Photo Travelogue :
Read first part - Here!

Well, travel to Rameshwaram cannot be complete without a visit to the main temple, around which the small town is built, right? It is the main focus-of-attention there. And we had the temple priests or rather temple assistants right at our hotel lobby itself, to tell us the timings of various pujas and guide us. There was one in the afternoon that day, and since we already missed the morning one, we decided not to miss this one. So, after lunch and having a quick wash in our rooms, we got in the vehicle. Once there, we saw heavy security deployed ( at gates of the temple ) and carrying cameras of any kind inside was strictly prohibited. They have a list of do's & don'ts on a board, stuck to one side of the temple gate. During frisking I did try to sneak in my mobile, but was not allowed. Without camera I had no interest in the insides of the temple ( I'm non-believer you see ). So, while the others went in for a lengthy puja ritual, I just strolled about outside trying to capture the temple's magnificent architecture. I tried befriending the police-women at the gates too, and though they talked heartily in heavily accented tamilish-hindi, they wouldn't even offer me a seat; so asking them to let me go inside was futile.

Hardly 1-2 flower shops were in that side, maybe they were in the eastern entrance of the temple!

Ramanathaswamy Temple - The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy ( Shiva ) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum - one built by Goddess Sita, from sand, residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Lord Hanuman - the tradition continue even today. Built in the 17th century, the corridor of Ramnathswamy Temple at Rameshwaram is the largest temple corridor in India. The temple has 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and has 1200 gigantic granite columns. Only Hindus are allowed inside the sanctum santorum of the temple. There are 22 wells that have water collected from various rivers from around India, that is believed to have medicinal properties as well. Scores of people take a dip in the sea ( Agnitheertham - which was believed to be the first well that got immersed, on the eastern side of the island; with a 54 metre tall gopuram.), before entering the temple, and then have bath from the other wells. There are Mutts located around the temple area, where one can fix with a purohit/pandit for a nominal amount, to help with the bathing in the 22 wells, thus, avoiding queues. ( wiki )

So, while I was simply loitering around, out of nowhere all these monks/priests started appearing and all were headed towards the temple. Naturally, I started doing click click immediately, as they kept coming one after the other and formed a huge crowd around the gate. While I watch them, I wondered it must be their daily routine. What a life to live dedicated to one's faith.

Some other pictures I managed to click - cows in middle of the road ( aren't they cute? ), a hero/politician ( dunno name ) on a lamp post, some foreign tourists, some lungi clad locals ( with some of them looking at me weirdly :-) and the beautiful sea-shell artifacts! Aren't they pretty? Well, its a small unassuming little-town and seeing the quaint lifestyle is intriguing indeed.

The rest of the bloggers came out really late, they had all bathed and all because their hair/
clothes were bit wet. They carried bottles of holy water too. Ah, I never understand these stuff ( nor do I want to :| ), but its interesting to see what people believe in no matter how modern or educated they may be. Anyways, since we still had time and it wasn't dark yet, we started heading off to another location soon. Read next post to find out ;-)

Rameshwaram - is a town and a second grade municipality in the Ramanathapuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Travelling overnight by train from Chennai, is ideal to get glimpse of its old Pamban bridge.
Read next part - Here! Stay tuned for all my road, rail, flight, cruise & walk trips.
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