Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram – Connectivity
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
The National highway NH 49 connects Madurai to Dhanushkodi, linking major towns like Manamadurai, Paramakudi, and Ramanathapuram in the Ramanathapuram district. The Rameswaram municipality covers a total road length of 52 km and 20 km of national highway covering about 80 percent of the town. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation runs daily services connecting various cities to Rameswaram and operates a computerized reservation center in the municipal bus stand of Rameswaram.
The city is well connected to Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai and Trichy. It is also connected to Pondicherry and Thanjavur via Madurai. Rameshwaram is connected to the mainland India by the Pamban Bridge (Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge).
Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Service links Rameshwaram with a number of destinations of Tamil Nadu as well as other cities of neighboring states such as Thiruvallur, Kanyakumari, Trichy, Madurai, Thanjavur, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Bangalore, and Chennai etc.
Overnight deluxe super-fast luxury buses provide connectivity with Bangalore and Chennai from Rameshwaram. Renting a cab is a more comfortable and convenient alternative to reach Rameshwaram by road. NH 49, NH 85 and SH 38 are three major highways that connect Rameshwaram with the extensive road network of India.
Rameshwaram is located nearly 168 km from Madurai, 178 km from Thoothukudi, 229 km from Tiruchirappalli, 238 km from Thanjavur, 297 km from Kanyakumari, 401 km from Puducherry, 512 km from Vellore, 535 km from Chennai, 605 km from Bangalore, 1595 km from Mumbai and 2631 km from Delhi.
There are daily express trains connecting major cities in Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore. There are weekly express trains connecting Coimbatore, Varanasi and Bhubaneswar. Passenger trains ply from Rameswaram to Madurai and Trichy daily, making railways as the major mode of transportation. The Ramanathapuram – Rameswaram National Highway is the main connecting link from Rameswaram to the mainland. Prior to the 1914 train service linking the mainland with Rameswaram, boats were the only mode of transport to Rameswaram Island.
Pamban Bridge is a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait that connects Rameswaram to mainland India. The railway bridge is 6,776 ft. (2,065 m) and was opened to traffic in 1914. The railroad bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge section that can be raised to let ships pass under it. The railway bridge historically carried metre-gauge trains on it, but Indian Railways upgraded the bridge to carry broad-gauge trains in a project that finished on 12 August 2007.
Historically, the two leaves of the bridge were opened manually using levers by workers. About 10 ships – cargo carriers, coast guard ships, fishing vessels and oil tankers pass through the bridge every month. After completion of bridge, metre-gauge lines were laid from Mandapam up to Pamban Station, from where the railway lines bifurcated into two directions, one towards Rameswaram about 6.25 miles (10.06 km) up and another branch line of 15 miles (24 km) terminating at Dhanushkodi.
The noted Boat Mail ran on this track between 1915 and 1964 from Chennai Egmore up to Dhanushkodi, from where the passengers were ferried to Talai Mannar in Ceylon. The metre-gauge branch line from Pamban Junction to Dhanushkodi was abandoned after it was destroyed in a cyclone in 1964.
Rameshwaram is well connected by railway route and it happens to be a major railhead of the ‘Southern Railways’ and a terminus of the meter gauge line. The railway station of Rameshwaram is located at Mandapam about 3 kilometers from the center of the city. Frequent trains plying to and from Rameshwaram connect this holy city with several other important cities of India such as; Bangalore, Madurai, Mysore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Hubli, Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur, Okha, Bhubaneshwar etc.
Chief trains running on this route are Rameshwaram Exp, Rameshwaram Chennai Exp, Rameshwaram - Okha Exp, Bangalore Exp, Hubli Exp, Sethu Exp, etc.
Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge (popularly known as Pamban Bridge) is an important landmark of Rameshwaram that connects Rameshwaram with the mainland India by rail line as well. Rameshwaram is connected by rail with Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Thanjavur and other important cities. The two kilometers stretch of Indira Gandhi Bridge connects the island of Rameshwaram to the mainland of Mandapan.
Madurai Airport, located approximately 174 kilometers from Rameshwaram is the nearest airbase from here. This domestic airport of Madurai provides a very good connectivity with some of the major cities of India such as Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trichy, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, etc. via air.
The chief airlines operating at Madurai Airport include Air India, Indian Airlines, Kingfisher Red, Jet Airways, Paramount Airways and Spicejet. Madurai is linked with Rameshwaram via NH 49 which happens to be the shortest route and it takes about 3 and half hours to cover the distance between Madurai and Rameshwaram. Tourists generally prefer to rent a cab which costs nearly 2500 INR for a return trip from Madurai.
Rameswaram is the important port among all the ports in the district, having a ferry service to Talai Mannar of Sri Lanka, though not operational throughout the year. Limited foreign trade is conducted with Jaffna, Kaits, Talaimannar and Colombo.
Local buses are available for transport well within city. While traveling within the township, you may hire Jeeps, Auto Rickshaws, Cabs and even cycle rickshaw.