Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple, the five-faced Hanuman Temple, is situated at a distance of 2 km from Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is said that Lord had revealed his five faces here, hence the idol of Hanuman is depicted with five faces which are of Lord Hanuman in the middle along with faces of Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Garuda and Lord Hayagriva on the sides. The statue has been covered with senthooram by saints. In 1964, after the cyclone in Dhanuskhodi, the idols of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita was brought to this temple and placed here. Also known as Panchamukha Anjaneya, Panchamukha Hanuman Temple is visited by almost every devotees who come for a Rameshwaram Tour.
Floating stones in the Five faced Hanuman Temple
Another major attraction of this temple are the ‘floating stones’ that have been kept at the temple for the devotees to see. These floating stones were used for building the floating bridge named Sethu Bandhanam, from Rameshwaram to Lanka so that Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman along with others could go to Lanka to rescue Goddess Sita and put an end to the brutalities of demon Ravana.
Legend / History of Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple
According to the legend, during the war between Lord Rama and demon Ravana who had abducted Goddess Sita, Ravana had seeked the help of Mahiravana, who was the king of Patala Loka. However, Lord Hanuman, in order to protect Lord Rama and Lakshman, had built a huge fortress around them with his tail.
So, later Mahiravana disguised himself as Vibhishana, brother of Ravana who was helping Lord Rama in the war. He then took Lord Rama and Lord Lakshman to Patala Loka so as to kill them. Lord Hanuman while searching them also reached Patala Loka where he found out that in order to kill Mahiravana he is supposed to extinguish all the five lamps at the same time; these five lamps were burning in different directions. So to kill Mahiravana and save Lord Rama and Lord Lakshman, Lord Hanuman took the form of Panchmukhi Hanuman and put out all the lamps at the same time. The five faces of lord Hanuman are of Lord Varaha that faces the north, Lord Narasimha facing the south, Lord Garuda facing the west, Lord Hanuman facing the east along with face of Lord Hayagriva that faces the sky.
Reaching Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple, Rameshwaram
Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple is located around 2 km away from Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. It is easily accessible by road. Tourists can go via all the major modes of transportations. One can take a bus or even hire a cab or auto rickshaw to the temple.