April 14, 2008


I took a 3 hour bus ride to Rameswaram from Madurai. Rameswaram is a town located on an island off the coast of the tip of mainland India. Sri Lanka is visible in the distance. It is here that the hero of the epic Ramayana is said to have built a bridge to the island nation to retrieve his lovely wife Sita from the clutches of her captor Ravana. It is not hard to imagine, as a clearly visibly chain of odd looking undersea rocks head towards Sri Lanka. This is known as Rama Setu or Adam's Bridge, and it can be seen through the turquoise water. Rameswaram is accessible by land from India by another magnificent bridge - the 2.3 km long Pamban Bridge.

The ghost town of Dhanushkodi consists of deserted and decaying buildings, the surviving remnants of a devastating cyclone. Simultaneously surreal and beautiful, it can be reached by catching a ride on a mini-bus full of stinky fish(ermen). The other highlight of Rameswaram is the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Here I was drenched with water from 23 sacred wells, each containing water from a different sacred river. I drank from each well to ensure they had distinct tastes.