Monday, January 11, 2016

Planning Rameshwaram: An Introduction, How to Reach, Where to Stay.

The intensity of faith, the bustle of rituals, the depth of history,
the music of silence, the picture of simplicity, the intrigue of legendary stories…

Holy town of Rameshwaram - the station

Welcome to the Land of Rameshwaram!

11 - 15 November 2016:

I had a taste of all of the above and more in my recent trip down south to the holy pilgrim town of Rameshwaram during the auspicious festival of Diwali.

Along with Dwarka, Puri and Badrinath - Rameshwaram is one among the chaar dhaams of the Hindus situated on the Panbam island in the state of Tamil Nadu, connected to the Indian mainland via the architectural marvel Panbam bridge. According to Ancient Hindu Puranas or Scriptures, a pilgrimage to holiest of the holy city Varanasi is incomplete without a visit here. How deeply rich is this land's antiquity!

The prospect of the trip, my second call to the place (the first one being when I was very young) excited me as soon as my father had suggested it. Excitement further soared when the trip was stamped - with the tickets to the place being booked 2 months in advance.


We had 3 days to spare for the holy town, arrival and departure inclusive, followed by 1 day in Chennai from where we had our flight back to Mumbai.

While the Temple Darshan was scheduled for the main Diwali day, a lot of flexibility went into the planning and itinerary of the other days.

The mystical abandoned town of Dhanushkodi was one place that ranked high up as one of my places to visit along with a few other places in and around the town that were duly jotted down by dad after reading a few random blogs on the internet.

I, to my credit, scouted for a good hotel for our stay both in Chennai and Rameshwaram. Rameshwaram is packed with hotels for every budget, pocket and needs, so do your research and choose accordingly.


TTDC’s hotel had fabulous reviews and pictures on TripAdvisor, immediately capturing my attention. I tried booking their sea-facing family room but alas! All their sea-facing rooms had gone.

Next, I settled for Brindavan residency, and though it didn’t afford a sea-facing view, it definitely proved worth the money.

Brindavan Residence, Where to stay in Rameshwaram

Brindavan Residency is a neat, budget hotel conveniently located at walking distance to the temple and the sea-shore, Agni Teertham. Despite its proximity to the sacred shores, the location of the hotel is such that it keeps all the cacophony of the pilgrim centre at bay. We booked a 4 bedded family room (Rs. 2200 per night) for ourselves in advance via e-mail by paying a sum of Rs. 1000 upfront.

Brindavan Residency, Where to stay in Rameshwaram

Brindavan Residency room, where to stay in Rameshwaram

The room was not very spacious but comfortable enough for our two nights stay. The bathroom was well-kept and clean as well. The room came with Wi-Fi, good enough for me to engage in a few Instagram posts and some twitter as well.

We booked a cab from the hotel for the third day for Dhanushkodi + sight-seeing for Rs. 1800/- and found it pretty reasonable considering the places we covered.

Tariff for 4 bedded AC: 2200/- incl. taxes.
Hotel Brindavan Residency A/C,
21/26-A1,Agasthiyar Theertham St, Near Agni Theertham, 
Phone: 04573-222252.
Mobile: 09655814595 , 09443060011.
Email: /


Rameshwaram is located on the Panbam island connected to Indian mainland via the iconic Panbam bridge. The best period to visit Rameshwaram is between October and April.

We reached Chennai from Mumbai by air and then took a connecting train - Rameshwaram Express (16101) to Rameshwaram from Chennai.

Landscape view from Rameshwaram Express from train

Views like these kept me enthralled throughout the train journey.

And then, there came the Panbam Bridge, India's first sea bridge and second longest! No matter the nature of the transportation mode, don’t miss the sight of this engineering spectacle Panbam Bridge - it is a major highlight in the journey to this pilgrimage city!

I clicked this sight of the pedestrian version of the Panbam bridge from the train moving on the rail bridge while standing at the door, much to the chagrin of my brother!

Panbam bridge from the Rameshwaram express

And this picture of the clear aqua blue Rameshwaram Sea
or the Palk Straight from the other door.

Crossing the Panbam straight from Rameshwaram Express train

Besides railways, alternatively you can go for air or roads to reach the place. Rameshwaram is well connected to all major cities across India and can be reached through air, railways and roads.

By Air: The nearest domestic airport is in Madurai, 163 km from Rameshwaram. Once you reach the airport, you can take a private cab or taxis to reach the pilgrim town.

By Road: Via road, the city is well connected to major cities in Tamil Nadu like Madurai (169 km), Tiruchirappalli (271 km), Thanjavur (231 km), Kanyakumari and Chennai (600 km) via frequent buses.

