Footloose can be an exhilarating experience and driven by that stimuli I took a sojourn to RAmanathapuram ( district in Tamil nadu which houses the Rameshwaram temple).
Ramanathapuram with its off edge location right by the celestial bay of Bengal ,azure blue water ,meditative atmoshphere is one such place which casts a soothing spell on you.
The stellar views of a passenger train chuckling over the Pamban bridge (one of its kind),the eerie experience of wandering in the desolated island of Dhanushkodi can be a mesmerizing affair for an wayfarer like me.Not to forget the Rameswaram temple by the sea and its spiritually healing aura is a definite visit while in Ramanathapuram.
- One can reach ramanathapuram(rameswaram) which is well connected to Chennai and the temple town of Madurai being 175 km far both by means of road and rail transport .taxis ply from madurai and also the frequent state transport buses are also an budgetary way to commute .Rameswaram welcomes you with options to stay from budget to comfort to right by the sea promenade luxorious accommodation - Tamil nadu hotel & Jiwan residency to name a few (you can hear the waves by your room and let the fresh breeze gush in by just a mere window slide).
- On the way to Rameswaram 15 kms prior to it is the island of pamban which has the pamban rail bridge .A stop over by the bridge is not only a visual delight but can also provide a memorable capture for the shutterbugs.If you are on time a passenger train over the rail bridge can be an awestruck moment.The bridge also decides to unbolt itself at times when it allows ships to pass underneath .The sight of the bridge folding its rails and hanging them upwards to allow the ship pass is just a another shutter delight.
- After a comfortable stay by the promenade with hygienic food to offer one has to wake up early the next morning to submerge in the divine feel of Rameswaram temple ,bow to the divine settings and get spiritually healed.
- The visit to the temple starts by taking a dip in the sea @ agni theertham followed by a pious bath at 22 of wells inside the temple premises( each well has a different temp and taste of water to it) Yes,after all they are dedicated to 22 different deities,planets & other benovalent kings.Each well is believed to cure you of a certain err which are mentioned in the Hindu pantheon & will render the devotee pious to visit the presiding deity of the temple.
- After the Darshan and a walk around of the temple premises one can shop for the formidable collection of conchs and other sea species souvenirs and handmades.
- Outside the temple premises by the agnee theertam an hourly bus takes you to Dhanuskodi which is 15 kms far .Dhanuskodi was once a bustling settlement but devastated by a cyclone is now an eerie town with few fisherman huts.The last part of the island visit has to be done by 4*4 jeeos that are available on sharing basis.
- Do take 4 hours in total time to plan a visit to Dhanuskodi
- After your return one can take a boat ride from Agnes theertham to overwhelm oneself with views of the magnamous sun setting in pristine waters.
- After the ride devotees can visit the temple for the shayan aarti at 8 pm or can catch a train for their journey ahead.
Ramanatahapuram with its sense of calm pristine waters and spiritual aura definitely is a rewarding destination.