?

The most popular temple in Rameswaram - It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is known for its intricate carvings, majestic towers and beautiful corridors - a fine example of Indian architecture brilliance. It forms 1/4th part of the holy Hindu Char Dham along with Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka. The temple has 22 teerthams, bathing in which is believed to atone the sins of devotees. It is undoubtedly the most important part of a Rameswaram tour. The importance that Kashi enjoys in the north part of India, Ramanathaswamy temple sure enjoys the same down south.

Story Time

When Lord Rama was returning to Ayodhya from Sri Lanka after killing Ravana, he and wife Sita are said to have halted in the hilltop of Gandhamadhana Parvatham in Rameswaram, for a quick break. On hearing about their arrival, many big sages from in and around flocked to seek Rama's blessings and to inform him that he has been cursed with 'Brāhmanahatya' (the act of killing a Brahmin, Ravana was a Brahmin). Rama then requested the sages to let him know what he could now do to be freed of this curse. The sages suggested installing a Shiva Linga and conducting a traditional pooja by abiding all the rules. Rama then summoned his trusted follower, Lord Hanuman to go to Kailasha and get a Shiva Linga. Hanuman obliged and swiftly reached Kailasha parvatha, but could not meet Lord Shiva. Anxious with time passing by, Hanuman prayed with all his heart to Shiva and impressed by his dedication Lord Shiva appeared and bestowed him with a Shiva Linga. Hanuman then returns obediently to his master. But alas, a lot of time has passed by and so has the muhuratham (auspicious time). With time passing by and no sight of Hanuman, the sages, Rama and Sita decided to install any Linga but at the right muhuratham. Sita then made a Shiva Linga using the sand from the shores, which is also believed to be the one in the sanctum of the temple.

⌚ Timings:
5.00am to 1.00pm
3.00pm to 9.00pm


3) Agni Teertham

 💳 Free  | 🕑 30 mins - 1 hr 

What is it?

Rameswaram is home to many famous teerthams and temples. Of the 22 teerthams in Rameswaram, Agni Teertham is most popular. It is one of the 64 sacred baths of India. This pilgrimage holds a significant place among Hindu devotees, who visit here to offer their prayers and atone their sins by bathing in its holy waters. Holy rituals for the dead are performed here.

⌚ Timings
5.00am to 6.00pm
🎫 Tickets
Entry is free of charge. ₹ 60 is charged for poojas.


4) Jatayu Teertham

 💳 Free  | 🕑 30 mins 
What is it?

Located 3.5 kms away from Ramanathaswamy temple, Jatayu teertham is popular for housing the sacred pond. A holy temple is constructed here in the memory of Jatayu, who was the most loyal to Lord Rama and helped him at various instances in getting herbs from the mountains.

Timings
6.00am to 7.00pm


5) Gandhamadhana Parvatham

 💳 Free  | 🕑 1 hr 
What is it?

Parvatham literally translates to mountain - It was this mountain which was carried by Lord Hanuman on his shoulders to fetch the medicinal herbs to save Lord Rama’s brother, Laxmana. Ramar Patham is a temple located on this parvatha. This pious and quaint religious spot is 3 km from the center of the town. It is highly revered, renowned and worshiped in South India. The temple is a massive two story edifice and Lord Rama’s feet are imprinted on the chakra placed in the temple.

⌚ Timings
6.00am to 6.00pm


6) Dhanushkodi (Ghost Town)

 💳 Free  | 🕑 3-5 hrs 

What is it?

The town of Dhanushkodi lies in the southern tip of Rameswaram and is covered on all four sides by water. It is located between the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. This beach town was heavily populated prior to the devastation caused by the storm of 1964. On December 22 of 1964, a massive cyclonic storm had made landfall in Dhanushkodi and killed more than 1,000 inhabitants. The island was then isolated by the government and was declared to be unfit for humans to live.

Story Time

Dhanushkodi literally translates to 'end of the bow'. We all have heard about Rama Setu (the floating bridge leading to Sri Lanka that Lord Rama had built with the help of the vanara sena, to get Sita back from Ravana's clutches) - This is where that bridge is assumed to have started from and to mark the beginning of the bridge Lord Rama had placed the end of his bow here and hence the name. Even to this day the bridge is said to be visible in satellite images as a submerged bridge! To the bare eye it looks like a red strip in the middle of the sea. Keep your eyes wide open and spot it.

Dhanushkodi today is inhabited by a handful of fishermen families. It is open to tourists, but entry is not allowed post 5 pm. Accommodation options are not available in Dhanushkodi, and one has to stay in the city of Rameswaram and ply to Dhanushkodi. The advantage of the town being sparsely inhabited is its breath-taking pristine blue sea water. Spend half a day here exploring the ruins left of this once beautiful city - you can find the ruins of a church and a police station, the merging of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean (called the Arichal Munai) and let the mysterious waters of Dhanushkodi hypnotise you!"

