The last rites of former President APJ Abdul Kalam will be held in his native town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu in keeping with his family's wishes.
President Kalam died last night in Shillong where he had gone to address students at the local Indian Institute of Management; he was 83.
"A large number of relatives, friends, well wishers and common people have gathered at Kalam's house at Rameswaram," APJ M.K. Sheik Saleem, the former President's grandson told IANS over phone.
The temple town of Rameswaram is around 600 km from Chennai.
The central government is yet to inform the state government about when President Kalam's body will be sent to Rameswaram.
Local officials said the administration is expecting thousands of people to assemble for his last rites.

Rameswaram, (also spelt as Ramesvaram, Rameshwaram orRamisseram) is a town and a second grade municipality in theRamanathapuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of theChar Dham pilgrimage.

According to Hindu mythology, this is the place from where the Hindu godRama built a bridge, across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is located at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.

Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Adam's Bridge was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The town is in news over alleged attack by Sri Lankan navy for alleged cross border activities by fishermen,Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, Kachchatheevu and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.Rameswaram is administered by a municipality established in 1994. The town covers an area of 53 km2 and had a population of 44,856 as of 2011. Tourism and fishery employ the majority of workforce in Rameswaram.

The Ramanathaswamy Temple is a major attraction and it is one of the seven places visiting which one can gain salvation. The Ramayana was conceived here and it also houses one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Gandhamadhana Parvatam is a two storey temple with an imprint of Lord Rama on a chakra. Devotees come here to seek the blessings of Lord Rama. The best period to visit Rameshwaram is between October and April. You can go through a guide book to know how to reach Rameshwaram. Rameshwaram is accessible by air, railways and roadways. It is well connected by rail with cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichy. The nearest airport is in Madurai, 163 km from here. If you are traveling from some distant location then taking a flight will be the best decision. A trip here will bring a serene feeling in your mind tired with the complexities of modern life. State transport buses regularly travel between Rameshwaram and other cities of Tamil Nadu. 
There are sixty-four Tīrthas or Theerthams (holy water bodies) in and around Rameswaram. According to the Skanda Purana, twenty-four of them are important. Of the 24, 14 are in the form of tanks and wells within the precincts of the temple.Bathing in these tanks is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram and is considered equivalent to penance. Twenty-two of the tanks are within the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The foremost one is called Agni Theertham, the sea (Bay of Bengal). Jatayu, King of the Birds, who fought in vain with the demon-king Ravana to save Sita, is said to have fallen down at Jadayu Theertham as his wings were severed.Villoondi Theertham literally translates to 'buried bow', is located around 7 kilometres from the main temple on the way to Pamban.It is believed to be the place where Rama quenched the thirst of Sita by dipping the bow into the sea water.Other major holy bodies are Hanuman Theertham, Sugreeva Theertham and Lakshmana Theertham.

Gandhamathana Parvatham:
Gandhamathan Parvatham, a hillock situated 3 km to the north of the temple is the highest point in the island.There is a two storeyed hall, where Rama's feet is found as an imprint on a chakra (wheel).The Ramarpatham Temple is located on the hillock.
Dhanushkodi is the southernmost tip of the island and houses the Kothandaramaswamy Temple dedicated to Rama.Though Dhanushkodi was washed away during the 1964 cyclone, the temple alone remained intact. It is 18 km way from the centre of the town and can be reached by road. A popular belief is that, Dhanushkodi is where Vibishana, a brother of Ravana surrendered before Rama in the epic Ramayana.
Rameswaram is frequently in headlines over fishermen issues like attack, arrest and alleged harassment by Sri Lankan navy for alleged cross border activities, Sethusamudram canal project, Kachchatheevu, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and also on intercountry smuggling between India and Sri Lanka.As an initial step to curb enhanced smuggling, the Tamil Nadu government has set up 30 more marine police stations to bring the state’s entire coastal belt under close vigil.

11th President of India Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Honorable Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was born in Rameshwaram.

Rameshwaram does not have an airport. Nearest airport is Madurai Airport.
149 km awayMadurai Airport (IXM), Madurai, Tamil Nadu
142 km awayTuticorin Airport (TCR), Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu

You can easily get regular trains to Rameshwaram from other major cities of the country.
Railway Station(s): Rameswaram (RMM)

There are regular buses from other major cities of the country to Rameshwaram.
Bus Station(s): Rameswaram
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