Rameswaram – A Pilgrimage for the Soul

Rameshwaram Sunrise

As individuals throughout the globe are locked inside their properties owing to the unfold of the COVID19 pandemic, a few of the privileged ones are discovering new methods to maintain themselves busy. Right here, in India, the nationwide community Doordarshan has given a serving to hand by telecasting reruns of its standard tv collection. One among their immensely profitable ones, Ramayana, has subsequently made a comeback to our residing rooms.

Many, who’re aware of the epic story, would agree that some of the discoursed components of this mythology is the kidnapping of Sita by the demon king Ravana and the following rescue mission led by Lord Rama. This search took him and his military, led by Lord Hanumana, to Lanka (now Sri Lanka).

However earlier than they launched into their last leg of the journey, there was a hurdle. There got here the purpose within the journey the place they met a dead-end, actually. Ram and his followers reached a spot the place the land ended, and the ocean started. From right here, they needed to navigate the open waters to crossover to Lanka.

A walk on the beach

At this time, this level is a brief drive away from the city of Rameswaram, which lies on Pamban Island, off mainland India. Rameshwaram is within the state of Tamil Nadu and is a well-liked pilgrimage heart for being one of many Char Dhams in India.

At this final piece of land, it’s stated; Lord Rama identified a spot, now often called Arichal Munai, to Lord Hanuman, from the place he might construct a bridge to achieve Lanka. This bridge, known as Ram Setu within the epic, is extra generally often called Adam’s Bridge. It’s invisible to the bare eye, however apparently could be seen by way of satellite tv for pc photographs even right now.

Geological proof does counsel a land connection between the 2 nations at this spot. The bridge, now underwater, is a series of limestone shoals and separates the Gulf of Mannar from Palk Strait. It’s positioned roughly 20Kms from Rameswaram, on the tip of the Pamban Island.

Sandwiched between the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, the street main in the direction of this endpoint from Rameswaram is an unforgettable drive. Getting right here by street is the one means. From this level, Sri Lanka is so shut that you simply may have the ability to connect with considered one of their cell networks!

Venturing into the water isn’t allowed or really helpful, however a stroll alongside the seaside is price each minute you spend right here. Arichal Munai is the purpose the place the 2 water our bodies merge.

As you watch the blue waters with excessive tides from the Indian Ocean combine with the calming waters of the Bay of Bengal, you understand that ultimately, every part in nature meets its match. Life displays nature.

Dhanushkodi

Whereas driving to Arichal Munai from Rameswaram, one has to cross the misplaced land of Dhanushkodi, which interprets to ‘tip of the bow.’ It has an intriguing historical past of its personal that doesn’t disguise behind the veil of mysticism. In reality, the story lies scattered amongst its ruins alongside the shores of the 2 water our bodies that border it on both facet.

This misplaced land belonged to a once-thriving coastal city with its personal railway station, secondary college, a port, and a put up workplace. Nonetheless, it now stays largely deserted, albeit a couple of fisher of us who stay in makeshift thatched roof homes.

Over half a century in the past, a robust cyclone hit the island and wiped away the vast majority of its inhabitants, destroyed virtually all of the buildings, and washed away a passenger prepare with 115 onboard because it desperately made approach to its final cease on Pamban Island.

With such a various existence, a journey to Dhanushkodi is full of melancholy and fascination, unexpectedly. It beckons you with its intriguing mythological references, a somber historical past, and charming pure magnificence.

Road towards Arichal Munai

Given the remoteness of Dhanushkodi, there are restrictions on getting into and driving forward in the direction of Arichal Munai. You need to plan your go to between dawn and sundown. I used to be there simply earlier than daybreak and was delighted by my expertise.

With no soul in sight, besides the native fishermen and girls with their recent morning catch, I had the hauntingly lovely place all to myself. The break of the church, made of gorgeous corals, was some of the eye-catching sights. With a backdrop of the blue ocean, it stood as a stark reminder of how we stay mere spectators within the bigger epic penned by nature.

Throughout the street are the ruins of the railway line that when related this nook of the island to mainland India. At a distance, you’ll be able to spot the pillars of the broken railway station, which was a silent witness of that fateful evening.

Ruins of the Rainway Station in Dhanushkodi

Given the remoteness of Dhanushkodi, recent ingesting water and meals provides are restricted. The settlement is now powered by photo voltaic panels, which was an initiative led by the late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who hailed from Rameswaram.

There’s a memorial devoted to this nice thoughts in Rameshwaram at his burial website. The memorial showcases his private belongings, together with the final speech he delivered in Shillong again in 2015.

APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial

The extra acquainted sight for a lot of would, nevertheless, be the view of the Pamban Railway Bridge. It’s one which has been imprinted on our minds from our faculty days. It’s India’s oldest sea bridge that opened in 1914 and was the longest till the opening of the Bandra Worli Sea Hyperlink in 2010.

The joys of a prepare journey throughout the bridge that connects the city of Mandapam on the mainland to Pamban Island doesn’t have a match. Nonetheless, for a greater view of the bridge, you would want to make use of a separate bridge meant for vehicular site visitors.

Pamban Bridge

For many guests, the spotlight of Rameswaram stays the attractive Ramnathswamy Temple, satirically devoted to Lord Shiva, who was worshipped by Lord Rama. Aside from the non secular significance of being one of many Char Dhams, its different attraction is the magnificent hall surrounded by fantastically carved pillars.

A go to to Rameswaram and its environment is a poignant but fulfilling journey that not solely transports you bodily over breathtaking pure magnificence however one which takes you deep inside your self. It’s a place the place you query present beliefs and search for solutions which may result in a extra significant actuality.

Concerning the Creator: Namrata is a author for Ticker Eats the World. Getting misplaced within the labyrinths of historic cities is her very best vacation. She has a penchant for distinctive and off-beat experiences and embraces sluggish journey. She writes about her private journey experiences on her weblog happypheet.in. You may also comply with her travels on Instagram.

Photographs – Creator and Unsplash

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