A sacred coastal town in South India, the closest point in India to the neighboring country, Sri Lanka. Figures in the epic Ramayana, where Rama built a bridge from India to Sri Lanka to enable his army to cross the ocean.
Rameshwaram is well-known as the place where Rama built a bridge across the sea to Lanka, to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor, Ravana. The connection exists between Rameshwaram and Varanasi, a city in Northern India. Sadhguru explains the significance of this connection:
Sadhguru: There are thousands of sadhus and sanyasis, who, during the winter months, walk down 3,200 kilometers from the Himalayas to Rameshwaram. They collect water from Gangotri and walk all the way down to offer it to the linga at Rameshwaram. They complete this process, and by the time they are back at the Himalayas, it’s summer again.
The linga that Sadhguru refers to is at the Ramanathan temple, which is our next stop. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in various parts of India. There are other lingas at this temple too, each made of different materials like salt, crystal and sand. The temple also has 22 sacred water bodies that were consecrated by Patanjali – the father of modern yoga.
This small village at the southern tip of Rameshwaram island is famous for being the exact point where Rama’s bridge to Lanka begins. Rama is said to have marked the spot for the bridge here with one end of his famous bow.
Dhanushkodi was once a bustling town, but it was completely destroyed by a cyclone, half a century ago. A few remnants are left behind today. Train tracks, a railway station, a school and a few other buildings stand amidst the shifting sands and winds of the beach, giving the place an other-worldly feel.
▵ A Sacred Walk in Southern India (Isha)
▵ ABOUT SOUTHERN SOJOURN (Isha)