From Chennai, it takes around 10 hours to reach the destination.

By Train: Rameshwaram is well connected with major cities like Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Thanjavur and Chennai by Indian railways as well so reaching Rameshwaram by trains is easy.

As the rickshaw driver charged Rs. 100 to drive us to our hotel, I looked forward to explore this little but deeply mythical Land of Lord Shri Ram… the same place where He built a bridge to cross over to Sri Lanka to rescue His beloved, Sita from the demonic clutches of Ravana... the same place where He prayed to Lord Shiva to absolve Him of His sin of killing the demonic monster Ravana, a brahmana... today, I am back from Rameshwaram but remnants of the time I spent wandering among those sacred sands continue to stick in the chambers of my soul. Will spill a few of these in the posts to follow. Do come along!

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  1. Am hoping to do this one of these long weekends. Will definitely use your tips.

  2. Great Post and the picture of the 'clear aqua blue Sea'
    is a wonderful shot!

  3. This is probably one of the most comprehensive guides for Rameshwaram if someone wants to visit the town. I would love to read about your experience at Dhanushkodi. Have you published it before?

    1. Nope, this was (to be) my first visit to Dhanushkodi and guess what... I missed visiting it this time as well! Incessant rains and cyclonic winds on the day made venturing further in the town unsafe. It was pretty disappointing to have missed out on such an interesting place but well, next time!

  4. Nice informative post,Beautiful pics.

  5. arti i always interest to visit madurai, from the picture that i see there is a lot of colorful temple around there. Not sure if it's easy flight conect from my country to madurai but i check there is good price flight to trichy from malaysia.

    so from rameshwaran do you able to see rama bridge ?

    1. I am not sure if Rama bridge is still visible today Mareta but I guess there's a point beyond this town called Dhanushkodi from which tourists still catch a glimpse. On the day we planned for Dhanushkodi, the place was badly grappling with strong cyclonic rains, hence I couldn't go any beyond or explore any further.

      I am yet to visit Madurai as well Mareta, but am sure you will love the place. I hope you can plan something soon :)

  6. What a lovely tribute and precise review.

  7. Looks like you had a great trip. That hotel is nice.

    1. Yes, it was! Thanks so much for all your help during the trip :)

    2. I think One more Beautiful hotel in Rameshwaram - Daiwik Hotels.
      This is very Beautiful hotel. You can try this hotel next time when you go at Rameshwaram again.

  8. Great post Arti... will keep this in mind :-)

  9. Rameshwaram is very divine sort of place.I have been there.There you get peace of mind that is more than tonic to someones life and soul.

  10. Great post and wonderful photos!Looking forward to more posts of your trip to Rameshwaram.

  11. Very informative Article! I had visited the place long ago:) wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  12. we stayed at Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation hotel and liked the space and location. The room were clean too!!

  13. Beautiful photos, especially the sea pics! They are so soothing for eyes filled with divinity and peace. Thanks for the helpful information, dear Arti. :)

  14. The way you have penned down your experiences of the trip to Rameshwaram is not only informative, but is also very very soulful.
    Spiritual places always attract me and I would surely like to visit this place sometime. Beautiful captures, Arti.The aqua blue Rameshwaram Sea looks so serene and tranquil. I can understand how much you must have enjoyed such delightful sights. Looking forward to the next post :)

  15. It's a wonderful guided tour to Rameshwaram. Thanks for presenting such details, dear The pictures are wonderful!... :-)

  16. Thank forr the information. Should come handy when planning for a trip to Rameshwaram

  17. As always I love the way you describe your Yatras.. those pics are amazing too..hope to visit Ramwshwaram some day..

  18. Oh another place I have to add to my have-to-go-to-list... Looks great! But you make all your travel-reviews so tempting my dear friend:-) Love your way with words as always and the pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing-) Hugs

  19. Rameswaram is definitely right up there on my wish list. Thank you for the hotel suggestions too. Loved your adventurous photographs!

  20. Informative post Arti. Nice captures.

  21. You sound really wonderful about the trip to Rameshwaram… it’s a dream for me to visit this place, and I have nothing to do with religious but the nature and views from Pamban bridge. Glad you got to stay well over there and the couple of shots on the bridge and sea were stunning!

  22. Nice post with detail description of all the places. Good places to visit.

  23. Now I must look for you on Instagram, Arti, so I can see more of your lovely world.

  24. Hi Arti,

    Coming to your blog after quite some time and almost feeling at home. I went to Rameshwaram with parents in 2006. Did not enter the temple, but I do remember the serene sea that welcomes others.

    Guess you loved the trip :)



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