Story of the Lost Town of Dhanushkodi

 

Guest Post By Anshul Kumar Akhoury

In Ramayana it is said that Lord Rama worshipped the sea to calm itself down and when it didn’t he
cursed him that at the place where he worshipped will never see his roaring self again. It is also said
that Lord Rama and his army of Monkeys built a bridge over this calm sea. The stones were inscribed
with the name of the God and they became so light that they started floating over the sea. The army
then used this bridge to cross and reach Lanka and free Sita from Ravana’s clutches.


I don’t know about the amount of truth that this story holds, but the last Indian village located on India-Sri Lanka Border certainly shows some signs of the bridge existing. Popularly known as The Adam’s
Bridge, a formation of coral reefs can be seen between India and Srilanka that almost looks like a
bridge. On a clear day you can see the coastal lands of Jaffna located in Sri Lanka and often tourists
complain about their phone signal getting international roaming charges from the neighbouring
country.

A Past Erased


Located on the Indo Srilanka border, Danushkodi used to be a fisherman town till 1964. In that year,
this small village was his by one of the worst cyclones India had ever seen. Danushkodi today, now
stands as a place lost in stories. The cyclone destroyed everything here, even the railway line that
used to connect this place via Pamban. The cyclone killed 115 passengers and since then
Dhanushkodi exists as a ghost town with no one living here. The fishermen who come here leave for
their home by the time sun goes down. The town still talks about the disaster it experienced in the
form on ruins. There is a broken church, houses lying in shatters, although you will find a few shacks
around the place seling coconut juice and fried pakodas but that’s it.

Mythological Relevance

The ghost town of Dhanushkodi is located near Rameshwaram. For Indian mythology, both the
towns have special significance with Ramayana. Rameshwaram has one of the largest and the oldest
temples dedicate to Rama, Dhanushkodi is known as the point from the Rama invaded Lanka. This is
the last Indian landmass. You can arrive here from Rameshwaram by regular buses that will drop you
at Dhanushkodi beach. From here small tempos will take you to the ghost town for INR 100 for a to
and fro ride. This ride goes through the patches of Indian Ocean that exists in the most silent form.
While Indian Ocean roars with high tides in Kanyakumari, it calms down like a lake when it arrives
here.


It is believed that the 28 km Adam’s Bridge once connected the Pamban island to Talaimannar in
Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. At a distance from Dhanushkodi you can see the confluence point of
Arabian Sea and Indian ocean. This count can only be accessed between March and July when the
summers in India are at its peak enough to kill you of heat and dehydration if you try venturing into
this part of the country. For those who brave get as closer to Sri Lanka without a visa and a passport.
How to travel – Dhanushkodi is half an hour away from Rameshwaram. Rameshwaram is accessible
via Chennai and Bangalore via Bus and Trains. You can find regular buses till Dhanushkodi beach and
then find minibuses that take you to the Ghost Town. The bus charges 20 bucks and the minibus
takes between INR 100 to 150 depending on the season. You can also hire a 4×4 jeep from
Rameshwaram for INR 1200. Four people are allowed in the jeep. The jeep and bus services is shut
down between June and last week of August.

Where to Stay – Rameshwaram is the last place with guesthouses, dorms and luxury hotels. Stay is
not allowed in Dhanushkodi.

 

 

 

Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many brands, of which The India Diaries happens to be the closest to the heart. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager.

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