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Why Rameswaram Temple is special
This Shiva-dedicated temple is one of the holiest religious sites in India. It's a must-do Hindu pilgrimage and has some remarkable design elements.
These ornate and colorful passageways measure 1.2 kilometers (3/4 mile) in overall length. They dwarf visitors (see sitting person) and are dramatically lined with 4,000 huge sculpted pillars.
Four of these skyscraping towers serve as gateways. They are elaborately carved.
To the faithful, they have both therapeutic and spiritual qualities.
It's the Nandi statue, the bull of Lord Shiva. It stands about 6 meters (20 feet) high.
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Rameswaram Temple is closely associated with the 11th Hindu epic poem Ramayana. After Rama defeated the bad King Rawana in Sri Lanka, he came here to thank Shiva, who in gratitude made the site sacred.
Location in India
Rameswaram Temple is 60 kilometers (37 miles) by road from the Tamil Nadu capital, Chennai. As the seabird flies, it's only 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Sri Lanka.