Located near the Gulf of Mannar, housed inside the popular pilgrim place of Rameshwaram Temple, the Rameshwar jyotirlinga is one among the 12 jyotirlingas (holy abodes of Lord Shiva) in the city of Rameshwaram located in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is said that the pilgrimage of Kashi for devotees is never complete without a visit to Rameshwar. The jyotirlinga here is situated right at the peninsular tip of Rameshwaram.
In religious aspects, Rameswaram is an integral part for pilgrims in both the parties – namely, the followers of Lord Shiva and the followers of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, as well as the great Indian epic Ramayana, it was Rameswaram where Lord Rama along with his army of monkeys had built a bridge to the sea of Sri Lanka in order to reach the country and defeat Raavan, who had kidnapped his wife Goddess Sita.
The place houses the popular temple called the Ramanathaswamy Temple, devoted to the most popular Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, and is also linked with Lord Rama. Coming to other holy aspects of the place, there are around 64 holy water bodies in the place where devotees take a holy dip to wash away their sins. The other structures include the Gandhamathana Parvatham—a hillock with Lord Rama’s footprints, and then the Dhanushkodi, which happens to be the ultimate tip of the entire island and houses the famous Kothandaramaswamy Temple, devoted to Lord Rama.
It is said that it was Lord Rama who had installed the Rameshwar Jyotirlinga here, formerly in the form of a sand made linga, which he would often worship when he was on his way to attack the demon Ravana. It is said that the reason behind him doing was the fact that once he was drinking water here from the sea shore and that is when he had heard a celestial proclamation, which said, ‘’You are drinking water without worshipping me.’’ And that phrase got Lord Rama to make a lingam using sand and start worshipping it, which as on today is known as the Rameshwar Jyotirlinga.
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