India is a country gifted with beautiful places; it is a land where the beauty of nature is interwoven with the mystery of mythology, enchanting the visitor and rendering him speechless with wonder. One such place that merits mention is Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram, which is an island off the coast of Tamil Nadu in Southeast India. The island of Rameshwaram, also known as the Pamban Island, is in the Palk Strait stretching between India and Sri Lanka. One can cross over to the Pamban Island from the mainland by train or car along the Pamban Bridge, which is one of the seven wonders of India. This is a cantilever bridge that folds-up to let ships pass through. The wonder-filled journey to Dhanushkodi begins from this bridge, which offers a superb view of the Palk Strait stretching on both sides, dotted with fishing boats and far-off village lights.
Dhanushkodi is a beautiful and serene shoreline to the south of Rameshwaram. The place attracts a traveler with its enchanting view and mysterious atmosphere. A small town flourished here once during the British times. There was a railway station, a church, and a temple, among other buildings – the ruins of which can be seen till date. This town was washed away by a huge tidal wave in 1964. The Tamil Nadu government has declared this place inhabitable, and the former quaint town has become a ‘ghost town.’
You can drive down to Dhanushkodi from Rameshwaram. It is advisable to take a four-wheel drive vehicle, as a part of the path is sandy on which two-wheel drive vehicles cannot ply. The first part of the drive is down a straight paved road with water bodies on both sides. On the right hand side, water is rough; on the left hand side, water is calm. As you approach Dhanushkodi, the road becomes sandy, and the ghost town is the last point of habitation where a thirsty traveler can get a drink. The town looks eerie with its remnants and takes one back to those days when it was a thriving port town. One shivers at the thought of how the end must have come to this small place.
Once you cross the ghost town, it is just water everywhere – with a stretch of beach running down the middle, and it is this stretch that the visitor travels down in the four-wheel drive vehicle. Caution! It is a very bumpy ride. But the ride is one heck of a ride worth every bump! As you travel down gripping the shore of the backwaters, you come across the breathtaking view of the sea shining with its beautiful shades of blue and green, and a golden strip of land stubbornly jutting into it, as if to defy the swirling waters around.
The aim is to reach the tip of this stretch of sandy shore from which Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge starts. Ram Setu is the mythological bridge that Lord Ram is said to have got constructed by his troop of monkeys, to cross over to Lanka to defeat King Ravan, for rescuing Sita, his wife. Ram Setu is composed of floating coral reefs and shifting sand banks and is visible from an aerial view.
The tip of Dhanushkodi, which got its name from the fact that Lord Rama broke this end of the bridge with his bow, is a breathtakingly beautiful place where the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean meet. With pristine golden sands, foamy waves and white-headed eagles, it offers the weary traveler rest and relief from the maddening crowd and nerve-wracking tensions of daily life. You can sit in the lap of soft sand and gaze far-off into the horizon to become one with nature.
Dhanushkodi has multiple attractions for tourists. It is a paradise for bird watchers, sea lovers, and shell collectors. You get to see exotic migratory birds, which fly up from Australia; rare shells that will make you wonder at the craftsmanship of the sea; unique colors of the merging waters, and above all, profound peace. Dhanushkodi is a must-see destination of India and one’s lifetime.
About the Author: Sandeep Sinha has traveled 17 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. He loves to write on travel and poetry.
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