Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It’s also one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples in India. It’s one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most deified Nayanars (Saivite saints), Appar, Sundarar, and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was expanded during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty, and its top sanctuaries sanctum were repaired by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna area.
The temple is located in Rameswaram considered a holy passage point for Shaivites, Vaishnavites, and Smarthas. The presiding deity, the Lingam of Ramanathaswamy (Shiva), was established and worshiped by Rama before crossing his ground to Lanka.
According to the Ramayana, Rama is the seventh icon of the god Vishnu. Rama directed Hanuman, the adjunct in his army, to bring a lingam from the Himalayas. When Hanuman was delayed in bringing the lingam, Devi Sita erected a small lingam out of the sand available in the underpinning, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.
The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy is the lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum-one erected by Rama, from sand, abiding as the main deity, Ramalingam, and the one brought by Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that the Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Hanuman-the tradition continues indeed moment.
Rameswaram is one of the numerous temples that has the distinction of being the Sthala, Murthy, Theertham. Ramanathaswamy Temple Theertham is truly special. These 22 Theerthams indicate the 22 arrows of Sri Rama. It is said that everyone should bathe in these Theerthams before going to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. There are nonfictional references that this is a tail scar trace that passed when trying to remove the Ramalingam to devote the lingam brought from Hanuman Kasi.