Rameswaram historySri Ramanathaswamy temple is situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island, which is in the shape of a conch. The island is connected with the main land at Mandapam by an awe-inspiring rail bridge and a road bridge. In ancient days, the shrine was only a thatched hut. Over the centuries, the small shrine was gradually developed into what it stands today as a massive and magnificent structure.
Different dynasties were ruling the Ramanathapuram region in different periods. Pandya Kings were ruling up to the 15 century. Later, the region came under the reign of Nayaks of the Vijayanagar empire, who ruled till around the 1 7 century. Then the Sethupathis, who were the earliest chieftains of the region, came to power. They lavished their funds for art and architecture of the Rameswaram shrine. Notable among them were Udayan Sethupathy, Thirumalai Sethupathy, Raghunatha Sethupathy and Muthuramalinga Sethupathy, whose statues are housed in the temple.