With a strong presence in Hindu mythology, Rameswaram carries a moniker of the “Varanasi of South” and boasts sacred temples. Mangroves, forests and bird sanctuaries appeal to nature enthusiasts,while a lively aquarium and long sandy beaches attract families.
Things to do
One of the most visited shrines in the area, Sugreevar Temple is named for the so-called monkey king who aided Lord Rama’s rescue of Goddess Sita. You can roam the temple and meditate around the holy Sita Kund pond. For spiritual cleansing and good health, join the throngs of bathers at the Jada Theertham water tank.
Take a deep dive into the natural environment at Pichavaram, an enormous mangrove forest that’s home to at least 177 indigenous bird species and a maze of channels, creeks, beaches, islands and mud flats. Board a Pichavaram Backwater cruise to explore the entire area or rent a kayak or canoe to paddle on your own.
Travelling with the family? Spend a day at Sea World Aquarium, where you can get up close to octopus, sea lizards and snake fish. There are also shark tanks and habitats for prawns, lobsters, rabbit fish and beach tamet.
Kids will also love Ariyaman Beach, a charming strip of sand with a children’s park, watchtower and plenty of spots for picnicking beneath towering casuarina trees. Water sports enthusiasts can go windsurfing, surfing, parasailing and boating at Dhanushkodi Beach. Small shops and stalls string along the seafront and sell handicrafts, beadworks and seashell trinkets.
Madurai Airport is about 177 kilometres away. You can rent a car or take a bus to Rameswaram. Taxis, city buses and cycle or auto rickshaws provide transportation around the city.