The Lost City - Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi is the southern tip of the Rameshwaram. It is the closest point on the Indian coast to Srilanka. It suffered major damage in a devastating cyclone in 1964, which washed away the rail bridge connection of the town to the mainland. The remains of the town can still be seen now. People in large numbers come here for seeing the ruined city.

What’s This -

Forty Eight years ago, on a unfortunate night of December a train left Pamban station and at 11:55 pm, minutes before it was to enter Dhanushkodi station, the signal went off.  The driver plowed ahead, and within seconds a huge tidal wave struck the train and swept it into sea, killing all 115 people aboard.

Once upon a time, Dhanushkodi was a flourishing town.  Across the sea, just 30 kilometres away lies Sri Lanka, and there were daily ferries between the two countries. The cyclone of 1964 changed all that, killing 1800 people in its wake, and submerging the town almost entirely.  In a religious twist to the tale, eyewitnesses say that the waves stopped just short of Rameshwaram temple, where thousands of people had taken refuge.

Soon after the disaster, the government declared Dhanushkodi as a ‘ghost town’ and declared it unfit for living. Today, only a few fishermen can be seen on its beaches.  Dhanushkodi’s most important attraction is the mysterious Adam’s Bridge, made entirely of out limestone and holding religious significance as it is the bridge that Rama was supposed to have built for crossing over to Lanka.

There are daily jeep tours from Rameswaram, and you can still see the remains of the railways station, hospital, post office and some houses
Another important attraction is the mysterious Adam’s Bridge, otherwise known as the Ram Sethu. This is a bridge made entirely of limestone that barely connects the Indian mainland with the Sri Lankan mainland. This bridge has high religious significance, as followers of the Hindu faith believe that Lord Rama built the bridge in his quest to reach the land of Lanka, where Ravana is said to have reigned.

The nearest town is Rameshwaram, 18 kms away. Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town and permit visitors only during day. So you have to stay at Rameshwaram.

How to reach

By air: Nearest airport: Madurai (167kms)
By rail: Nearest railway station: Rameshwaram, 18kms
By road: Buses and taxis conducting regular service between Madurai and Rameshwaram. From Rameshwaram you have to hire private vehicles through the sands.
Local transport: Inside the city walls of Rameshwaram, you can hire a jeep or an auto rickshaw.

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