Ep-4 Dhanushkodi - Ram setu, Bay of Bengal meets Indian Ocean, Near Rameswaram | Tamil Nadu
This is the view that can be enjoyed only if you come here physically! There's no other way to enjoy it! Isn't this view amazing! There is a road passing in the centre. And sea on the left and right sides. We had gone right up to the farthest point visible to you on camera.
An aerial view is always mesmerizing, especially if you are looking at the sea! So beautiful! Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. We are starting our day with a visit to Ramar Padam Theerth. It also has information on the other tourist spots to visit in the surrounding areas.
What you see on the hill top is the Ramar Padam Theerth. Come! Inside the temple, we had darshan of the foot imprints of Bhagwan Ram. The temple priest told us a story about when Prabhu Ram came to Rameshwaram...
...specifically to this place... ...he spent some time here to catch his breath. He spent a night here. After that, he proceeded to Dhanushkodi, while on his way to Lanka. Tourists often visit this place to have darshan of Bhagwan Ram's foot imprint. Here, you can also enjoy beautiful views in all the four directions. Since it is cloudy today, the sky is not clearly visible. Only dark as well as white clouds are visible along with a light drizzle today.
Let us climb to the top. We will be able to see a better view. Wow! The view from here is even better than the view we had earlier. Most of the accumulated water you see in this view is the rainwater. And it is all green surroundings. This hill is known as the 'Gandhamadan Parvath", where Parvath means a hill.
This temple is built upon this hill. Very nice! We've now come to visit the ancestral home of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. His elder brother's family lives inside this house with the blue gate.
If you go up these stairs, you will reach a gallery with lots of photographs.... ...related to his personal life as well as his work, different official positions he... ...occupied on different occasions. Apart from photographs, the gallery also has information on various incidents.... ...related to Dr. Kalam and his sayings as well. So, you can spend 30-45 minutes here and learn a lot about this great man's life. Since photography/videography is prohibited inside gallery, I can't show you footage. There is a 'Kalam Seashell Mart' on this side.
Let's go and visit the Seashell Mart, then we'll exit from there. There are a variety of shells here. These are 'Shankhs' (Conch shells). And these are 'Torans' (door hangings). Its price is Rs 620 for the whole set.
You can hang it outside your door. Nice! This 'Tea Time' restaurant is next to the mart. We've ordered tea along with cream biscuits. I haven't seen this combination of Atta (whole wheat) biscuits and cream before. Seeing this for the first time! Okay, this is good! I've noticed that here you need to specify that your tea should have less sugar.
That's right. Sugar is usually on the higher side, like in this tea. This isn't too high! It's not! How come! It is so sweet. I drink less sweet tea and it is okay for me. Alright! Usually, they add even more sugar to tea. Okay! For me, this tea is too sweet! Hmm! This is delicious! I mean...
...it has a good taste! They don't have much available here but still... ...they have puff, samosa, ragi biscuits, normal biscuits, and packed noodles. We will leave here in 10 minutes. We will take you along on the next leg of our journey though... ...we might not be able to take out our gimbal as much as we'd like due to the rain. Otherwise, the footage might get compromised. It would be better if the rain stopped by the time we reached Dhanushkodi. We stopped 9 KM before Dhanushkodi.
First, we are going to visit the Kothanda Ramar Temple. So, we stopped before this bridge started. The wind is flowing in from behind my back. A while ago, I was standing with my face in the opposite direction. Like this.
It was fun standing like that but the audio couldn't be recorded properly. So, we turned around because the wind was flowing in from this direction. There is the Bay of Bengal on this side and that side. So, this is the Bay of Bengal. Do you see the road stretching behind that auto? Let me show you from this side. Do you see the shrubs in the distance? Beyond these is the Indian Ocean.
It is so much fun! Let us walk for some distance on this bridge. And you know what! If not for the rain, I would've shown you the aerial view of this place. Wow! I am enjoying here! Today...
...it feels like... ...our day has been made! The best thing is that there isn't much traffic plying on this road. This place wouldn't have been as much fun if there had been too much traffic here. It is peaceful here! A strong breeze is blowing. A light drizzle is pouring. And the air is cool enough. Superb! We've reached Shri Kothanda Ramar temple.
Just like the view I showed you a little while ago.... ...but this view isn't as good because earlier, we had sea on either side of us. Here, we can see the sea on this side. We can go a little closer to it. Let's do one thing.
Let's visit the temple first. Then, we'll walk up to the sea and enjoy the view. That would be good.
Videography and photography aren't allowed inside the inner sanctum of the temple. I have come out of the temple after having darshan. Inside the temple, we had darshan of.... ...Sita Mata, Bhagwan Ram... ...Laxman Ji... ...Hanuman Ji, and... ...Vibhishan. The priest told us that the statues we are seeing are at least 800 years old. In 1964, this place was ravaged by a cyclone. That cyclone caused a lot of devastation in Dhanushkodi but...
