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Pamban island, Dhanushkodi Overview

If you are searching for a quiet recluse, Pamban Island is your go-to place. With luxurious beaches and the skyline dotted with tall coconut trees, this little island lies between the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka. It forms the Rameshwaram taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. This island is separated from the mainland by the Pamban channel. Pamban is not only about religion, but it is also a nature lover's paradise. The island overlooks the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

Pamban Island is also known as Rameshwaram Island and houses one of the most famous pilgrimages in India - Rameswaram. Thousands of people from not only India but from all over the world come to visit the place from where Lord Ram had built the bridge to Sri Lanka to save his wife, Sita. Apart from being the part of a legend, this famous town of Pamban has the one-of its kind Ramanathaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Pamban Island had had various rulers in the past including Ragendra Chola, Jaffna rulers etc. before it was invaded by the Turks, Mughals and of course the British. But it has still managed to hold on to its heritage and individuality. After 1947 Pamban became a part of independent India.  Over the years, Pamban has become a popular holiday destination with much potential to improve its tourism further.

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Attractions and Activities at Pamban Island

1. Pamban Bridge: The Pamban Bridge is a railway and roadway bridge which connects Pamban Island to the Indian mainland. It was built in 1914 and was the longest bridge until the Bandra-Worli sea link was constructed in Maharashtra. Tourists going to and from Rameshwaram have to pass this bridge to enter Kanyakumari.

2. Kurusadai Island: This island is located to the west of Pamban Bridge, between Pamban Island and the Indian mainland. It is blessed with such biodiversity and natural beauty that it has not only become a nature lover's paradise but also a research centre for marine biologists. This secluded island is home to each and every kind of phylum except amphibians. Kurusadai must be visited if you want a taste of the wondrous beauty of nature.

3. Adam's Bridge: The Adam's bridge, also known as Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals which connects Pamban and Mannar Islands. The view from this bridge is worth a visit. Legend says that it is the same bridge which was built by Hanuman and his soldiers for Sri Ram.

History of Pamban Island

Pamban Island is famous for its legends rather than its history. The town of Rameshwaram in Pamban is the place from where Lord Ram started building the bridge to Sri Lanka to go there and rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. Various commemorations of this event are strewn all over Pamban. One of the major attractions of the place, the Pamban Bridge also comes with a story of the Weeping Man. There is also a picture of A weeping man holding some body parts, at the entrance of the bridge. The story goes thus:

During the British rule, a middle-aged man was appointed to roll the wheels of the bridge up and down to let ships pass through (the mechanism of the bridge is such that it opens up like a scissor from the middle to let ships pass and then again comes down to join together to form a railroad). One day, he saw an unreported train approaching the bridge when it was still up. So he started rolling down the wheels quickly to let the train have a safe passage. Just then, his son arrived with his lunch and seeing his father work frantically starts helping his father. But unfortunately, the little boy's finger got stuck in the wheel. The man, aware that if he stops his work to save his son, hundreds of people will die, kept on rolling the wheel. The train passed safely, but the boy got crushed in the wheels. This is the sad story involving the Pamban Bridge. Although it has not been confirmed that this story is true or not, it has become a famous legend.

As for the history of this island, Pamban has had many rulers in the past including Rajendra Chola (1012-1040 CE), rulers from Jaffna Kingdom (1215-1624 CE). It has been invaded many times by the Turks, Mughals and British and was finally Independent in 1947 along with the rest of India.

Best Time To Visit Pamban island

Pamban Island has a Tropical climate. Therefore, it can be visited any time of the year. However, the summers tend to be too hot, so winter is the best time to visit the island. In case you want to experience the beautiful yet intimidating view of the ocean during rains the monsoon is a good time to visit Pambanbnam.

Tips For Visiting Pamban island

1. Buy some sea shell items you should visit the Kalam Sea shell Mart.
2. The beaches of Dhanushkodi are excellent for conducting picnics. Though it is advisable not to stay there after dusk.
3. A train ride on the Pamban bridge would be an unforgettable experience.

How To Reach Pamban island

You can hire a car from Madurai. You can also take a train from Madurai to Rameswaram on Southern Railway and alight at Pamban Railway Station. The distance is about 150 km and can be covered in 4 hrs approx.

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