Dhanushkodi Mystique Of A Forgotten Town

Once a thriving port city, Dhanushkodi now stands as a beautiful forgotten town, offering visitors a glimpse into its intriguing history and captivating landscapes
The remains of an ancient church
The remains of an ancient church

Dhanushkodi is only about ten kilometres long, yet its significance in Indian mythology is considerably beyond its size. It is reported that Rama built his bridge to cross into Lanka here. Dhanushkodi is only about 30 kilometres from Sri Lanka. Satellite pictures and geographical studies suggest that a multitude of sandbanks, reefs, and shoals extend from that point all the way to the Sri Lankan island of Mannar. This geographical landmark is known as Adam's Bridge (or Rama's Bridge throughout most of India).

The place derives its name from the words "dhanush" (bow) and "kodi" (end). Legend has it that Lord Rama built a bridge, known as Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge, to Sri Lanka from here by using a bow. The town's sacred significance brings pilgrims from across the country to Dhanushkodi. In 1964, tragedy struck Dhanushkodi when a severe cyclone engulfed the region, causing unprecedented destruction and the loss of lives. The town was left in ruins, and the government declared it unfit for habitation, turning it into a ghost town overnight. Since then, nature has slowly reclaimed the land.

Dhanushkodi marks the meeting point of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The currents here are strong, making it an intriguing spot for nature enthusiasts. It lies in close proximity to Sri Lanka, with the Palk Strait acting as a natural border. On a clear day, you can catch glimpses of the Sri Lankan coast from the town. The ruins of a once-thriving railway station stand as a poignant reminder of the past. Dhanushkodi was once connected by rail, but after the cyclone, the rail service was discontinued.

Places To See

Dhanushkodi, with its compelling history, evocative ruins, and surreal landscapes, invites intrepid travellers to step into a world frozen in time. Its allure lies more in its remoteness, rustic charm, and historical significance than in any commercial amenities. Embrace the simplicity of the region and savour the unique experiences it offers. The town's poignant beauty and the whispers of its past create an indelible impression on visitors. As you wander through the abandoned streets and feel the gentle touch of the sea breeze, Dhanushkodi will leave an imprint on your soul&mdashan exploration that unearths the true essence of travel the discovery of forgotten treasures and the stories they hold.  

Explore the remnants of the old town, with its dilapidated buildings, crumbling churches, and rusty railway tracks, which evoke a sense of awe and melancholy. Witness the stark beauty of nature reclaiming its territory, with sand dunes sweeping through abandoned streets and doorways. Experience the ethereal beauty of Dhanushkodi Beach, where the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean converge in a mesmerising meeting of waters. The pristine sandy shores, fringed by casuarina trees, offer a serene setting for contemplation and relaxation, especially during the winter months. Head to the Ram Setu viewpoint, which offers a panoramic vista of the sea and the remnants of the mythical bridge that once connected India and Sri Lanka. 

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Where To Stay

Accommodation options in Dhanushkodi are limited, and most tourists prefer to stay in the nearby town of Rameshwaram, which is about 20 kilometres away. Rameshwaram offers a range of hotels, guesthouses, and resorts to suit different budgets and preferences. To find government-approved stays, check here

Where To Eat

While exploring Dhanushkodi, it's advisable to carry packed food and ample water, as the facilities for food and beverages in the town are minimal. Additionally, it's essential to adhere to responsible tourism practices by not littering and respecting the area's fragile ecosystem. When it comes to dining options, visitors can explore a variety of eateries in Rameshwaram that offer a range of cuisines, including South Indian, North Indian, and seafood delicacies. Ahaan-The Restaurant in Daiwik Hotels is a favoured choice among locals and tourists. In case you have an appetite for lots of seafood and have no qualms about dining at a fancy place, you can also head to Mr Fish, located on the highway connecting Dhanushkodi to Rameshwaram. 

Where To Shop

Since there isn't much to do around Dhanushkodi as it is basically empty of too many infrastructure, the best place to shop is to head over to is the closest city which is&nbspRameshwaram. There you can shop for silk sarees, handicraft and textile items along with various trinkets and souvenirs. 

Getting There

The nearest airports are in Madurai and Tuticorin. Rameshwaram is the closest city (18 km), with good rail connectivity from many cities. 

Cover photo credit Depositphotos

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