The devotees had left Srirangam dhama by buses to proceed for Rameswaram, the previous night. Buses arrived the next day early morning at Rameswaram, around 4:00 am. The buses were then parked in front of Sri Ramanath Swami temple, by the seaside. In this temple resides a Shiva linga personally established by Lord Ramachandra. Thus, this place assumes tremendous significance for all vaisnavas as well as shaivas.
In their urge to catch Mangal arati glimpse of Sri Ramanath Swami, the devotees immediately took bath in the sea followed by bathing in the waters of 22 Kundas (teertham), including Chakra Teertha, Surya Teertha, Chandra Teertha, Nala Teertha, Neela Teertha, Ganga Teertha, Yamuna Teertha, Sarasvati Teerth, Mahalakshmi Teertha and so on, and rushed their way in to the temple for darshan. This was a unique experience in itself and very pleasurable to all devotees. Inspite of their vicinity to the sea, all these 22 Kundas supplied very sweet and soothing divine water. Then slowly devotees started returning to their own buses. After all of devotees of each bus returned, the buses proceeded to take the devotees to their respective accommodations. After settling in their rooms and getting fresh devotees were advised to gather for the breakfast prasadam at one Dhanalaksmi Hall.
After the breakfast prasadam, buses were arranged to take the devotees to other places of pilgrimage within Rameswaram. Starting from Kodandarama, wherein there is temple of Lord Ramachandra, with Sita Devi, Lord Laksmana and Sri Hanumana. Right in front of them, is a shrine of Garudadeva. In between the two, there is a temple of Ramanujacharya. All these are within one common temple premise. This is the same place where coronation of Vibhisana was performed by Lord Ramachandra. The buses then proceeded towards Dhanushakodi.
Dhanushakodi is a place where Lord Ramachandra shot arrow to break the bridge to Lanka after returning from Lanka. Buses had to stand by the side of the sea, a few kilometers away from Dhanushkodi because the path leading to Dhanushakodi is very narrow and buses were not allowed beyond a certain point. There were small matador kind of vehicles, which took the devotees to the exact location. Devotees sprinkled water from sea at this auspicious location where Lord Ramachandra performed pastimes.
After this, buses took the devotees to Sita Kunda, Laksmana Kunda and Rama Kunda which are located very close to each other. Then devotees also walked to Hanumana Kunda which is just a short distance away from these. Devotees then returned back to Dhanalaksmi Hall for lunch prasadam.
In the evening, there was a lecture by H H Lokanath Swami Maharaja wherein he briefly narrated Lord Rama’s pastimes in Rameshavaram, His meeting with and coronation of Vibhishan and His worship of Lord Shiva. It was also the closing lecture as the yatra concluded at Rameswaram. At the end of the lecture, all the organizers and the volunteers of the yatra were heart fully acknowledged for their wonderful services which made the yatra successful.
During the yatra, all the devotees exhibited wonderful spirit of cooperation and service by offering help in the kitchen, in serving prasadam and assisting in many such areas. It was indeed like one big family and we wish these yatras may never come to an end!
South India Yatra Ki Jay!
Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay!
Srila Gurudeva Ki Jay!