Agni Theertham Beach, Rameswaram
There are sixty-four Theerthams (holy water bodies) in and around Rameswaram. Twenty-two of the Teerthams are within the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Bathing in these Teerthams is considered equivalent to penance and forms a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram. Each of the Theerthams has its own significance.
The eastern sea shore opposite to the Ramanathaswamy Temple is Agni Theertham. Agni Theertham is considered to be the primary sea shore associated with the temple.
As per the legend associated with the Theertham, Goddess Sita had to go through Agni Pariksha (ordeal in fire) to prove her chastity to Lord Rama. But being pure, sinless and chaste, the fire could not harm Goddess Sita. In order to wash his sin, having touched Goddess Sita, Lord Agni offered prayers to Lord Shiva and took a dip in the sea. This place has come to be known as Agni Theertham.
More about Agni Theertham
- The word Agni means fire in Sanskrit and Theertham means holy water. Agni Theertham is regarded as a sacred pilgrimage centre among the Hindus.
- Devotees visiting the Theertham offer their prayers to the deity and take a dip in the holy waters for atonement of their sins.
- Sacred rituals that include rituals for the ancestors (Tharpanam) are performed by the devotees in Agni Theertham.
- Bathing in the holy water on full moon and new moon days is considered most auspicious.
- Agni Theertham is the only Theertham of the ramanathaswamy Temple which is located outside the temple complex.
How to reach Agni Theertham
Rameswaram bus stand is just 3 kilometres away from Agni Theertham. You could take a bus or even hire an auto rickshaw to reach there. The nearest railhead is at Rameswaram, 3 kilometres away.
Rameswaram is well connected by road and rail with Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy and other important cities. The 2.3 kilometres long Indira Gandhi Road Bridge (popularly called Pamban Bridge) connects Mandapam (a place on Indian mainland) with Pamban (fisherman town in Rameswaram). The nearest airport is at Madurai, 163 kilometres from Rameswaram.
Tourist Attractions near Agni Theertham Beach:
- Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
- APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial – Rameswaram
- Kunthukal Beach
- Pamban Bridge