Located at the tip of Rameshwaram Island, Tamil Nadu, Dhanushkodi is a town nesting the eternal mystery of the Ram Setu. When we think about ancient ruins, legendary epics, the first place that pops up in our mind is the mystical land of India. A country with breath-taking views, India is home to more than its fair share of mystical lands that straddle myth and reality such as Dwarka, The Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram, Borra Caves and many more.
Dhanushkodi: A ‘holy’ fragment of India’s history
Hugged by the convergence of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, this town was abandoned and given the title of a ‘ghost’ town after the catastrophic cyclone in 1964. Dhanushkodi is still frequented by ardent devotees who come to witness the ‘holy’ fragments of a past long lost in the pages of history. The place was once lively, and now it has been reduced to be a part of legends and folklore. Let’s find out why!
Dhanushkodi is the only land border between India and Sri Lanka, and its name translates to ‘end of bow’. There is a reason why it is considered to be a ghostly reminder of India’s mythical past. The ruins of this coastal town serve as a reminder of the place where Lord Ram built the Ram Setu. To know more about this exciting piece of fact, you will have to revisit a few chapters of the legend of Dhanushkodi.
Ram Setu: A Sacred link between India and Sri Lanka
There is hardly a soul in India who is not well versed with the epic of Ramayana. According to the sacred Hindu text, Ravana kidnapped Sita and held her captive in Lanka for revenge against Rama and Lakshman for cutting off his sister Shurpanakha’s nose. The events led to the construction of the mythical Ram Setu bridge. The bridge led Lord Rama and Lakshman, Hanuman to Lanka, where they defeated Ravana and rescued Sita from his captivity.
The tale of Ram Setu begins right when Rama started praying to the god of the sea. After several days of constant prayers, the god asked the KingKing to build a bridge with stones etched with Lord Ram’s name and the stones won’t sink. Ram Setu was magically constructed about 1.2 million years ago. The current location of Adam’s bridge starts from the tip of India’s Pamban Island and ends at Sri Lanka’s Mannar Island.
‘End of Bow’
After winning the war against the ‘demon’ army, Lord Rama crowned Vibhishan as the ruler of Lanka. The new King of Lanka asked Lord Rama to destroy Ram Setu, and he broke India’s stone laden gateway to Lanka with the ‘end of his bow’. This is why Dhanushkodi’s name has a connection to the sacred text of Ramayana.
Many tourists and devotees still visit the town to try and see the bridge which lays submerged in the sea, which is a reminder of Lord Rama and his Vanar army’s journey to the Kingdom of Lanka.
Best time to visit
The best time to plan a trip to Dhanushkodi is during the winter season. If you want to enjoy winters in this coastal town, visit in the months from October to February. This way you will be able to enjoy a pleasant time at the beach minus heavy rains during monsoon and heat during summer.
How to reach
Dhanushkodi is quite far away from any major domestic or International airport. The closest airport is in the city of Madurai. It is connected to major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. It is advisable to head to Rameshwaram and hire a car to reach Dhanushkodi.
Distance (Madurai Airport-Rameshwaram): 180 km
Time: 3.5 hours
Distance (Rameshwaram- Dhanushkodi)– 27 km
Time: 30-45 mins
Route: via Kochi – Madurai – Dhanushkodi Rd/Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi Rd
(Featured picture credits: bintuverghese)
Curated by Ruchit Rastogi