Rameshwaram tour package would take you to a journey which is sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind. One among the Four Dhams or “Chardham” , as they are popularly known in vernacular , Rameshwaram package is indeed meant for those devout Hindus who follow the path suggested by Adi Guru Shankaracharya.Adi
Adi Shankaracharya had established the four pilgrimage places one in each extreme direction of the Indian peninsula.These are Badrinath in the North, Dwarkadheesh in the west, Jagannath Puri in the East and Rameshwaram in the south.
This blog shares with you all that you must know while planning your Rameshwaram tour package. Thus, after reading this blog, we presume that you would be able to plan your Rameshwaram tour well.
Rameshwaram Tour Package, A Spiritual Journey
First of all, a tour plan for Rameshwaram usually constitutes a visit to the Temple Tour Circuit of Madurai, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari.
The tour starts upon arrival at Madurai, which is famous as the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is well connected with rest of the country having both a railway station as well as an airport. Apart from several trains, there are regular direct and via flights to Madurai from all major cities.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple (Image © Waytoindia.com)
Madurai is famous for its Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwar (lord Shiva).
(image © Waytoindia.com)
Temple is very beautiful and is a masterpiece of South Indian architecture with Gopuram adorned with colorful idols.
Rameshwaram Tour Package Travel Tip#1
The best time to visit Meenakshi temple is at the time of temple closing ceremony. Each night at about 9:00 pm Shiva is brought in the palanquin to the chamber of Meenakshi, her wife in a musical ceremony to retire for the day. One must visit and witness this event as a part of the Madurai Rameshwaram tour.
Rameshwaram Tour Package Travel Tip#2
Meenakshi Amman Temple has four gates in each of the four directions.While doing the parikrama of temple stopover at Temple Town Coffee shop. It is located opposite the North Gate of Meenakshi Amman Temple. You can enjoy the fantastic filter coffee and Simmering hot Medhu Vada at this shop.
Temple Town Coffee Shop (© Waytoindia.com)
Rameshwaram Tour Package Travel Tip#3
Just opposite to the Eastern Gate of Meenakshi Amman Temple is Pudhu Mandapam which is actually quite a busy local market.Start your visit to Meenakshi Amman Temple from Eastern side and you would be able to see the beautiful Nandi Swamy Idol .
Nandi Statue outside Meenakshi Temple , Madurai (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
If you wait a while you would see passing by locals stopping over and paying their obeisance to the sacred bull.
Nandi Statue Outside Pudhu Mandapam (Image © Waytoindia.com)
Coming back to Pudhu Mandapam , it was built by Thirumalai Nayakkar in the year 1628-1635 to celebrate Vasantotsav (the spring festival).The hall is characterized by huge stone pillars and beautifully crafted stone idols of Lord Sundareshwar and Meenakshi.An interesting thing not to be missed when your visit Pudhu Mandapam is Goddess Meenakshi’s idol with a triple breast.
Goddess Meenakshi’s Triple Breast Idol In Pudhu Mandapam (Image © Waytoindia.com)
Few other places worth visiting in and around Madurai which one must have on the list of Madurai Rameshwaram package are :
Thirumalai Nayakar Palace
Palace was built by Thirumalai Nayak, the king of Madurai’s Nayaka Dynasty between 1623 AD -1659 AD.The palace is famous for the light and sounds show that depicts the famous Tamil work Silappathikaram both in Tamil and English in the evening.Please refer the visitor timings below.
Timings of Thirumalai Nayakar Palace
General Visiting Timings: 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM.
Lunch Break: 01.00 PM to 01.30 PM
Sound & Light Show Time:
English Language: 6.45 PM to 7.35 PM.
Tamil Language: 8.00 PM to 8.50 PM.
Gandhi Memorial Museum
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Museum at Madurai (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, who is considered as the father of Indian Nation, a trust was created by the name of Mahatma Gandhi National Memorial Trust.The trust was given the work of creating memorials related to Mahatma Gandhi.Five such museums or sangrahalayas were built across India.Gandhi Memorial Museum at Madurai is one among those Museums that was established as a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi Memorial Museum Timings
10 am to 1 pm
2 pm to 5:45 pm
Arulmigu Kallalagar Thirukkoil, Alagar Kovil
Arulmigu Kallalagar Thirukkoil (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
Located about 22 Kms from Madurai is the temple of Lord Vishnu famous as the Arulmigu Kallalagar Thirukkoil or Alagar Kovil Temple. Famous for its Chithirai Festival, Alagar Kovil temple is a must visit for anyone visiting Madurai as a part of the Rameshwaram tour package.
