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Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram - Sri Ramanin Padhayil

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The 31st episode of Sri Ramanin Padhayil was unfolded with the Ramayana dhyana sloka:

veda vedye pare pumsi jate dasharathatmaje |
vedah prachetasadasid sakshad ramayanatmana ||

Meaning: When the omni potent omniscient and the Omnipresent Almighty who can be known only through Veda, took birth as a son of Dasharatha, the most precious Veda has been rendered as Ramayana by the sage Prachetasa.(Valmiki).”

When the Almighty Himself, who can be known only by the vedas, incarnated as Rama, the son of Dasaratha, the Vedas, on their part, incarnated in the very form of the Ramayana.

We all left Alwarthirunagari and started our journey towards Rameswaram, Thirupullani, Dhanushkodi. It is common knowledge that the essence of the Ramayana is the concept of Saranagati (surrender). It is the simplest way to reach the feet of the Lord. There are several saranagathis in Sri Ramayana such as Lakshmana Saranagathi, Bharatha Saranagathi, Vibhishana Saranagathi, etc. Vibhishana Saranagathi happens at this place in the beach (close to the Sethu Samudhram). This kshethram is rightfully called Saranagathi kshethram.

Sethukarai Sea Shore:

Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameswaram from where Rama is believed to have built a floating stone bridge, the Adam's bridge, that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. A place of puranic importance, this is where the first foundation of a sea bridge to Lanka was laid and the remains of Rama sethu can still be seen here at a distance. Sethukarai is a Village in Tiruppullani Taluk in Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu State, India. It is located 12 KM towards South from District head quarters Ramanathapuram.

Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Sethukarai, Ramanathapuram
Adi Sethu, the primary sacred bathing spot, from where the work for Ramsethu bridge started. Ram is believed to have bathed here before starting the bridge work and again on his return.

The another name of 'Sethukarai' is 'Rathinagharam'. Again 'Sethu' (Hindi) means 'Anai' (dam) in Tamil language. So the Vaishnavites also call this place as 'Thiru Anai'.

Nowadays if any Indian has been asked to define the territories of India, he should definitely say that Kashmir at north and the Kanyakumari at south. But once upon it had been told that Kashmir had been the north and Sethu had been the south, which could be derived from the ancient Ithikasas which says "Aasethu Himachalam" in Sanskrit.

Again the Upanishads are telling about Sethu as Amrutha saisya Sethu: and the Vishnu sagasranamam calls it as Ousstham jaghatha: Sethu:

When and where ever, if the story of Rama could have been written or been translated, there would be the special place for Sethu, from where lord Rama had bridged to Srilanka with the help of His Vanara sena (monkeys army).

Again this is the place where lord Rama had accepted the shelter of Vibhishanan, who was the younger brother of the demon king Ravana. Vibhishanan had been neglected by his brother demon Ravana, since he had advised Ravana against the abduction of Rama's wife by him (Ravana).

Sethu bandana Jaya veera Anjaneya Temple is located in Sethukarai, which faces the sea. Holiness of Sethukarai is almost equivalent to Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi," said Raghunathan of Sri Anjaneya Temple in Sethukarai. Thai Amavasya is the no moon day in the Tamil Month of Thai (January – February). Thai Amavasya is considered as an auspicious day for performing rituals to ancestors, people thronged the sea shore and offer rice, banana and black sesame seeds as part of the ‘tarpanam' custom.

33rd Verse from 18th chapter of Yuddha Kanda:

Sakru Deva Prapanyaya, Thavas Mi Ithi Yachathi,
Abhayam Sarva Boothabyoo, Dhatham yaathat Vratham Mamaa

Meaning: He who seeks refuge in me just once, telling me that I am yours. I shall give him safety against all types of beings. This is my solemn pledge.

Sri Krishna says, "I will liberate him from all sins", and Sri Rama says, "I will release him from all fears". Are these promises and results different? No. Sin causes fear, and vice versa. Sins and fears cause bondage and sorrows. So the Lord is assuring us that those who surrender to Him will be free from all sorrow and bondage.


01. Badrinath : Temple of Lord Vishnu, located in the North is in the state of Uttarakhand, India.

02. Dwarka : Temple of Lord Krishna, located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India.

03. Puri : Temple of Lord Jaganath, located in the East is in the state of Orissa, India.

04. Rameswaram : Temple of Lord Shiva, located in the South is in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

The extensive monkey army marching through day and night, passed through the western ghat encompassing the mountain ranges namely Satyadhri, Malayadhri, Neeladhri, Mahendra Giri and Velavanam along the southern tip of Coumarin peninsula. They crossed Vela Vanam (forest) to reach Thirupullani near Rameshwaram (Darba sayana perumal asthanam) and their they built the bridge.

The very sight of "Setu" is capable of extinguishing all sins says the Dharma Saastras: "setum drishtvaa samudrasya". It is worth noting that while taking bath in Sea is generally not recommended except on special occasions like Aadi Amavasya and Thai Amavasya, you can take bath in the Sea at Setu on any day, This is known as "Setu Snanam".

Parayanam of verses from Valmiki Ramayanam related to Vibhishna Saranagathi was done here.

On one side of the Pamban bridge is the Thiru Pullani Darbha Sayana Rama Temple. On the other side of Pamban bridge is the Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Dhanushkodi, Gandamadana Parvatham etc. We will be covering all these place in our upcoming articles.


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