Ram Sethu Bridge. Photo: Tamil Nadu Tourism
Perched on Tamil Nadu’s southeastern tip, only a strait away from Sri Lanka, lies the ‘Ghost Town’ of Dhanushkodi that touches your soul and makes time stand still
Dhanushkodi is interpreted to mean the end of the bow. And the bow referred to is that of Lord Rama’s. As per folklore, the event of Ravana abducting Sita and taking her to Lanka, drove Lord Rama to build the Ram Setu Bridge also known as Adam’s Bridge. The bridge is faintly visible from a distance and has been confirmed even by geologists. In the process of making a bridge to Lanka, which is a mere 30 km from Dhanushkodi, Rama earmarked this as the place from where bridge construction would begin. He took his bow to mark the place and hence the name.
Dhanushkodi is popularly known as the ghost town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. However, historically it was a bustling town specially popular among tourists with ferries running from Chennai to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, until a massive cyclone with tides as high as 20 feet engulfed the entire region on 21st December 1964. After the calamity, the perilous location was declared as an uninhabitable place but it continues to draw adventure seekers and history buffs.
Dhanushkodi is the only place in the world where one can drive between the sea, on a narrow strip of land with the calm Bay of Bengal on one side and the roaring Indian ocean on the other. The Dhanushkodi Beach, a white sand beach is a perfect place for beach-goers who want a quaint experience.
It is also a religiously significant town as devotees still come here to witness the ruins of the grand temple that withstood the massive destructive waves of the cyclone, which is a miracle. Shimmering sands and vast oceans surround Rameshwaram temple with all its grandeur. For an eerie experience visit the ruins of the church, police station, Arichal Munai, and erstwhile railway station.
Unmatched natural opulence and spellbinding folklores on the tips of every local’s mouth await in Dhanushkodi for the ones who dare to take a trip to an uninhabited town.
Other tourist hot spots that one must visit are the 48 km long Adam’s Bridge also known as Ram Setu which connects India with its neighboring country Sri Lanka; Pamban Island – the historical two-kilometre-long Pamban Bridge across the Indian Ocean connects Ramanathapuram to mainland India via parallel rail and road lines; Ramanathapuram – a land soaked in spirituality and enchantment like no other housing the magnificent Ramanathaswamy temple which is famous for being one of the four Char-Dham pilgrimage sites of India and last but not the least Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park – a cluster of 21 islets and adjacent coral reefs that house over 4000 species of underwater flora and fauna.
Dhanushkodi is inhabited only by some fishermen and local shopkeepers, so the seafood here is very popular. Mr. Fish beach restaurant offers hot sizzling spiced-up fish with meen kozhambu and rice. Seer fish, crab curry, and smoked prawns are among the other favorites.
How To Reach Dhanushkodi
- By Air: Madurai airport is the nearest airport and then one can take a cab to Dhanushkodi.
- By Rail: Rameshwaram, is the nearest railway station. Then one can take bus, taxi or autos.
- Private autos and cabs are much preferred forms of local transportation as along the journey you will get a brief history of the place. Local buses and minivans are also available.
Best Time to Visit: The perfect time to visit is October to February.
The closest hotel from Dhanushkodi is the Tamil Nadu tourism board’s guesthouse in Rameswaram.
To know more visit Tamil Nadu Tourism’s official website.
In Partnership with Tamil Nadu Tourism