Ramanathaswamy means the master of Rama, so the 12th century temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Darvidian structure holds great significance to Hindus and devout believers try to make at least one pilgrimage in their lifetime. As well, the island is believed to be the site where Rama (as told in the Ramayana) stood gazing across the sea to Lanka where his wife, Sita had been captured by the evil king.
So it wasn’t surprising that as I strolled the temple’s long corridors, I shared the space with pilgrims from all over India. Voices echoed off the stone walls, the fragrant smell from garlands and incense drifted around the columns, and I felt the ripple of stone beneath my feet.
Staying in Rameswaram for over a month, I came to know this structure well and even entered its inner sanctuary where Hindus received blessings from the priest.