Rameswaram, which is also known as Ramesvaram or Ramisseram by locals, is a city geographically located at the top of the point in the Indian Peninsula and the Gulf of Mannar. Being separate from mainland India, the city, commonly known as Rameswaram Island, is very well connected to the mainland via the very impressive Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is special to the Indian people as it is known to be a truly holy place to the Hindu religion while it is also a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Rameswaram island also has close links to Sri Lanka and is located only 30 miles from Mannar Island. The history of the island is very vast with major events mainly happening due to its proximity as the main transit hub to Sri Lanka. The island also bears the very impressive architecture of the magnificent Ramanathaswamy Temple. The temple features artifacts of the Tevaram, which are a seventh-century Tamil composition on Lord Shiva, which were composed by Appar, Sundarar, and Thirugnanasambandar, who were three Saivites. Ruling of the island switched hands a few times between Rajendra Chola the first, who was a Chola King and the Jaffna Kingdom who ruled between 1215 and 1624 CE and who whilst in power, made many contributions to the Ramanathaswamy Temple which are still visible today. Rameswaram is known to be the place where Rama, who is a Hindu God, constructed a bridge across the sea to reach Sri Lanka, where he returned his wife from an abduction by Ravana. Rama is a very prominent figure on the island and has very close links to the temple. The holy town of Rameswaram and its locals are very proud of its temple and is also known to be a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites and Vaishnavites. From a geographic perspective, Rameswaram Is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka from India where historical artifacts suggest that Rama Sethu was once upon a time a land connection between the two countries. The town and the island are relative in size to an area of 53 km squared. Due to being so small in land area, the population is only just over 40,000, which for India is very small. The main industries in the town include tourism and fishing where most of the workers of the island work. The official language in the town is Tamil but people visiting the island won't have to worry about communicating in English. Best Season Rameshwaram is located in the southern part of India and hence you will find the climate on the tropical side. Therefore, the best time to visit Rameshwaram is in the winter and autumn months from October to April as during this period the climate is very cool and bearable. Getting There The nearest airport to Rameswaram is around 170 km away in Madurai where the Airport services both domestic and international flights. The main train station is a common source of transport and has good links with Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. Buses are also very common to get in and out of the town, with services very frequent and including night services. Tourist Attractions at Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple - The Ramanathaswamy Temple is the most prominent tourist attractions on the island and is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is so prominent due to its status of being one of twelve Jyotirlinga temples, which is where Lord Shiva is worshiped. In ancient history It is also said to be on out of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams in which to gain that status, the Nayanars saints glorified the temple through their songs. During the ruling of the Pandya Dynasty, the temple was built on and extended. The shrines that are located inside of the temple were renovated during the Jaffna Kingdom rule by leader Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan. The add to the glories of the temples, it also bears the longest corridor of any Hindu temples throughout the whole of India and is also considered to by a holy pilgrimage site for all Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. Mount Gandhamadana - Mount Gandhamadana is a remarkable feature of the town and is visible from wherever one is on the island due to its towering presence. The tallest mountain on the island, the mountain has great historical values as it is widely believed that Hindu God, Hanuman started his flight to retrieve his wife after her abduction to what is now modern day Sri Lanka. Mount Gandhamadana is featured in the vicinity of Osadhiprastha, a mythical city in the Himalayas by Kalidasa, where it is known to bear Santanaka trees. Historical tradition by the Nath's says that Parashurama, seeking revenge, found Dattatreya at the top of the mountain for spiritual guidance. The conversation at the top of the peak urged Tripura Rahasya, a treatise on Advaita Vedanta. It was at the top of the mountain that the Parashurama's cycle of death and rebirth was held no longer due to the deity instructions on knowledge of scripture and non-duality. Agni Tirtham - The Agni Tirtham is one of several Tirthas, which are located on the island. Features include the holy baths on the site, which are a popular and prominent point of interest for all visitors to the area. The Kothandaramaswamy Temple - The Kothandaramaswamy is a temple that was designed and constructed to serve and dedicated to Rama, who is a Hindu deity. Based at the very southern point of the island, the temple is one of the last remaining ancient buildings which managed to survive the tragedy of a brutal cyclone in the 1960's. As well as holding the deities of Rama, it also holds the deities from Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman and Vibhishana. At the forefront of the island's touristic prowess, the temple is encircled by the sea that is a fabulous feature for visitors. Located roughly eight miles from Rameswaram, the temple is a must visit attraction to all tourists and the short drive will certainly be worthwhile. Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge - Also known as the Pamban Bridge, it is a bridge that was constructed for the use of vehicles and trains on the Palk Strait which adjoins the island to the mainland. Constructed and opened in 1914, this impressive build became the first bridge over the sea and attracted huge interest from all over the world. Consisting of a double section, the bridge is able to lift in order to allow passing boats and ships to pass through. Must Do Activities Glass Boat Ride at Pamban Bridge - This glass boat ride is a fantastic way to enjoy the a peaceful day and to see the vastly impressive coral reefs which litter the sea. The boats bear a glass floor that allows you to see the corals and a great variety of sea creatures and fish. The tour is governed by the local state of Tamil Nadu and is of an enticing and fair price. It is recommended that tourists arrive in the early afternoon to get the best possible experience. To avoid the glaring sun on the glass, visitors should be sure to bring an umbrella to avoid this possibility. Accommodation Like most major cities in India, there is a wide variety of accommodation for visitors on all budgets including places with basic facilities for those on a budget and high-class locations with all of the latest and high-tech modern equipment. Recommended places include; Hotel Royal Park Tamilnadu Hotel Daiwik Hotels Rameshwaram Blue Coral Cottage All hotels can be reserved and booked by visiting their respective website. Blessed with a true sense of island culture, Rameswaram is a truly spectacular place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of mainland India life. Enriched with an impressive and great history, there will always be something to do and explore on the island while also being allowed to take in a range of impressively astute temples. A popular tourist spot, those who came before you are still always talking about this gem of a town, and you won’t be any different.