Ramanathaswamy Temple Rameswaram
Ramanathaswamy Temple Rameswaram a Hindu temple devoted to god Shiva located in one of the island state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the twelve Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam– the pillar of light and it is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
The temple expansion was done by the kings of Pandya Dynasty during 12th century and its principal shrines sanctum were renovated by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom.
The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. The temple is considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas.
The famous trio of Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, [Nayanar- Saivaite saints] have glorified the temple with their songs.
According to the Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve sin of killing a brahmana, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka.
Rama wanted to have the largest lingam to worship Shiva. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lieutenant in his army, to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita, the wife of Rama, built a small lingam out of the sand available in the sea shore, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.
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, has to be worshipped first as it was brought by Lord Hanuman – the tradition continues even today