Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trip to Devipattinam Navagraha Temple & Rameshwaram

Has it ever happened that you set out for a trip fully prepared and everything is hunky dory except that you forget to take pictures?? Well it happened to us yesterday ! 
A breezy sunday morning,we set out for Devipattinam fully stocked with water, snacks, extra set of clothes & towels and of course the camera! 
After about a good 6-7 hrs we remembered that we are not taking pictures and made up for it by taking a precious few !

Our first stop--- Devipattinam (Navagraha Temple)

The highlight of this humble coastal village (also called as Navabhashanam- meaning nine stones) is the Navagraha Temple (Nine Planets Temple). Legend is that Lord Ram installed nine stones signifying the nine planets in the sea and worshipped them before he left to conquer Lanka (the present day Srilanka)! Those stones signifying the planets are partly submerged in the sea and any devotee touching the soil of the land is blessed for life ! The temple is said to relieve one of all past and present lives sins ! One more notable feature is that the devotees can perform puja on their own, though we saw some priests like people also performing pujas on behalf of the devotees. But the thing that was very disheartening was the lack of hygiene and sanitation in such a holy place. Not only was the water littered with all crap, i could also see pigs happily loitering away ! It is also imperative that devotess coming to perform pujas can do their bit by binning the covers of the puja-items ! Also the locals of the village can team up and do their weekly cleaning. Something needs to be done instantly otherwise we are in a peril of losing such a divine wonder to utmost carelessness !

Rameshwaram ---

An island situated in the Gulf of Mannar,Rameshwaram is a very holy place because it is from here Lord Ram built a bridge (Ram Setu/Rama Palam /Adam's Bridge)across the sea to rescue Sita from the captive of Ravan.
The presiding deity of this temple- Linga of the Ranganathar is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India. This place is commonly referred to as the Benaras of South and a visit to Benaras is incomplete without a visit to Rameshwaram.
This holy place is where Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva to cleanse himself of the sin of killing Ravan.
Rameshwaram has various sacred attractions including the most important Ramanathaswamy temple and of course the Theerthams, Rama padam, Dhanushkodi.
The Ramanathanswamy temple was built in 17th century and is a testimonial to archaeological beauty and prowess! We stood in line for the darshan of the presidding deity for a good 30-40 minutes (this after buying a special entrance ticket) , but the wait was well worth it ! Darshan of the Ramanathaswamy was very satisfying and am still awe-struck by the image firmly etched in my mind.

Legend has that upon the advice of Rishis (sages), Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the Sivalinga here to expiate the sin of killing Ravana. Rama fixed an auspicious time for the installation and sent Hanuman to Mount Kailas to bring a lingam. As Hanuman could not return in time Sita herself made a linga of sand. When Anjaneya returned with a linga from Mount Kailas the rituals had been over. To comfort the disappointed Anjaneya, Rama had Anjaneya’s lingam (Visvalingam) also installed by the side of Ramalinga, and ordained that rituals be performed first to the Visvalingam. (Source: Wiki)


Dhanushkodi named after Rama's bow,is a village at the southern tip of the island. Dhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964. Kothandaramaswamy temple is the only remains of the cyclone. Idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (brother of Ravana) are here. It is believed Vibhishana surrenderd to Lord Ram here and was later coronated  as the ruler of Lanka

Travel to Dhanushkodi from rameshwaram is by trucks/tempos that are suited to the sandy ground from a point called as  Moonram chathiram; the vans are diesel/kerosene driven vehicles that run or rather bumps ahead with whole lot of people sandwiched in, hanging out and  sitting on top of the vehicle. The ride is roughly 7-8 kms and the end of the ride is a beautiful island, the seas being Bay of Bengal and Indian ocean, it seems when looked from the top they look like bow n arrow !

A few pics here---

While coming back from Rameshwaram we stopped on the Pamban Bridge to take a few clicks. This is the second longest sea bridge in India (first being Bandra-Worli Sea Link). It connects Rameshwaram on Pamban island to mainland India

From the elevated two-lane road bridge, adjoining islands and the parallel rail bridge below can be viewed.The railroad bridge is a still-functioning bridge that can be raised to let ships pass under the bridge. (Source : Wiki). 
Our tired faces mustering some smiles for the camera!