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Dhanushkodi

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Uploaded on Sep 6, 2011

Dhanushkodi is a mere strip of land barely 1 kms wide and 20 kms long. It is roughly 8 kms from the Rameswaram Temple. It may be reached by boat or by surface transport or, if you prefer the mightiness of the ocean, by walking. Its barrenness was further exacerbated by the tsunami that hit this coastline on December 26, 2004. The ex-President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, hails from this fishing hamlet.

As you turn your back to the land mass and face the waters, you are met by the calm sea of the Bay of Bengal mingling with the roughness of the Indian Ocean, the salty breeze assailing your eyes, your nose and your lips. The scene is truly incredible and as you watch the mighty ocean, you realise how utterly puny you truly are. An evening visit is magnificent as the setting sun turns the entire scene iridescent

These two seas resemble a bow at their confluence with the strip of land akin to an arrow on the brink of release. In the Hindu epic, 'Ramayan', Dhanushkodi is the place where Lord Ram anointed Vibhishan the brother of the demon king, Ravan and, at the latter's request, broke the bridge with one end of his bow (dhanus=bow; kodi=end). Therefore the name, Dhanushkodi. Another story is that Lord Rama marked this spot for the bridge with one end of his bow.

Prior to 1964, there was a British-built railway line as well as a railway station here. However, the devastating cyclone of 1964, destroyed the village as well as all semblance of the railway line. The tsunami has done the rest, leaving not a rack behind. To quote the great Bard:

"Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

(The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148--158)

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