Few other places of tourist interest in Madurai which one may visit on Madurai Rameshwaram tour are Pazhamudir Solai(one of the abodes of Lord Murugan or Arupedai Veedu), Koodal Azhagar Temple, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam and St. Mary’s Cathedral Church.
Madurai to Rameshwaram (170 Kms / 4 Hrs approximately)
The next leg of your Madurai Rameshwaram Kanyakumari tour shall take you to Rameshwaram, one of the holiest of the places for Hindus famous for the Ramanathaswamy Temple and other places linked mythologically to Lord Rama of the Ramayana epic.Ramanathaswamy Temple is also famous for being one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
The journey to Rameshwaram is itself a treat as you cross the Pamban bridge built over the Palk Strait, that connects the mainland India with the Pamban Island where Ramanathaswamy Temple is located.
Pamban Bridge (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
Sea breeze makes you feel ecstatic as you stopover somewhere midway on the Pamban bridge to catch a glimpse of the vast sea.The bridge opens up whenever there is a large ship that has to crossover.Once you have crossed the bridge you are on Pamban Island that is famously known as Rameshwaram to the tourists and pilgrims.
Rameshwaram Tour Package Travel Tip#4
Ramanathaswamy Temple or Rameshwaram Temple(Image ©Waytoindia.com)
The singularly most important thing to do at Rameshwaram is the Darshanam of Lord Shiva’s Shivalingam which is one among the twelve Jyotirlingas in India.It is absolutely necessary that those who wish to undertake the Rameshwaram tour know about the elaborate procedure of having Darshanam at the Ramanathaswamy Temple.
The Darshanam of Shivalingam at Rameshwaram is a four stage process that one has to follow.For the ease of travelers and pilgrims we are sharing the detailed process of Pooja at Rameshwaram Temple:
Stage 1: Darshanam of Mani Lingam or Sphatik Lingam
The first stage of Darshan at Ramanathaswamy Temple is the Darshan of Mani Lingam or Sphatik Lingam which is possible only for one hour in the morning between 05:00 am to 06:00 am.One can buy a priority Darshan slip also at INR 50 per person.Among the chanting of Om Namah Shivaya, the devotees get a chance to have a glimpse of the small Shivling made of Sphatik or Crystal.
State 2: Bath at Agniteeratham
Agniteeratham at Rameshwaram(Image ©Waytoindia.com)
After the Darshan of Mani Lingam, the devotees leave for a holy dip into Agniteeratham which is just about 250 meters from the temple.Interestingly , the water of sea at Agniteeratham is quite calm and serene, unlike the waves which one would expect at the sea shore.It is believed that Samudram had surrendered before Lord Rama at this point when Lord Rama had picked up his bow and arrow to dry the sea.
Stage 3: Teerath Snanam (Bath at 22 Wells)
Devotees taking bath at one of the 22 wells in Rameshwaram Temple(Image ©Waytoindia.com)
Once the devotees have taken bath at Agniteeratham, they return back to the temple complex where there are 22 wells.
Pilgrim taking bath at one of the 22 wells in Ramanathaswamy Temple (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
The devotees visit each of these wells one after the other and the temple functionaries pour water on them that has been pulled out from these wells.This process continues until the devotees have taken bath at each of the 22 wells.
Stage 4: Darshanam of main Shiva Lingam at Rameshwaram
After the bath at 22 wells in the temple, the devotees change their clothes drenched in water by now and get ready to have the Darshan of the Supreme Lord.Many pilgrims offer Gangajal that they have brought with them from Gaumukh or Gangotri in the north as it is considered as very auspicious.
This marks the completion of Pooja at the Ramanathaswamy Temple.
