Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Long drive to Delhi - 9 : Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu

Rameshwaram is located on Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar about 50 km short of Srilanka. Towards north-west is Palk Strait. The Island is connected by Pamban rail bridge with Indian mainland. It has a population of less than 50,000 & the area is spread over 60 sq km. Its elevation is 10 meters. Most of the area has yellow brown sandy soil where only bushes like Kikar grow.

Road to Rameshwaram is two lane with lots of tourist traffic. There is not much option of eateries along the way.

Main attraction here is of Ramanathaswmy Temple devoted to Lord Shiva. This is one of the Char Dhams of India. Ram, Sita & Laxman are said to have performed  pooja of Shivling to atone for killing of Ravan. It is also believed that they had built a floating bridge Ram Setu, near Dhanushkodi up to Talaimannar, Srilanka. Some samples of floating stones are kept in an Hanuman Temple for view against payment of course.

There are 22 fresh water 'Kund' in the Temple complex & one can have pilgrim's bath on payment. Attendants are there to throw a bucket full of water from each of the 'Kund' on you. Enjoy.

Clean India campaign is yet to reach there. Pandaas, beggars & the like are ready to fleece you and sea shore is dirty. Temple is beautiful piece of architecture but unfortunately they don't allow cameras or mobiles. This seems to me an outdated & illogical idea.
Some photos:
About 30 km off from Madurai we saw this on road side. On closer look it turned out to be garland of lemons for Kaali temple 

Some devotees inside the  temple 

Pamban rail bridge as seen from road bridge

Another view of Pamban rail & road bridges

Transmission tower soars over the Kikar jungle

Dhanushkodi. It was a flourishing town with rail connection & ferry service to Srilanka. In cyclone of 1964 whole town vanished along with a passenger train carrying 100 people

House of former President A P J Abdul Kalam. His elder brother runs a shop of sea shells etc for the tourists on second floor. First floor has a small museum having lots of medallions & memorabilia of Mr Kalam

A church on main road with fish designed on front - fish is inseparable part of life here

Masque near the Pamban bridge

Gurudwara, temple, church & masque on same road - road to God is one! 

Bargaining for Jamun near Vibhishan Temple

Bazar near Vibhishan Temple

Last village near the sea - tough life for villagers 

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