Rameshwaram Temple or Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is an important pilgrimage site in Rameshwaram - a small island connected to the mainland via Pamban Bridge in Tamil Nadu. It was built in 17th century. Celebrated for its elaborate works, grand towers and corridors, this temple is a fine example of Dravidian architectural brilliance. It is believed that a visit to this temple washes away one's sins and brings salvation. Rameshwaram Shiva Temple is famous for housing one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The temple is also the southernmost 'jyotirlinga' of India. It is believed that at this place Lord Rama offered his gratitude to Lord Shiva. In the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara, Ramalingam and Vishvalingam are placed side by side. Rameshwaram Shivling is considered amongst the most pious shivlings in the country.
Ramanathswamy Temple has twenty two wells or teerthams in its complex. These Rameshwaram Temple 22 wells have water of different taste, temperature, salinity and have curative properties as well. In addition, the temple is famous for its magnificent corridors, gigantic granite columns, massive sculptured pillars, and a tall gopuram (gate tower). The third Rameshwaram Temple corridor is the longest one in the world. A spiritual Mani Darshan in Rameshwaram Temple happens at 4 o’clock every morning for an hour. This Mani is made of spatikam (a precious stone) and is in form of a shivling. Some accounts opine that this Mani is of “sheshnag” (Lord Vishnu’s bed).
There is an interesting Rameshwaram Temple history that states Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here, on his victorious return from Sri Lanka. Sages counseled Lord Rama to install and worship the 'Shivalingam' at this place, to be freed from the sin of killing a Brahmin. Lord Rama approved the idea and fixed a favorable time for the installation of Shivalingam. He sent Lord Hanuman to bring a 'lingam' from Mount Kailash. Lord Hanuman could not return in time. So, Sita made a 'linga' of sand and Lord Rama installed the same. When Hanuman returned with the 'linga', the installation formalities were over. To console the disheartened Hanuman, Rama installed his lingam (Visvalingam) next to Ramalinga and ordained that the rites would be made first to the Visvalingam by everyone who wants Rameshwaram Temple darshan.
To visit, Rameshwaram Temple in Tamil Nadu, devotees have to follow certain Rameshwaram Temple rules. They have to refrain from wearing lungi, bermudas, jeans, and tight-leggings while entering the temple.