Some of the other places one may visit during Rameshwaram tour are:
#1 Ram Teerath
Ram Tirath (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#2 Laxman Teeratham
Laxman Tirath (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#3 Ramar Padam
Ramar Padam (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#4 Kothandaramaswamy Temple
Kothanda Ramar Temple (Where Rajtilak of Vibhishan was done by Lord Rama (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#5 Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple (Five faces of Hanuman Temple)
#6 Villoondi Theertham
#8 Nambu Nayagiamman Temple
#9 Jada Theertham
#10 Badrakaliamman Temple
#11 Satchi Hanuman Temple
#12 Sugreevar Theertham
If you wish to only visit Rameshwaram, you may start your journey back to Madurai. From Madurai, you can take your flight or train back to your home.
Up to this point, we suggest that you must stay at least one night at Madurai and two nights at Rameshwaram to comfortably complete the Rameshwaram tour.
However, we strongly suggest that those who can spare time and some extra budget should continue their journey to Kanyakumari – the next destination in this circuit of Madurai Rameshwaram Kanyakumari tour.
Rameshwaram to Kanyakumari (320 Kms / 6 Hours approximately)
For those who decide to go further on this exciting circuit of Madurai Rameshwaram Kanyakumari tour, we suggest that they should leave a bit early about 9 am so as to reach Kanyakumari by about 3 pm in the afternoon. The road from Rameshwaram to Kanyakumari is East Coast road that extends along the Bay of Bengal from Chennai to Kanyakumari.
While traveling along this road one would pass by fields with white mounds of salt on both the sides of the road.After passing through Tuticorin also called as Thoothukudi one can see an ocean of windmills which is a treat to watch.
Upon arrival at Kanyakumari, you would be thrilled to see the vast sea.We suggest that you stay at one of the hotels that have rooms with sea view.The first thing you must see at Kanyakumari for which Kanyakumari is famous for is its sunset.After check-in at the hotel, you must leave for the sunset point where you would be amazed and awestruck by the scenic and colorful sunset.
Sunset at Kanyakumari(Image ©Waytoindia.com)
If you are staying at one of the hotels near the Gandhi Memorial, we strongly recommend that you visit near the ferry point before the sunrise.You would love the experience of watching the Sun oozing out from the horizon dispersing myriad colors in the sky with beautiful silhouettes of Vivekanand Memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue.
Sunrise at Kanyakumari(Image ©Waytoindia.com)
Some of the other places to visit in Kanyakumari
#1 Kanyakumari Temple
Kanyakumari Temple (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#2 Gandhi Memorial
Gandhi Memorial , Kanyakumari (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#3 Vivekanand Rock Memorial
Vivekananda Rock Memorial , Kanyakumari (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
#4 Thiruvullavur Statue
Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari (Image ©Waytoindia.com)
After enjoying the scenic views at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, you would drive to Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum for your onward flight or train back home.The distance between Kanyakumari and Trivandrum is 100 Kms.However, due to traffic congestion, it takes almost 3.5 hours to drive this distance.
For those who would like to extend their trip beyond this, Kovalam, Varkala, Poovar offer stunning destinations.
Waytoindia.com has expertise in planning Rameshwaram Tour and those planning this tour can write on email@example.com or call 8527255991. The best part about Waytoindia’s Rameshwaram tour package is that they also connect you to Hindi /English speaking guides at Rameshwaram.This is very helpful as generally people at these destinations know only Tamil and it becomes very difficult for pilgrims or tourists from the other parts of the world to interact with them.
How to reach Rameshwaram?
Rameshwaram is located on the Pamban Island in the Ramanathapuram district of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. Rameshwaram is directly connected by road and rail with Madurai, Chennai, Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), Trichy and Tanjore.
Compiled below is the list of Trains and Air Flights to reach Rameshwaram from different cities of India :
Trains For Rameshwaram
Trains for Rameshwaram from Delhi:
There are no direct trains for Rameshwaram from Delhi.Those who wish to travel to Rameshwaram from Delhi by train on their Rameshwaram Tour may book Tamil Nadu Express (Train Number 12622) from New Delhi to Chennai Central.The train reaches Chennai at 07:10 am in the morning, from where they can travel on Rameshwaram Express (Train number 16101) which leaves 21:40 Hrs and reaches at Rameshwaram at about 11:15 am the next day morning.
