For each of the char dhams and some other famous religious places it is said that no matter how much you plan, you will get to visit only when the God/Goddess wants you to. And when it is the right time then even without a plan you will make it. Just like my sudden Dwarka visit, one summer evening, I got a call from my cousin that they were travelling to Madurai, Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari on a 4 day bus tour from Bangalore. She asked me if I was game and on 2 days later I was on the late night bus to Madurai with them. Now that I look back, it was quite a hectic trip. We were in the bus on all four days and would only get to sleep in the hotels.

On day 2 we reached the Rameshwaram temple. I must say of all the 4 dhaams, I found the Rameshwaram temple visit the most enjoyable one. The temple is huge. It is cave like and because of the sheer size of the temple, the crowd does not appear intimidating. There are 22 wells in the temple and it is recommended that one should bathe with the waters of each of these wells before the final darshan. To make it easier the priests just take people to each of these wells and before they realize, splash comes a small bucket (the size of a large mug) full of water. After 22 such water splashes, we finally got into the queue to view the deity. The queue was well managed and everybody got their few seconds in front of the lord. As with most temples down south, it was dark inside the inner temple and I could hardly make out the form inside. This whole activity of going to each well and the final darshan takes about 30 minutes. The temple closes in the afternoon. Tour operators would typically be cognizant of that and plan your itinerary accordingly. However, if you are on your own, do find out the afternoon closure timings before you visit the temple.

After the darshan, we visited the famous corridors of Rameshwaram temple. The corridors are on the back side of the temple and practically have no crowd. Having spent some time relaxing at the temple, we immediately proceeded towards Kanyakumari. On the way to Kanyakumari, there are lots of stories shared by the tour operators. For instance they showed us a very small temple which had two corals floating in a tub of water. The legend shared was that these were the stones that Nal and Neel used to make the bridge across the sea when Lord Ram and the vanar sena went to Lanka to get Sita!

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