The temple and the island of Rameswaram have acquired this name because, Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, the God of Gods here on return from Sri Lanka. According to legend, after killing Ravana Lord Rama returned with his consort Goddess Seetha to India first stepping on the shores of Rameswaram. To expiate the "dosha" of killing a brahmin, Lord Rama wanted to offer worship to Lord Shiva. Since there was no shrine in the island had despatched Sri Hauman to Kailash to bring an idol of Lord Shiva.
Between 1897 and 1904, the ALAR family of Devakottai completed the imposing eastern tower of nine tiers 126 feet in height from Thiruppani funds. Between 1907 and 1925 they renovated the Sanctum Sanctorum and the prakaram(inner most corridor) by replacing the lime stones by black granite with adequate provision for light and ventilation and also arranged for the performance of Ashtabandana Kumbabishekam in 1925; then on 22-2-1947 and the third Ashtabandana Maha Kumbabishegam was performed on 5-2-1975.
World Famous Third Corridor :
Outer Wing - East_West – 690 feet
North-South - 435 feet
Innerwing - East_West - 649 feet
North-South - 395 feet
Total number of pillars – 1212
Height of Corridor – 22 feet 7 ½ inch
Second Corridor :
During the construction of first corridor, it was decided to renovate the second corridor. The lime stone structure in Second corridor was dismantled and started granited stone work. But only compound wall in west side and one portion in north side of western wing in south gate was renovate. After that no Renovation work as done.
Therefore, it was proposed to complete the Renovation work of Second Corridor by collecting Funds from the public. Between 1961 to 1985, the Renovation work of Second Corridor was taken up and completed the western side of Second Corridor and a portion in North and South side, from the Temple Renovation Fund. Now it has been proposed to complete the Renovation of Second Corridor which has been unfinished and the Renovation work is started now.
The Sethupathy mandapam in front of the Temple’s Raja Gopuram9main Tower) was constructed by Ramanatha Sethupathy, a descendant of Ramnad Raja dynasty, with his own donation of Rs. 2,75,000 /-. This construction was started on 19-11-69 and completed on 11-2-74.
It is also most essential to construct the North and South Gopurams. Shri Jagadguru Sringeri Peedathipathy and Shri jagadguru Kanchi Kamakoti Peedathipathy have given their kind blessings for the constructions of the North and South Gopurams of the Temple.