Trains for Rameshwaram from Mumbai:
There are no direct trains for Rameshwaram from Mumbai.Those who wish to travel to Rameshwaram from Mumbai by train on their Rameshwaram tour may book any of the following trains:
- Madurai Express (Train Number 11043 ) from Lokmanya Tilak Station to Madurai Railway Station.(available only on Fridays)
- Nagarcoil Express( Train Number 16339) from Mumbai Central to Madurai Railway Station.(available only on Wednesday, Thursday , Friday, Sunday)
- Dadar Ten Express (Train Number 19568 ) from Lokmanya Tilak Station to Madurai Railway Station.(available only on Fridays)
From Madurai, they may board a train or still better take a taxi to Rameshwaram.
Trains for Rameshwaram from Chennai:
From Chennai Central, one may take Rameshwaram Express (Train number 16101) which leaves 21:40 Hrs and reaches at Rameshwaram at about 11:15 am the next day morning.Another Train is Train number 16713 which leaves Chennai at 21:40 Hrs and reaches Rameshwaram the next day at 11:15 am.
Trains for Rameshwaram from Tirupati:
If you wish to visit Rameshwaram, Train Number 16779 can be taken from Tirupati which runs only on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.This train leaves Tirupati at 12:40 Hrs and reaches Rameshwaram at 07:45 am the next day.
Trains Connecting Other Chardham Destinations With Rameshwaram:
For those who are doing the Chardham travel Circuit (Badrinath in the north, Dwarka in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east, Rameshwaram in the South), Train Number 18496 BBS RMM Express (Bhubaneswar – Rameshwaram Express) runs between Bhubaneswar and Rameshwaram on every Friday and takes about 35 hrs. to reach Rameshwaram from Bhubaneswar.
Flights For Rameshwaram
As of now, Rameshwaram does not have an Airport. The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is Madurai Airport which is about 175 Kms and it takes about 3.5 hours to reach Rameshwaram from Madurai Airport.
Madurai Airport is well connected with direct flights from Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.
Do let us know in case you require any further information for planning your Rameshwar Tour Package by writing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.You may send your inquiry and one of our destination expert on Rameshwaram shall help you in planning your Rameshwaram tour.
Note: Waytoindia.com also connects you to Hindi / English speaking guides in Rameshwaram to help you deal with the language problem.
Although we have tried to provide you the most comprehensive travel guide on Rameshwaram so that you can easily plan your Rameshwaram tour, yet please go through the following Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs related to this destination:
FAQs on Rameshwaram Tour Package
- How to reach Rameshwaram from Delhi? : Take train or flight to Chennai from Delhi. From Chennai take train or flight to Madurai. From Madurai you can either drive to or take train for Rameshwaram.
- What are the must visit places to visit in Rameshwaram? : Although a list of the same is given above, yet if we have to select the must visit places in Rameshwaram, it is the Ramanathaswamy Temple which one must visit.Most of the other places mentioned above (apart from Dhanushkodi, Kothanda Ramar Temple and Villoondi Teeratham are very close to the temple and can be covered easily in a few hours.
- Will it be difficult to interact with locals as I do not know Tamil? People in Tamil Nadu generally prefer to respond in Tamil only.However, if you book your Rameshwaram tour through Waytoindia.com, they would connect you to Hindi/English speaking guides and drivers in Rameshwaram.
- Are there good hotels in Rameshwaram? Thankfully, Rameshwaram has hotels in almost all categories to suit the budget of all type of travelers. As of now, there are no 5-star hotels in Rameshwaram. Daiwik hotel in Rameshwaram is a good luxury hotel. There are good hotels in the budget and deluxe categories also. To get a quotation for your Rameshwaram tour package write to email@example.com stating the category of hotels required by you.
- The procedure of Puja at Shri Ramanathaswamy Temple seems quite elaborate. Can I hire a guide who can help me in this? The procedure is indeed elaborate, however, you can hire the services of guides from outside the temple or pre-book a guide through Waytoindia.com. Beware of touts who try to extract money on the basis of different types of Puja from you.
- What is the best time to visit Rameshwaram? The best time to visit Rameshwaram is between October to March end.
Do let us know in case you have any other doubts in relation to planning your Rameshwaram tour and we would be happy to assist you.For this, as shared above kindly write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org .