Rameswaram is a small island of the Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu. Located in the Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram is a major Hindu pilgrim center. It is linked to mainland India by road and railway bridges. It holds an important place in Hindu mythology- Rameshwaram is where Lord Rama built a bridge to Lanka and defeated demon king Raavana. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visit this temple daily. Lord Shiva is also supposed to have come here. This makes Rameshwaram a favorite for both Vaishnavites and Shaivites- a rarity in India.
Rameswaram is acknowledged for its 22 theerthas or holy wells in surrounding the main temple. Hindu mythology says that if you come here and pray to Lord Shiva, you will be absolved of all your sins. The Ramanathaswamy temple is a great example of Dravidian architecture. The temple holds a position in the Guinness World Records for having the longest corridor in the world (over 1 km long!).
Besides being a pilgrimage center, Rameswaram Island has several places, which attract a tourist. The magnificent beaches at Olaikuda, Dhanushkodi, and Pamban are examples. Olaikuda beach is just a short distance from the main temple and, due to the presence of coral reefs, is an idea for diving, etc. Make sure that you have proper diving apparatus with you- things for diving are available on a rental basis too. Dhanuskodi, which is the tip of the island, pointing towards Sri Lanka, is a must-visit. The sea here is very blue in color and perfect for relaxing yourselves.
The livelihoods of the locals are mostly fishing and tourism. Rameshwaram is one of the most prominent fishing harbors of the state. The locals might seem poor, but their hospitality is uncomparable. They consider their guests as equal to gods (Adhithi Devo Bhava- as the Sanskrit sloka says).