Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is south-east of Pamban and is about 24 kilometres (15 mi) west of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The town was destroyed during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and remains uninhabited in the aftermath.
Dhanushkodi is on the tip of Pamban island, separated from the mainland by the Palk Strait. It shares the only land border between India and Sri Lanka, which is one of the smallest in the world at 45 metres (148 ft) in length on a shoal in the Palk Strait.
The National Highway completed the 9.5-km-long road – 5 km from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Dhanushkodi and 4.5 km from Dhanushkodi to Arichamunai. Tourists can visit by their own vehicle and end up with Pillars of Ashoka. Until 2016, Dhanushkodi was reachable either on foot along the seashore or in jeeps. In 2016, a road was completed from the village of Mukundarayar Chathiram.
A metre gauge railway line connected Mandapam on mainland India to Dhanushkodi. Boat mail express ran from Chennai Egmore to Dhanushkodi till 1964 when the metre-gauge branch line from Pamban to Dhanushkodi was destroyed during the 1964 Dhanushkodi cyclone. In 2003, Southern Railway sent a project report to Ministry of Railways for re-laying 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) railway line to Dhanushkodi from Rameswaram. The planning commission investigated the possibility of a new railway line between Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram in 2010.
As per mythology, Dhanushkodi was the spot where Lord Rama and his army built Ram Setu, otherwise known as Adam's Bridge across the sea connecting Rameshwaram Island (Tamil Nadu) and Mannar Island (Sri Lanka), to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of the demon king Ravana.
The 1964 Rameswaram cyclone (also known as the Dhanushkodi cyclone) was regarded as one of the most powerful storms to ever strike India on record. The system was first identified as an area of low pressure over the Andaman Sea on December 15. Following interaction with a tropical wave, it began to develop and became a depression by December 18. Increasingly rapid intensification ensued over the following days with the cyclone attaining hurricane-force winds around 5°N the next day. Early on December 23, the storm struck Norther Ceylon and India's Pamban Island with winds estimated at 240 km/h (150 mph), ranking it as a modern-day super cyclonic storm. Weakening somewhat, the storm soon struck Tamil Nadu. Rapid weakening followed once the cyclone was onshore and it degenerated into a depression on December 24 as it emerged over the Arabian Sea. The system later dissipated on December 26 over open water.
Tourist Attractions at DhanushKodi.
The Best Time to Visit Dhanushkodi is between October to March.
The Dhanushkodi Beach is one of the few major attractions this quaint town has to offer. The white sand beach is mostly deserted. So, you can enjoy a silent walk on the beach, without worrying about disturbances from a large crowd of beach goers.
The main attractions of the beach are Ram Setu viewpoint and the Adam's Bridge, which was said to be constructed by the army of monkeys for Lord Rama according to Hindu Legend. The Dhanushkodi beach is said to be not safe for those who cannot swim as the surf is above twelve feet at certain points.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park,
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a group of 21 small and breathtakingly beautiful islands, along with some adjacent coral reefs and shallow water habitats that are in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean. This park is also the core area for the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and is home to a myriad of plants and animals in its marine, intertidal and near shore habitats. When it comes to marine biodiversity, it boasts of being one of the wealthiest areas. Not only does the park have three aquatic ecosystems, which are the coral reef, seagrass, and mangroves, but it is also home to salt marshes and specific algal communities. The different estuaries, beaches and forests in the park further heighten its beauty and showcase nature in all its glory.
Occupying a total area of 6.23 square kilometres, the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is the first biosphere reserve to have been established in the country in the year 1980. At the same time, the park also forms a part of the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, which is the Indian Ocean. Since all the twenty-one islands of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park come under the Marine National Park sphere, tourism and related activities are restricted here. Public access and participation inside the park are limited to glass bottom boat rides. Nevertheless, a visit to this park is a must to enjoy the bounties of nature and to view some of her marvellous creations.
Adam's Bridge, a natural bridge that connects India with its neighbouring country Sri Lanka, is set amidst a gorgeous setting of raw nature that can leave anyone awe inspired by its beauty. The 50 kilometres long and 3-kilometre wide bridge starts as a chain of shoals from Dhanushkodi (tip of India's Pamban Bridge) and ends at Sri Lanka's Mannar Island. Adam's Bridge, also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, is considered as a legendary bridge which is mainly a chain of coral reefs and sandbanks. This mythical bridge has a lot of controversies associated regarding its origin and structure. The place offers a very relaxed aura and is a blissful experience for the travellers.
Dhanushkodi is the last tip of Rameshwar Island, and the Ram Setu Point is located a few meters away from Dhanushkodi. Adam's Bridge is an age-old structure which is believed to be around 1.7 million years old. The earliest mention of this bridge can be found in the Indian Sanskrit epic Ramayana, written by Valmiki. It was built by the Vanara army of Rama and was used to rescue Sita from Ravana. The stones used to make this bridge was adorned by the name of Lord Rama and were hence believed to float in water. However, scientific studies reveal that these stones were nothing, but air trapped within a shell of silica. This property made them light and made them float on the water surface. This geographical formation steeped with myths and legends is a perfect way to enjoy one's vacation while exploring nature at its best.
If you are searching for a quiet recluse, Pamban Island is your go-to place. With luxurious beaches and the skyline dotted with tall coconut trees, this little island lies between the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka. It forms the Rameshwaram taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. This island is separated from the mainland by the Pamban channel. Pamban is not only about religion, but it is also a nature lover's paradise. The island overlooks the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
Pamban Island is also known as Rameshwaram Island and houses one of the most famous pilgrimages in India -
Rameswaram. Thousands of people from not only India but from all over the world come to visit the place from where Lord Ram had built the bridge to Sri Lanka to save his wife, Sita. Apart from being the part of a legend, this famous town of Pamban has the one-of its kind Ramanathaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Pamban Island had had various rulers in the past including Ragendra Chola, Jaffna rulers etc. before it was invaded by the Turks, Mughals and of course the British. But it has still managed to hold on to its heritage and individuality. After 1947 Pamban became a part of independent India. Over the years, Pamban has become a popular holiday destination with much potential to improve its tourism further.