This Shivastalam is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in India. It represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India. A huge temple in the island of Rameswaram (reached via the Pamban bridge across the sea), Rameswaram is known for its long ornate corridors and towers and 36 theerthams. Rameswaram is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in India & is referred to as the Banaras of the south.
The consecration of the temple of Lord Rameshwar was done by none other than Lord Rama himself, and thus acquired his name. It is situated in a large island surrounded by sea in the southern side of India. It is approached from Madurai, which by itself is well connected by all means of transportation.
Another Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva is situated on the peninsular tip Rameshwaram. It was Lord Rama who installed this Linga there, when he was on his way to attack Ravana he reached this place where he made a linga of sand and worshipped it. It was also believed that when Lord Rama was drinking water on the seashore there was a celestial proclamation - You are drinking water without worshipping me. Listening to this Lord Rama made a linga of sand and worshipped it and asked to be blessed so that he could vanquish Ravana. Lord Shiva blessed him accordingly. He also requested Lord Shiva to reside eternally here so that entire mankind should benefit from it. Shiva then manifested himself as the Linga and got installed there for eternity
The temple is situated on the eastern coast. It is a huge structure with three parakaramsand several mandapams with mini shrines to other deities. There is a huge Anjaneya in a mini shrine. There is a huge Nandi measuring 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height., with the idols of Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker. The lingams are housed in the inner section of the Ramalingeshwara. High walls enclose the temple, forming a rectangle with huge pyramidal gopura entrances on each side. The gateways lead to the spacious closed ambulatory, flanked to either side by continuous platforms with massive pillers set on their edges. These corridors are the most famous attribute of the temple, their extreme - 205 metres, with 1212 pillars on the north and south sides - giving a remarkable impression of receding perspective. Delicate scrollwork and brackets of pendant lotuses supported by yalis, mythical lion-like beasts, adorn the pillars. There are shrines for Ganapathi and Subramanya. To the right of the Lords shrine is the shrine for Parvathi. To its North is the Kasi Viswanathars shrine.