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Rama Setu Rameshwaram Address: Between Pamban Island and MannarIsland, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, 623526, India
Rama Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is another popular place to see in Rameshwaram. Connecting Rameshwaram of Tamil Nadu to the Mannar Island of Sri Lanka, Rama Setu is a causeway with a length of 30 km long. It has been built of limestone shoals. According to geographical evidences, this bridge used to connect Sri Lanka and India. Rama Setu starts from Dhanushkodi and ends at the Mannar Island of Sri Lanka.
It is said that it was used as a connecting bridge between the two countries until it was hit by a cyclone in 1480 which led to submersion of most of it parts. Currently the bridge is about 3 – 30 feet underwater and is unfeasible for any kind of use. This historical bridge also has religious importance; many legends associate it to the Lord Rama and the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Owing to its great religious significance and mystical evidence, Rama Setu has become a must visit for every Rameshwaram Tour.
Legend of Rama Setu / Adam’s Bridge
It is considered to be one of the holiest sites for Hindus devotees. Many devotees visit this site to offer their prayers to the Lord. According to the legend, this bridge was built by the vanara army that had accompanied Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman in the war against demon Ravana so as to rescue Goddess Sita and end his cruelties.
Rama Setu has been described in many ancient texts, including religious scriptures as well as research books and maps. In the religious epic Ramayana, Valmiki also writes about Sethubandhanam which connects India with Lanka, which was a kingdom of Ravana. This ancient bridge also has been mentioned in the Book of Roads and Kingdoms (850 AD) by Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh also. It has been referred as the Set Bandhai or the Bridge of the Sea. Another mention of this bridge can be seen in maps which were made in 1747 by a Dutch cartographer, where this area has been shown as Ramancoil means Rama Temple. This map has been kept at the Thanjavur Saraswathi Mahal Library. Many other maps prepared during varied decades have mentioned this area and place.
This bridge is also known with the name of Adam’s Bridge which was given by a British Cartographer in 1804. It was given based on an Abrahamic legend, according to which Adam crossed the sea over this bridge to reach a mountain where he had stood in penitence for 1000 years which gradually left a large mark on the hill, similar to a footprint. This peak is known with the name of Adam’s peak.
Reaching Ram Setu, Rameshwaram
Rama Setu can be reached via Dhanushkodi, which is about 20 km away from Rameshwaram town. Dhanushkodi can be reached via jeeps as there is not concrete road connectivity after the cyclone of 1964 which had swept away the entire town which was once a popular religious shrine. From Dhanushkodi beach tourists can hire boats that will take them to the sand dunes. A visit here definitely makes Rameshwaram Tour even more interesting.