Pilgrimage Tour
Architecture of Rameshwaram Temple

Architecture of Rameshwaram Temple

Rameshwaram Temple is a sacred pilgrimage with an outstanding architecture work by the artisans. The temple has utmost charming architecture. There is a high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises, which is usually seen in the temples constructed in South India, that measures about 865 feet furlong from east to west and one furlongs of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers, which are called Gopurams, at the east and west and finished gate towers on the north and south. The temple has long corridors in its interior that run between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high.

The second corridor was formed by sandstone pillars, beams and ceiling. Utsva deities are decorated and kept at the junction of the third corridor on the west and the paved way leading from the western gopuram to Setumadhava shrine. It forms a unique structure in the form of a chess board and it is popularly known as Chokkattan Madapam. The outer set of corridors which are reputed to be the longest in the world, about 6.9 m height, 400 feet in each in the east and west, about 640 feet in north and south and inner corridors are about 224 feet in east and west and 352 feet each in north and south and hence the total length of those corridors is 3850 feet. There are about astounding 1212 pillars in the outer corridor and their height is about 30 feet from the floor to the center of the roof. Rajagopuram is 53 m tall and is regarded as the most important one.

Initially Ramanathaswamy Temple was simply a shed. The present temple is the outcome of efforts of many generations spread over a number of centuries. The pride of place, establishment for the Temple, is due to the Setupatis of Ramanathapuram. In the seventeenth century, Dalavai Setupati built a portion of the main eastern Gopuram. And after that in late eighteenth century, the world famous third corridor was constructed by Muthuramalinga Setupati. The corridor was named “Chokkatan Mandapam”. The Mukhya Pradhani (Chief Minister) was Muthuirullappa Pillai and the Chinna Prodhani (Deputy Chief Minister) was Krishna Iyengar. The Setupati’s statue and those of his two Pradhanis (ministers) can be seen at the western entrance to the third corridor.

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