×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

A bridge not too far

This small island and major pilgrim centre in the Gulf of Mannar is a big draw for its decorated corridors, sacred waters and the adventure of the Ghost town, writes Meenakshi Gupta
Last Updated : 10 July 2021, 19:15 IST
Last Updated : 10 July 2021, 19:15 IST

Follow Us :

Comments
Pamban Beach
Pamban Beach
ADVERTISEMENT
Ruins of the Old Church in Dhanushkodi
Ruins of the Old Church in Dhanushkodi

Om Namah Shivaye! Om Namah Shivaye! The chant kept ringing in my ears, mind and soul as we headed for Rameswaram. The Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the Char Dhams (pilgrimages), is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. For any
Lord Shiva deity, this is one of the must-do places in India. My interest was in its historic, mythological, archaeological and architectural stories which left me spell-bound. The beliefs and shreds of evidence in the Ramayana about Lord Rama and his visit to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana add to the allure of the place. There is a lot more in Rameswaram to see and experience which was not on my to-do list but I still managed to ticked it off.

Lakshman Teertham

It is believed that Lakshman had installed a lingam here and offered prayers to Lord Shiva. Located just a km away from the main Ramesawarm temple and one of the 64 teerthams, this temple has a holy pond. A small and simple, yet powerful temple depicting statues of deities and stories of Ramayana painted on the wall represents the immense devotion of Lord Lakshman towards Lord Rama and Sita. Lord Lakshman had installed a Shiva Linga here and prayed to Lord Shiva for the atonement of his sins.

A home for floating stones

Just two km away from the main temple, lies the five-faced Lord Hanuman temple. The temple is popularly known for the five-faced Hanuman statue and the floating stones. It is believed that Lord Hanuman uncovered his five faces here which makes the temple exceptionally sacred. There is an interesting story of floating stones lying in the temple. Lord Rama is believed to have used these stones to build the bridge with his army of monkeys to rescue Sita from Lanka. However, there is an argument ensuing over the decades between mythologists, spiritualists, archaeologists and scientists regarding the composition and beliefs of the floating stones.

Dhanushkodi, the eerie town

Once the busy town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island, Dhanushkodi is now the eerie town with nail-biting stories. The island was washed away in the 1964 cyclone, leaving ruins of an old railway station, an abandoned church, a school and a beautiful beach. The railway link which connected mainland India to Dhanushkodi was devastated killing over 100 people on a train during the cyclone as it was approaching the station.

Though it is a bit risky to get deep into the water, a walk on this quiet and calm beach is very therapeutic. The neat and clean sand on the beach will force you to spend time with good company or all by yourself. The town is closed to outsiders after 6 pm. Look for seashells, conches, shell jewellery and local handmade handicrafts as souvenirs to take back home.

Pamban Bridge & beach

Over 100 years old, this bridge connects Pamban Island to mainland India. Opened in 1914, Pamban Bridge is the first sea bridge in India. It is about 2.2 km long and is an engineering marvel. After the 1964 cyclone, the construction of a parallel road bridge was proposed. The construction started in 1974 and took about 14 years to complete the road bridge. Spend some time at the beach for its tranquillity, calmness and various shades of blues and greens.

Kalam Memorial & Kalam House

This is a new landmark for generation Z. Anything on Rameswaram will be incomplete if we do not talk about Dr A P J Kalam. The birthplace of a legendary scientist, a visionary leader and former President of India, now welcomes tourists, scientists and students from all over the world. The Kalam Memorial showcases the lifestyle, simplicity, and replicas of the rockets and missiles that Dr Kalam worked on. The memorial has been constructed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), with which Dr Kalam was associated for a long time. To pay a tribute to the missile man, the memorial has been constructed on the gravesite where his remnants were laid to rest on July 27, 2015. The Kalam House is the place where Dr Kalam was born and brought up. The house showcases his childhood memories, his achievements and his contribution to science and the country.

This holy pilgrimage town surely has so much more to offer to visitors than what meets the eye.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 10 July 2021, 18:42 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT