Ramanatha Swamy is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Rameswaram, Tamilnadu. The temple has two ‘Lingas’ presiding, which are ‘Ramalingam’ and ‘Viswalingam’. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord RamanathaSwamy (Lord Shiva), is believed to have been established and worshiped by Lord Rama who was aided by Goddess Devi Sita and Lord Hanuman. Since demon King Ravana was a Brahmin and a devotee of Lord Shiva as well. ‘Ramalingam’ was the one built with sand by Goddess Devi Sita herself and ‘Viswalingam’ was the one brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailasha (abode of Lord Shiva).
As per legacy, Lord Rama wanted to have a large Lingam to worship Lord Shiva to absolve him of the sin of killing a Brahmin. Thus, he directed Lord Hanuman, (the monkey lieutenant in his army) to bring a Lingam from the Himalayas. However, when Lord Hanuman was delayed in bringing the Lingam. Ensured by the event, Goddess Devi Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, built a small Lingam out of the sand that was available on the seashore. Thus both the Lingam was then placed by Lord Rama.
According to another legacy, while returning to Ayodhya, Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Goddess Sita. It is said that Lord Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Lord Viswanathar from Benaras. Anticipating delay in Lord Hanuman’s return from Benaras, Lord Rama offered worship to a Shivalingam at a pre-chosen auspicious moment. It is said that the names is also called Ramalingam and the town Rameshwaram.
Importance of Rameshwaram
Taking the ganga water to Rameshwar, is considered as a very auspicious and pious thing to do after the pilgrimage of the four holy shrines. After taking a holy bath in Ganga water, the holy water is carried and offered to Lord Shiva of Rameshwaram. After this a little sand from here is carried to Ganga and immersed there. completing this ritual is believed to make one's pilgrimage complete and successful.