...the temple remains standing even today. This temple wasn't disturbed at all in any way. This is believed to be the same place where... ...Bhagwan Ram conducted the 'Raj-Tilak' (coronation) of Vibhishan before the war. We saw a few paintings depicting an artist's imagination of the ceremony. As per Ramayan, when Vibhishan was in air, on his way to Dhanushkodi.... ...the Vanar Sena took him for a 'Doot' (messenger) of Ravana. Some took him to be a spy too.
Around that time, Hanuman Ji prayed to Bhagwan Ram that if Vibhishan was... ...saying the truth, then they should believe him. He also advised that their war strategy should take Vibhishan's truth into account. This is why Dhanushkodi is a significant place. When pilgrims visit Dhanushkodi, they also visit this temple, like we did. You should also visit here, you will feel good! Two bikes are coming in from that direction. This is the route we took to come to the temple.
This bridge is built over the Bay of Bengal. If you go straight for a KM on this bridge, you'll reach the road connecting.... ...Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. Earlier today, we were on that road. On this road, you have Bay of Bengal on one side and Indian Ocean on the other. It was a good decision to visit here. Now, we will go back.
The rain seems to have stopped. It would be good if the rain stays away for another hour and a half. Let's go now.
You will see the Bay of Bengal on our left-hand side... ...and the Indian Ocean on the right-hand side. This beautiful road in the middle. It feels so good to travel on this road! When we had reached Dhanushkodi,... ...we decided to visit it on return and first.... ...we went to visit the last land point in this region. We stopped about a KM before the last point. Isn't this amazing! This view is the main attraction of this place. To travel on this road, in between the two oceans! This is the only place in the country to offer this kind of experience.
And when you will reach the tip of this land mass.... ...you will see two oceans meeting each other. Bay of Bengal & Indian Ocean! Very nice! All this traffic you see is headed to the last point on this road. We still have one KM to go till the last point but... ...the traffic is stopped here, otherwise, it would cause jam at the last point. People, therefore, park their vehicles a kilometer from the last point.
And they walk beyond the point of parking. This is the taxi in which we came here. We've parked our car 500 meters away. Now, we will walk up to that point of land, beyond which is the ocean. And across the ocean is Sri Lanka. Let me show you our destination point so that you get an idea of how long we've to go.
Take a look. The last point is right where this crowd of tourists ends. It's a better option to park car by the roadside and walk along the sea, not the road.
Like I am doing right now. You'd enjoy better if you walked away from the crowd of tourists, who throng the road. This traffic should give you an idea of what I am talking about. Now what happens, is people drive in their vehicle, up to the last point, ...
...and realize that they can neither park their cars nor reverse easily. So, it is a better idea to park at a distance and walk here. Finally we... ...have reached our destination. Now, see... ...the scene that I showed you earlier, that had... ...ocean on either side of the view. And here... ...we have the 'Sangam' (confluence), which we'll now see. Before visiting the Sangam, you should see this 'Ashoka's Pillar' here.
Tourists are clicking photographs with this pillar. I've noticed one thing. We're here as a team. Some tourists are here in groups of 4 or 5. And some are here in busloads too. These are groups of 40-50 tourists.
And everyone is enjoying their time here! This is the only place in the country... ...where we can see a Sangam like this. See! On the left is the Bay of Bengal. On the right side is the Indian Ocean.
And the Sangam is taking place in the front. When we visited Kanyakumari... ...there... ...the Arabian Sea is also a part of this Sangam. The Arabian Sea is missing here but... ...look at this view. From here, if we go straight for 27 KM on a ferry or ship...
...we would reach Sri Lanka. Gulf of Mannar! If you visit here during the summer season... ...you can visit during morning time, between 8 and 10 AM. Or you can come during the evening time, between 3 or 4 PM. Last entry is allowed till 4.30 PM.
When you will leave Rameshwaram for this place, 20 KM from here,... ...they won't allow you to come here after 4.30 PM. It is sunny during the day. Now, we are here during the winter season. It is raining continuously, and there are clouds in the sky. You don't feel the warmth at all.
I am enjoying it here. Let us do one thing. We've had enough fun here. I can see a lot of tourists standing there, near the ocean. We'll also go there. Let us check out the scene there.
Oh God! See, this view is coming straight from the Sangam point. Do you see the waves coming in from this direction? These are waves from the Indian Ocean. And these waves coming from this direction.... ...are of the Bay of Bengal. This is exactly where the Sangam is taking place. That is why, I was wondering, so many tourists are gathered here. This is straight Sangam.