How to get there?
There is no bus station or railway station or airport in Dhanushkodi. The closest station is in Rameswaram. From here, one has to either opt for government busses or privately run jeeps.


7) A.P.J Abdul Kalam Memorial

 💳 ₹ 5  | 🕑 1.5 hrs 

What is it?

The everlasting memory of India’s great leader, former president, and a reputed scientist – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who always reflected the simplicity, depth, and calmness of Rameswaram through his life, is remarkably showcased in his memorial. Dr. Kalam’s teachings live through this monument, and ignites the belief in oneself to all those people who visit here. The pilgrimage site of Rameswaram, where people come to wash away their sins, has now gained a new place, in the form of Dr. Kalam’s memorial, where they could come to gain knowledge about the splendid life he lived.

⌚ Timings
9.00am to 5.00pm


8) Swami Vivekananda Memorial

 💳 ₹ 20 : Ferry Ride; ₹ 10 : Entrance Fee  | 🕑 1.5 hrs 

What is it?

It is a startling orange colored structure that has an interpretation center, museum as well as an aquarium that showcases a lot of marine species. The memorial near the Gulf of Mannar has a life-size statue of Swami Vivekananda, a photo gallery showcasing his life history and a meditation hall. Both sides of the wall have huge posters and the exhibition showcases Swamiji’s life and messages to make your own life great. Definitely recommend a visit to fill your soul with positivity and vigor to achieve great things in life!

⌚ Timings
9.00am to 5.00pm


9) Rama Setu (Adam’s Bridge)

 💳 Free  | 🕑 15 minutes 

What is it?

The historic landmark 30km bridge built with limestone shoals that connects Dhanushkodi in India to the Mannar island in Sri Lanka . It was built by Lord Rama along with the vanara sena to reach Lanka to rescue Goddess Sita who was abducted by the 10-headed demon Ravana. Look carefully and you can spot the bridge appearing as a submerged red band.


10) Ariyaman Beach

 💳 Free  | 🕑 45 minutes 
What is it?

Located on the side of Palk Bay in the district of Ramanathapuram, it is a 150m wide beach stretching to a length of 2km. It is an ideal place to spend a relaxing time with your friends or family. This beach offers many adventure activities and water-sport options for tourists. It also has a children’s park, an aquarium and a museum.


Water Sport Enthusiasts, Listen Up

A plethora of options are available for all you adrenaline junkies seeking your next adventure here in Rameswaram. The rates are quite reasonable and cheaper than in other parts of India. Here are the options along with the average prices -

  • Snorkeling (₹ 1,300 per head for 45 mins including equipment)
  • Scuba Diving (₹ 4,000 per head, 15ft including equipment)
  • Jet Ski (₹ 500 per head for a 5km ride)
  • Kayaking (₹ 300 per head - single, double and three seaters are the common options available)
  • Stand up Board (₹ 500 per head)
  • Wind Surfing (₹ 1,500 per head including a 2hr training session with an instructor)
  • Banana Ride (₹ 350 per head, 4-seater)
  • Fishing (₹ 350 per head, will be taken to deep sea)
  • Coral Watching on a glass bottom boat (₹ 200 per seat for a 30mins ride)
  • Kite Surfing
Places to try these activities -
  • Holy Island Water Sports
  • Quest

Quest Adventure Sports Academy “QASA” is a premier adventure sports training academy providing quality education to all aspects of aquatic sport, lifesaving & rescue while considering regional conservation & protection of natural resources. And now the good news - they are located in Rameswaram. You could enroll in one of their many courses and become a master at the adventure you fancy!

Tip : Take a month’s off from your monotonous life and stay at Rameswaram and learn a water sport. Sure to change your perspective of life, if not anything!
Check them out for more info : https://www.quest-asia.com/


Where to Stay in Rameswaram?

Rameswaram offers a host of places to stay. With the new age travelers looking for a beach getaway, here’s the list of hotels for your convenience:

Luxury Accommodations:

Great Accommodations:

Budget Backpacking:

Rameswaram Hotels Map:


Map

📌 Use the below interactive map for directions:

✔ Clicking the top right button opens the map in a new tab showing the different sections. Click on view map legend if browsing on phone
Save the map in your Google Maps for easy access later: Click the ⭐star button beside the name of the map. You can access the map later from Google Maps > Saved > Maps

Makiḻcciyāṉa payaṇam! :)
  • architecture and heritage
  • road trip
  • south india
  • transport and travel
  • water and sand
  • weekend getaway

  • Read . . . Travel . . . Share this article . . !


    Hi, we're Ayan & Apoorva

    ABOUT US

    Free spirited travelers, food connoisseurs and travel-inspiring storytellers. Follow us on our adventures from the cobblestone European streets to the uncharted Indian landscape and everything in between.