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Going to Dhanushkodi? Get answers from our friendly locals
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Dhanushkodi or Danushkodi is a town/village at the southern tip of the Rameswaram island, at the eastern coast of the Tamil Nadu state of India. Dhanushkodi is situated in the South-East of Pamban. Danushkodi is about 18 miles (29 km) West of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The Dhanushkodi railway line running from Pamban Station was destroyed in the 1964 cyclone and a passenger train with over 100 passengers drowned in the sea.
Hindu scriptures says that at the request of Vibeeshana, brother of Ravan and ally of Ram, Rama broke the Sethu with one end of his bow and hence the name Dhanushkodi, Dhanush meaning Bow and Kodi meaning end. It is also said that Rama marked this spot for Setu with one end of his famous bow. Bath in holy Sethu at the junction of the two seas normally precedes the pilgrimage to Rameswaram. A series of rocks and islets found in a line are shown as remnants of the ancient Setu also called as Rama's Bridge.
It is said that Pilgrimage to Kashi will be completed only after the worship at Rameswaram besides a holy bath in Dhanushkodi at the Confluence of Mahodadhi (Bay of Bengal) and Ratnakara (Indian Ocean). Setu is the Sanskrit word to denote a bridge or causeway. It has now acquired a special significance to mean the bridge across the ocean constructed by Ram to reach Lanka.
Even though there was a railway line between Pamban and Dhanushkodi and a passenger train used to ply regularly, after the storm the tracks were damaged and in course of time, were covered by sand dunes and hence had to be abandoned. One has to reach Dhanushkodi either on foot along sea shore on the sand dunes or in jeeps and in tempos of fishermen.
There are several temples associated with Lord Rama around Rameshwaram. It is advisable to visit Dhanushkodi in groups during the day and return to Rameshwaram before sunset as the entire 15 km stretch is very lonely and scary but mystical. Tourism is budding in this area and a significant police presence to protect the visitors is there. Indian Navy has also set up a forward observation post to guard the sea. At Dhanushkodi one can see the deep and rough waters of Indian Ocean meeting the shallow and calm waters of Bay of Bengal. Since the sea is shallow here, one can walk into Bay of Bengal and witness the colourful corals, fishes, seaweeds, star fishes and sea cucumber etc.
At present, on an average, about 500 pilgrims visit Dhanushkodi daily and the number goes up by thousands during festival days, such as new and full moon days. Regular bus facility is available only up to a certain distance from Rameshwaram via Kodhanda Ram Kovil (Temple) and many pilgrims who wish to perform religious rites at Dhanushkodi have to depend on private vans who charge anything between Rs80 and 100 per passenger depending upon the number of passengers and type of vehicle. Following the public demand of pilgrims who visit Rameshwaram from all over the country, in 2003, Southern Railway sent a project report to Ministry of Railways for re-laying a 16 km new railway line to Dhanushkodi from Rameshwaram. The planning commission was asked to look into the possibility of a new railway line between Dhanuskoti and Rameshwaram instead of the earlier alignment from Pamban once again in 2010. A new survey is likely during the 12th plan.
At the "land's end" terminus of the peninsula to the southeast of Dhanushkodi, known as Arichumunai or erosion point, begins the chain of rocks and islets known as Rama's Bridge. These lead approximately 19 miles across the Paik Strait to Mannar Island on the northwestern tip of Sri Lanka. It is believed that this was an intact land bridge passable on foot until a cyclone in 1480 CE swept through the region and deepened the channel.
Annular Solar Eclipse of 15th January 2010 was observed by many scientists and enthusiasts from this place.