Isn't it wonderful! Wow! Earlier, I was showing you the ocean from there! Before that, we were standing near the Ashok Pillar. The crowd down here is the same in numbers as that up there. Some tourists are standing by the beach while others are standing in the water. Everyone is enjoying it! You just need to be cautious about where you are standing here. You should not go deeper than 2-4 meters in the water. This place is mainly famous for the 'Ram-Setu' (Rama's bridge)! Every tourist is keen to know whether they can see Ram-Setu today.
The truth remains that the Ram-Setu is completely immersed in water. Quite a few research teams have done research in this area in the past. Nobody has been able to ascertain the depth to which the Ram-Setu has immersed.
But this is the place where Ram-Setu once existed. As for Sri Lanka, I've already told you, distance-wise, it is 27 KM away. There is a coastal town called Nagapattanam in this area.
About 125 KM from Thanjavur. Recently, in October 2023, from there... ...a ship service has been launched for Sri Lanka, on a pilot basis. We had to travel 5 KM to reach Dhanushkodi. Now, we will visit the lighthouse here. We reached here around 5 PM, which is also the closing time here. The timings are written here - from 10 AM to 1 PM ...
...and 2.30 PM to 5 PM, and... ...closed on Monday. And the time right now is 4.50 PM. We will quickly purchase the Rs. 10 ticket and enter, and... ...we've already ordered our meal at that dhaba across the road. This will save us 10-15 minutes of our time. Come, let's go! The view that is visible from here... ...is just like you are sitting atop a drone. This is amazing! Wonderful! From here, you can look in all four directions.
The wind is flowing in this direction. To stand here and enjoy the wind in your face is an amazing feeling. Oh! Wow! This is the view that can be enjoyed only if you come here physically! Isn't it amazing! There is a road passing in the centre. And sea on the left and right sides. We had gone right up to the farthest point visible to you on camera. An aerial view is always mesmerizing, especially if you are looking at the sea! It is so much better! So beautiful! Trains used to come right up to this place before 1964.
The cyclone came in 1964. Apart from the local railway station, the school, church.... ....and the accommodations of local people,... ...everything got devastated. That cyclone was really destructive. It would be safe to assume that people used to live here earlier. However, now, nobody lives here anymore.
You don't get electricity or a mobile facility here. In a way, living here is not allowed by the authorities. Now, let me walk along the sea and tell you about our programme ahead. First, let me take off my chappal.
It would be better that way. Come! In the present times, if a ship travels from the Arabian Sea... ...towards the Bay of Bengal, and... ...let's say its destination is Odisha. Or West Bengal. That ship will take a detour around Sri Lanka and then come into the Bay of Bengal. The area between India and Sri Lanka...
...which is called the Palk Strait... ...the ship doesn't pass through that. The reason for that would be the 'Ram-Setu' bridge. It is a World Heritage Site. Due to this reason, the ships can't go through this channel of water. Sending ships through here could cause damage to the Ram-Setu. The Ram-Setu bridge exists even today but under the water. This is the vast Indian Ocean in front of you.
Looks great doesn't it? The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal is visible on both of our coastlines but... ...to see the Indian Ocean, you will have to visit here. Very good! You should not attempt to go inside the water as it is very steep. It's okay till here. Come, now our fish must be ready, let's go. If I add all the dhabas on either side of this road, those must be 70-80 in number.
All of them serve fresh fish to you. Non-vegetarian lovers do partake in this fish while on their way back from Dhanushkodi. Many people told me this. Before I eat it with rice, I would like to taste the fish curry first. Can I have some fish curry, please? Let us taste fish first. The cost of this Kingfish is Rs 800.
We were late in coming here. Because it took us a little more time at the beach. He prepared the fish and kept it out. Then we came here. Then it was put into the pan again to let it get hot. In that process, there is a little excess oil in the fish.
But if I talk about its taste, that is perfect! This preparation gets full marks for its simplicity. Salt, turmeric and chilli powder. There is nothing else in its marination. We eat something, and we say it has a desi taste. The same can be said about this fish curry.
Absolutely local! Simple, rustic flavour, like that of dishes cooked in villages or in somebody's home. It is well made. I liked the fish. The gravy tastes great with rice! You would get a good meal for Rs 800, as I told you already, including rice and fish. We are ending today's journey here.
Tomorrow, we are going to Karaikudi. Tonight, we are going to stay in Thanjavur.. Right! We will go to Rameshwaram and have our dinner. And our day will end after that. I am just thinking when I would have dinner, now that I've had lunch at 5.30 PM.
We will have dinner at 9 PM. The lunch happened late. For now, it is bye-bye! We will meet again soon. Thanks for your time!