Dhanuskodi – Now an abandoned small town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the state of Tamil Nadu in India.The small town has the rich story from Ramayana period to catastrophic destruction from 1964 cyclone.Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi is a one of popular road route for the most scenic view.
Dhanuskodi- Once Bubbling Town is now a Ghost Town
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Dhanushkodi -The Ghost CityAbout 620 km from Bangalore, on the southern tip of (Rameswaram)Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, is a ghost town known as Dhanushkodi and is the closest point on the Indian coast to Srilanka.
It suffered significant damage in a devastating cyclone in 1964, which washed away the rail bridge connection of the town to the mainland. The remains of the city can still be seen now. People in large numbers come here for seeing the ruined city, beautiful beach. It’s simply one of the most idyllic virgin beaches in India. Though a bit risky to get into the water due to high waves, just to experience the beauty of the place and walking on the clean sands itself is a great experience.
The place is famous for its mythological importance. It is said that Lord Rama and his vanara sena together with his brother Lakshmana, Hanuman and Ravana’s brother Vibhishana, built a bridge using floating stones. This bridge helped them to reach Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravana.
After returning victorious from Lanka, Vibhishana, the new king, asked Rama to destroy the bridge. So, Rama broke the bridge using one end of the bow, giving the place its name – Dhanush meaning bow and Kodi meaning end.It is believed that there is geological evidence suggesting that this 28-km bridge known as Rama Sethu or Adam’s Bridge once connected the Pamban Island tip to Talaimannar in Mannar Island, Sri Lanka.
The locals in Dhanushkodi claim that the bridge, which was once visible, was destroyed following a cyclone in the 15th century. Another hurricane that hit the region in 1964 ravaged the area to such an extent that it has remained a ghost town since.
The railway link that connected mainland India to Dhanushkodi was destroyed completely. According to a local guide, it is also said that on a fateful day, a daily passenger train known as Boat Mail carrying 115 passengers was washed away as it approached the Dhanushkodi station. The news of this devastation reached the mainland three days later because the area was completely cut off.
Currently, the rail network connects the mainland till Rameshwaram only. From Rameshwaram town, Dhanushkodi is about 25 kilometers. Almost halfway way to Dhanushkodi is a Koothandaramar temple. Locals believe that at this place Rama crowned Vibhishana, the new king of the asuras.
The temple follows a simple architectural style and houses the idols of Koothandaramar (Rama), Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman as well as Vibhishana in the sanctum sanctorum. It is also surrounded by the sea on all sides except the approach road. The walls of the temple have murals depicting how Rama and his vanara sena rescued Sita.
And the only vehicle that will take you to the tip of Dhanushkodi is a specially-modified jeep. The first 12-kilometre drive from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi is on a regular road with gusts of wind blowing sand on your face. Once you reach the check post, only a modified jeep (4×4) or big vans can go further. The modified vehicle charges around Rs. 1500/- and it will be there for around 2 hours from your pick up point.
The drive from the check post in the devastated region is like a roller coaster ride on the beach. As you go farther, you will see the endless deep blue sea on either side of your vehicle. While on one side there is the Indian Ocean, on the other hand, is the Bay of Bengal. And the difference is entirely stark between the two — the one hand of the sea is calm and blue while the other side sea is green with choppy waters.
Standing on the beach surrounded by the sea, you might wonder if this place contains anything other than sand and blue water. The area is so pristine, isolated and far away from the crowd that one would not want to return to civilization. Even after a good and peaceful 45-minute stroll, most people have to be coerced by the jeep drivers to return.
While returning from Dhanushkodi, other remains of structures such as the buildings, railway water tank, church and others can be seen, making the whole place look like a shell of its former self. Next to the water tank there is a temple, which has a light stone kept locked on its premises as a tourist attraction.
The nearest town is Rameswaram, 18 km away. Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town and permits visitors only during the day. So you have to stay at Rameswaram.
How To Reach Dhanushkodi:
- By Air: Nearest airport: Madurai (167kms)
- By Rail: Nearest railway station: Rameshwaram, 18kms
- By Road: Buses and taxis conducting regular service between Madurai and Rameshwaram.
- Reach Dhanuskodi From Rameshwaram, you have to hire private vehicles through the sands.
Local transport: Inside the city walls of Rameshwaram, you can hire a jeep or an auto rickshaw.
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