Legends, myths and beliefs are a part of the Indian way of life. These are best reflected in the destinations that offer visitors amusing tales from the past and epics. No matter where you go, a story is told to you, that immortalizes the destination in many ways. Agni Theertham is a beach in Rameshwaram that will fascinate you with such a story from the great Indian epic of Ramayana. The beach is also a popular spot for tourists to enjoy the golden sands and tides that only a pristine seashore can assure you.
Rameshwaram is a destination famed for the famous Ramanathaswamy Temple. The town contains sixty four ‘theerthams’ or holy water bodies. 22 of these are within the temple. It is believed that taking a bath in these theerthams is equivalent to penance and is one of the major pilgrimage attractions of the region. Among these theerthams, the Agni Theertham is considered to be the primary seashore that is associated with the temple. It is located on the eastern seashore opposite to the temple.
The legend goes that Goddess Sita, in an intent to prove her purity to her husband Lord Rama, asked his younger brother Lakshmana to light a fire. She sat inside the fire to prove what she intended to. Fire couldn’t harm her and she was unhurt. Lord Agni (God of fire) appeared to prove the same and Sita proved herself to be pure. However Lord Agni had to wash off his sin of having touched the goddess and so he bathed in the sea and offered prayers to Lord Shiva. Thus this place began to be called Agni Theertham. Taking a dip in Agni Theertham is believed to wash away all your sins.