Literally translated to tip of the bow, Dhanushkodi is a place of religious significance to Hindus in India. This previously busy fishing town is a ghost town today. A major cyclone ravaged the fishing hamlet in 1964, what remains today is just ruins. People don’t live there anymore like they used to and if you are a tourist visiting the place, you have to return before it grows dark, there’s literally nothing there, just ruins and a wonderful but mysterious ocean.
Dhanushkodi is a Sangam point – Sangam means meeting point and at Dhanushkodi you will find that the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and this point is also referred to as Arichal Munai. After completing our rituals at Rameshwaram, we are supposed to do one more ritual which includes a dip at this point to receive the blessings of our forefathers. So we took along a priest with us to complete the formalities. Dhanushkodi is situated at the tip of Pamban Island (Rameshwaram Island).
The road leading to Dhanushkodi is lovely, a straight road, about 20 km long. There’s nothing on either side, no restrooms, very little human population – mostly tourists and a few locals who act as guides.
We spotted quite a few tempo travellers/vans or autos that took people to Dhanushkodi from Rameshwaram.
Tip: You can go as early as 7 am to Dhanushkodi but you will not be permitted to stay back after 5 pm in the evening so plan accordingly.
The waters at this point (Arichal Munai) are unpredictable so getting too deep in is NOT recommended, on one day the water maybe near the shore and on another too far, so do not take it lightly. There are several horror stories attached to the waters at the Sangam point. The day we went, the water was very close to the shore and my dad had to take a few dips in the sea to finish his prayers and rituals, the priest who had accompanied us went in to the water along with him. Never go alone into the water especially at Dhanushkodi.
But the water is so lovely to keep watching, here are a few images of S playing, yes I didn’t let her go too much inside.
Now what you see here is on the left side i.e. the southeastern side of India. The beach on the other side which is again out of bounds for tourists is equally beautiful, you have to walk a bit to reach the water. We didn’t walk it up, just pictures from the Arichal Munai monument.
This is the view of the sea from this point. About 20-25 km from here lies Sri Lanka.
There was some film shooting going on here, we didn’t want to disturb them so just clicked a few pics from afar. You could just spend all the time looking at the sea; you won’t be bored, I promise. So the stretch of land i.e. the Adam’s bridge lies ahead and voila, you can reach Sri Lanka.
On the way back, we took some pictures of the ruins, they lie on either side of this stretch of newly laid road. These are ruins of what used to exist once upon a time in this fishing hamlet. There used to be a railway station, a church, a post office but today, just the structures stand there ravaged by time.
Here are some pictures of the ruins, you can fix yourself a vehicle to take you around the ruins. We took pictures on the way. It can be kinda haunting if you go near (I mean there’s no ghost or anything) but it’s just the feeling you get. There was a railway station, a school, a post office, some happy families that lived there but just the ruins stand today to tell a tale.
And this is a small settlement where some of the fishermen live now.
You can maybe snack on raw mangoes or pineapples that some of the hawkers there sell. It tastes all the more yummy with all the sand and sea haha…
The auto guy charged us INR 700, we made a deal with him the previous day when he took us to visit the other places of interest in Rameshwaram.
After a long day in the sun and sand, we returned home around noon and travelled back to Chennai the same night.
This was a religious trip we went on, and it means a lot to complete the rituals. It was a fun trip for S after our move back to India and it meant a lot to me.
Tip: If you are taking your kids along to a place, talk to them about it, give them facts about the place, make it like an adventure and make sure you discuss the details beforehand, trust me – kids love it.