Rameshwaram is an island town located in Tamil Nadu, at about 150 km from Madurai. The island (also called Pamban Island), is connected to mainland by Pamban Bridge. Rameshwaram is the closest point to Sri Lanka. According to Ramayana, it is believed that Lord Rama constructed the bridge to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from this very island.
While Rameshwaram has tremendous religious significance, it also has several places of interest that will attract travelers, explorers and nature lovers equally.
Pamban Bridge was India’s first sea rail bridge which was the longest at that time. The bridge spans 2 km and connects Pamban Island with the mainland. The bridge is about 40 ft above the sea, and is brilliantly built. For the most part, the bridge is a conventional rail bridge built over concrete pillars over the sea. However, a section of the bridge can be split, and raised for the ships to pass underneath it.
The road bridge was constructed much later, and runs parallel to the rail bridge. However, the road bridge is constructed at a height so that ships can easily pass through underneath the bridge.
This is one of the most famous temples in India. It also is one of the 12 Jyotirlings temples. It is believed that Lord Rama himself has established the temple here. The temple was later expanded by Pandyan kings in the 12th century, and was built with the grand Dravidian style. This temple has the longest corridor of all the temples in India, and is supported by magnificently sculptured pillars.
Dhanushkodi is the tip of India. It is a narrow strip of land that is one km wide, and 18km long. This land piece lies on the confluence of Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal (which were earlier called Ratnakaran and Mahodadhi). This confluence looks like a bow, and the strip of land resembles an arrow, and hence the name Dhanushkodi (which literally means tip of a bow). The confluence point is called Arichal Munai/Point and can be identified easily as the magnitude of the tides change drastically. Bay of Bengal has smaller tides, and Indian Ocean has higher tides!
It is believed that the bridge to Sri Lanka that was built by Lord Rama was from this point. According to the legends, the bridge was built using floating stones (stones that do not sink in water!). As an evidence to that story, many such floating stones can be found even today on this island. It is astonishing to find that even the stones that are heavy do not sink, but float on water!
At present, Dhanushkodi is declared as a ghost town, as it was completely washed away by a cyclone in 1964. To reach Dhanushkodi (which is not accessible throughout the year as it submerges due to high tides at times), you can drive till a place called Mukundarayar Chathiram. After that, you need to take local jeeps or vans to reach the ghost town. You can still see the remnants of railway station, railway tracks, church, post office, and wrecked ship and boat parts at Dhanushkodi.
Drive to Dhanushkodi
Well, not really a tourist point, but this is the ancestral house of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Other places of Interest
Pamban Island is a beautiful place to explore! From sandy beaches, to ghost town, to religious places, to bird sanctuaries, there is a lot to be explored in this small 95 sq km island. Some of them are listed below:
- Gandamadana Parvatham
- Vivekananda Monument (Kunthukal)
- Sea Life Museum (Kunthukal)
- Kunthukal Beach
- Water Bird Sanctuary – Arichamunal Bird Sanctuary
- Satchi Hanuman Temple
- The Panchamuga Hanuman Temple
- Jada Theertham
- Kodandaramaswamy Temple
Blue waters of Dhanushkodi
Where to stay?
|From||Distance (in km)|
|Coimbatore / Pondicherry||380|
|Bangalore / Chennai||570|