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Dhanushkodi Rameshwaram Address: Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, 623526, India
Located at the south eastern tip of Pamban Island, Dhanuskodi is one of the unique attractions of Rameshwaram. It is located around around 20 km away from Rameshwaram. The name Dhanuskodi literally means ‘end of bow’, which denotes the legend of Lord Rama and the Hindu sacred text Ramayana.
One of the smallest towns in the world, with a length of just 50 yards, Dhanushkodi is the land border between Sri Lanka and India. It is around 15 km away from Sri Lanka. This town has a vast stretch of beach, running up to 15 km. The town of Dhanushkodi is surrounded by Bay of Bengal on one side and Indian Ocean on other side.
This religiously significant town, which has been declared as ghost town after the cyclone of 1964, is still visited by devotees who come here to witness the ruins of a once grand temple which withstood the massive destructive waves of the cyclone, which is a miracle in itself. Its scenic beauty if also equally captivating, surrounded with vast expanse of ocean and shimmering sand. It has become one of the popular places to see when on a Rameshwaram tour.
The cyclone of 1964
It was in 1964 when a cyclone hit the holy town of Dhanushkodi, which was a popular pilgrimage. A passenger train with more than 100 passengers which was running on Dhanushkodi railway line from Pamban bridge was also hit, killing all the people on the train. A total of more than 1800 people had lost their lives in this cyclone. Entire town was washed away with just a few ruins left in the entire town. The high tidal waves also destroyed the Pambam town. After this natural calamity, Madras Government had announced this town as unfit for residing and thus this town has been declared as a ghost town. Presently only a few fishermen and their families stay in this town.
After the cyclone, only the temple was left unaffected. Once at Dhanuskodi, one can see only a few remains of the yesteryears. Apart the ruins of temple, visitors can see a water tank of the railway station and a church. People come here to explore the historical background of this place, to see the strong structure of temple that could withstand a devastating cyclone. Many devotees also come to the holy land of Dhanuskodi to seek lord’s blessings, to touch the land which has great legend behind it.
Legend / History of Dhanuskodi
According to legends of Ramayana which is one of the most sacred Hindu texts, Dhanuskodi is the place where Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman along with Lord Hanuman and the vanara army had built a bridge to Lanka so as to rescue Goddess Sita who was in the captivity of demon Ravana. This bridge is known as Ram Setu. Later, after winning the war, Lord Rama had crowned Vibhishana, brother of Ravana, as the King of Lanka. Vibhishana later asked lord to destroy the Ram Setu. Upon his request Lord Rama broke the bridge with an end of his bow. This is the reason why the place has been named ad Dhanushkodi, which means ‘end of the bow’.
According to some experts, it has been proved that there was a bridge between Indian and Sri Lanka which lay submerged in the sea, which validates the story of Lord Rama and Hindu epic Ramayana. Many devotees visit this place to witness the land where the Lord is believed to have started his journey to Lanka. The famous Kodandarama Kovil temple is also located here, which signifies the start of Lord Rama travel to lanka for rescuing Goddess Sita.
Reaching Dhanuskodi Beach
Dhanuskodi town can be reached from rameshwaram via jeeps and busses. Many passenger jeaps run from Rameshwaram to Dhanuskodi town. To reach Dhanuskodi beach, tourists are required to either travel by jeeps or vans. There is not road to the beach so they have to travel on sandy path itself. Some tourists also prefers to walk up to the beach.