PAGE : GALLERY / RAMANATHASWAMY TEMPLE, RAMESWARAM
RAMESWARAM - Virtual Tour


RAMESWARAM

  • Category : TEMPLE
  • Period : 12th Century A.D.
  • Credits : HR & CE




RAMANATHASWAMY TEMPLE, RAMESWARAM


Virtual Tour of Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram - through our website you can walk-around the Ramanathaswamy temple virtually and get feel of being there in the Temple.

Rameswaram

This sacred Hindu island, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway, is believed to be the place where Rama worshipped Shiva fter crossing over from Srilanka. Having killed Ravana, Rama wished to purify himself bymaking offerings to the linga. This emblem is teh chief object of worship in the Ramalingeshvara shrine. 2km to the north is Gandhamadana hill, which is crowned by a small temple enshrining the footprint of Rama. At the extreme south-easternend of island is the bathing spot known as Dhanushkodi, where Rama is supposed to have bathed.

The Rameshwaram complex is built in the northern part of the island at a point where the land rises gently, overlooking a lake. Although it was founded during the Chola period, the temple belongs mostly to the Nayaka period. In the 17th-18th centuries it benifited greatly from the endowments made by the sethupathi rulers of nearby Ramnad.

Ramanathaswamy Temple

This comples is contained within a vast rectangle of high walls, with towered gopuras in the middle of three sides. The cast gopura is positioned in the wall of the intermediate enclosure; two entrances in the peripheral walls on this side, one leading to the principal sanctuary, the other to the Devi shrine, are approached through column mandapas. The towere of these gopuras are constructed of strone; those on the east and west were completed comparatively recently. Their diminishing storeys rise in a pyramidal mass to the crowning vaulted roof.

The gateways lead to a spacious corridor, which surrounds the intermediate enclosure on four sides, and also to a large tank and several subsidiary shrines. the colonnade is exceptional for its great length, 205m(671ft) on the north and the south sides. The receding perspective of piers is a characteristic feature of the temple. These piers are raised on a moulded basement; their shafts are asorned with scroll work and lotus designs(covered with plaster). Large pendant lotus brackets rest on crouching yalis. Traces of painted medallions with figures are preserved on the ceilings. The colonnade on the west side is interrupted by the Chokkattam corridor, which leads from the outer gopura to the second enclosure wall. The piers in this corridor are carved with rearing animals, warriors, maidens and other figures.

On the west side of outer enclosure are several earlier shrines dating from the 12th century; some of these are built into the later colonnade. These small structures have simply moulded basements, pilastered walls, with traces of sculptures in the niches and single-or double-storeys towers crowned by hemispherical roofs.

Two gateways on the east lead to the colonnaded corridor of the intermediate enclosure. Two more entrances provide access into the innermost zone, where the principal shrines are located. Preceding these are a columned mandapa, a tank, a pavilion sheltering a large Nandhi image, and several subsidiary sanctuaries. Both the shrines are surrounded by enclosure walls; the one on the north house the linga worshipped by Rama and the one on the south is for the goddess Parvati.

Portrait sculptures of the Nayaka rulers and their ministers are carved on to the coloumns in front (east) of the Ramalinga shrine; attendant maidens adorn the columns in front of the Devi shrine.

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