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Dhanushkodi - The Lost Land

Updated on March 11, 2012

Do you know which is the most spectacular sight of India? Opinions may differ from Leh to Kanya Kumari or Jaisalmeer to Tinsukia. Can you imagine the roaring waves of the mighty Indian ocean embarace the gentle and calm waters of Bay of Bengal without making any commotion? In the wildest of dreams can you see a ghost town cursed by nature's fury or drifting stones on water? That is DHANUSHKODI which means the breakage of Ram Sethu with the tip of his bow by Lord Ram.

Dhanushkodi is the southern tip of the island of Rameshwaram, which is wellknown for the ancient Ramanathaswami temple and is at a distance of about 22 kilometers away from Thalaimannar, the northern most part of SriLanka. It was a thriving coastal town having a railway station, fishing harbour, police station, church, post office and school until 1964. There was a steamer boat service between India and Ceylon (now called SriLanka) starting from Dhanushkodi to Thalaimannar. Even there was rail connectivity between India and the farthest places of SriLanka at that time. But the disastrous cyclone on 22 december 1964 wipedout almost everything on Dhanushkodi and erasing it from the Indian railway map. The furious waves destroyed the Pamban bridge connecting Pamban of Rameshwaram and Mandapam of the mainland even engulfing a moving train with hundreds of passengers. However, the Ramanathaswami temple remained intact even after its proximity to sea. But the most amazing thing was the Kodandaramaswami temple of Dhanushkodi which remained unhurt. The lively coastal town was covered with sanddunes which burried almost everything including the railway tracks and railway station.


Gentle and calm - Bay of Bengal......a View From Dhanushkodi
Gentle and calm - Bay of Bengal......a View From Dhanushkodi
The Roaring Indian Ocean.........A View From Dhanushkodi
The Roaring Indian Ocean.........A View From Dhanushkodi
The Pamban Bridge
The Pamban Bridge
Ruined Church
Ruined Church
Old Railway Track
Old Railway Track
Ruined Church
Ruined Church
Satellite picture showing Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi
Satellite picture showing Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi

Nowadays, people can go to Dhanushkodi by cabs, plying between the checkpost and the Sethu. On the way to Sethu one can see Kodandaramaswami temple. According to a legend, Vibhishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot. The idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana are installed here. One can see the remains of old railway tracks, railway station, old church, and water tank en route the Sethu. There is no road but bouncy tracks created by hired cabs, mostly Tata 407 vans. It is thrilling to watch the gentle waves of Gulf of Mannar licking out the sand gradually just in front of the vehicle. The driver has to change the course accordingly. One can see massive thorny bushes along the west coast. It is really frightening to see the edge of roaring waves of Indian Ocean over the bushes.

Thorny Bushes of Western coast
Thorny Bushes of Western coast
Unhurt With Nature's Fury - Kodandaramaswami Temple
Unhurt With Nature's Fury - Kodandaramaswami Temple

A dip in Sethu is considered very holy. New moon in Adi (Aug–Sept) and Thai (Jan-Feb) are auspicious and many pilgrims perform shradha for their ancestors.

Remainings of Tarpana after Shradha
Remainings of Tarpana after Shradha

Nowadays, we can see a few number of fishing hamlets in place of the once thriving township of Dhanushkodi and a few hundreds are residing. One can see a drifting rock kept in a small water tank near the remnants of the old railway station. Similar stones are said to be used for the construction of Ram Sethu in Ramayana and some of them are kept in the Ramanathaswami temple.

Old Water Tank
Old Water Tank
A View of the Old Water Tank
A View of the Old Water Tank
Old Railway Track
Old Railway Track
Midhakum Parai.....The Floating Stone
Midhakum Parai.....The Floating Stone
Water Tank - A Side View
Water Tank - A Side View
Recent picture inside the Water Tank
Recent picture inside the Water Tank

On reaching back at the check post we enter the road to Rameshwaram with a heavy heart full of nostalgic memories of this ghost town.

The Road Ends At The Check Post
The Road Ends At The Check Post

Comments

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    • profile image

      ajay sastri 

      2 years ago

      Best place

    • Mellyunplugged profile image

      Melvin Augustine 

      3 years ago from India

      It's a fantastic photologue hub. Great pictures of Dhanushkodi - loved 'em.

    • profile image

      partha 

      4 years ago

      thanks for sharing such valuable informative information. with this i wish to visit and see the place

    • profile image

      ramshin 

      4 years ago

      awesome. ...

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Malavika J,

      Excellent piece with rewarding photos. I wish to see it in the near future. Also wish to know more about other spots like this one in your state.

    • Malavika J profile imageAUTHOR

      Malavika J 

      6 years ago from Karumalloor,(via Alangad), Eranakulam, Kerala

      this is all about an imaginary, lost township in southeast of India exactly in tamilnadu in which cyclone of 22nd dec 1964 destroyed all the dreams of human beings of Dhanushkodi......................

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