Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi!

Rameshwaram Temple

The trip that I am going to cover in this blog is a very special trip to my heart and will always be. All my trips are special to me but this one is more because, the location in itself is a one Dham amongst the 4 Dhams of India and secondly because, we also covered a place nearby which I wanted to go for a very very long time. All the times some thing or the other happened and the trip got canceled but this time I was super firm and the trip happened.

Okay okay let me dismiss the suspense and tell you all about the this special place which is Rameshwaram. I have been to Rameshwaram twice before this trip when I was a kid but don’t really remember anything about the place and about the temple. This time it was special because obviously I am a grown up now and I can better relate with God. Also, trips with Ishan are never boring. We reached the railway station like usual an hour before and the hunger started striking again though we had our dinner. There is a restaurant at Bangalore railway station platform number 1 near the staircase for the passengers. As we entered the restaurant she told us not to sit on a 4 seater table as we were only two. We found it a bit weird as the whole of the restaurant was empty. Then she denied that we don’t have coffee, we again managed with a coke and at last she did something which was extremely disrespectful, she asked us to leave because we were only having coke and not eating anything. I mean if the restaurant would have been full, then I would have agreed with her that she wanted to make space for people who wanted to eat something but to my surprise, the restaurant was empty and she still did this shameful act. She basically ruined the start. Her manager also didn’t say anything to her because he was thinking it’s a platform and image maintenance is not a thing to manage here because the same people don’t come again and again. But he lost us as a customer for life and that too a very patronage customer who keeps on traveling twice a month through the train.

Anyways, our train was at 9.15, we boarded the train and got moving. In the morning the time to reach Madurai was 7.30 but the train got so delayed that we reached Madurai at 11. It becomes frustrating when the train gets delayed because the trip is of only 2 days and your whole plan is minute to minute scheduled and if you get delayed on your time, the whole trip gets affected. 

Train Train

We got down in Madurai, outside the station was a south indian breakfast place where we had dosa. After this started for Madurai bus stand from where we had to take a bus for Rameshwaram. Madurai’s bus stand from railway station is 12 kms away and this came asa surprise because Madurai is not a very big city to have such a long distance between railway station and bus stand. 

We boarded an Auto rickshaw to reach the bus stand, the auto rickshaw person asked for 200 Rs. As we reached the bus stand, immediately we got the bus that charged us 190 bucks per person for Rameshwaram. We never knew that the distance between Rameshwaram and Madurai is 4 hours so this trip was turning out to be a total fun. The bus journey was new for us. It was a local bus but the weather was good. 

We reached Rameshwaram at around 2.45, our hotel was booked which was right in front of the main gate of the temple. The rooms of the hotel were okay and kind and I believe to give you all future Rameshwaram visitors to book in advance the Maheshwari dharamshala and many other dharamshala in Rameshwaram as these are way too hygienic. We missed on booking a good stay this time but got a perfect learning for the future. We did lunch and started to talk to people nearby the temple to get an understanding of what needs to be done, which gate to enter and all that basic information. I was feeling very low that day, I don’t know the exact reason why but luckily I got to a medical store nearby and I took general medicines as a preventive measure. 

Ishan was super excited this time, he wore perfect authentic south indian temple male attire of dhoti and dupatta and was looking just wow. So there are various unique things about this temple of Rameshwaram, firstly, one who is visiting for the first time will think that this temple is of Lord Ram which is clearly not the case, this temple is of Shiva and Lord Ram established this temple when he went on his search for Sita. Secondly, before doing darshan, an individual has to take bath in 22 kunds and at 1 sea shore which is also known as Agni Theertham. Relevance of taking bath in all these Kunds is it diminishes the sins of a person and grants him wellness and prosperity and also it ails the diseases. 

One before snan at Kund

We took a bath in the sea and started towards the temple. It was such an exciting feeling as we were to take bath in those 22 Kunds inside the temple. To take a bath, there is a ticket price of Rs. 25 per person. The kunds are numbered and as you reach one by one to the kunds, the priest of the temple will dig out one bucket of water from inside the kund (well) and will pour it on you. Each Kund has its own name and significance. The reason why there are 22 kunds in Rameshwaram temple is because there were a total 22 arrows in Lord Rama’s quier. 

After taking the experience of most divine feeling of taking bath in those wells, we headed for darshan and let me tell you, there are so many visitors in the temple, but somehow it doesn’t feel like, the management of people is so nice, no rush, each person can do the darshan for a long time unlike other famous temples of India where people are just rushed to do darshan quickly and get out of the temple quickly. 

After this we went to our room, got ready and started strolling around on the streets. Ishan was in search of Bhajiyas and Pakodas as always. We also booked one activa and the other day we had to start early for Dhanushkodi. We were quite not happy with the food around the temple mostly because of the hygiene and that is why we searched for a cafe nearby. Got one really good suggestion of a cafe whose name was The Cafe. It was 10 minutes drive from the temple place and as we were having our activa it was not more comfortable for us to roam around the town. On reaching the cafe we found that it was a cafe space for a sizable hotel and buffet was there but we did not want to spend money on having buffet dinner in Rameshwaram so we skipped the plan and came near to the temple, searched for a north indian hotel and had dinner there. 

The thing with temple places is there is nothing to do after 9 pm, you are done with the sight seeing, done with the dinner and people also sleep early because they have to get up early in the morning next day. We walked around the premises of temple number of times. The weather in Rameshwaram in the evenings is too good and windy. We kept on walking and one point came when our legs gave up and we went in our room and slept very early as next day was a big one.

Next day was a full on action packed day filled with excitement and loads of feelings. We got up at 3.45 in the morning (Because of me :p) to do the Mani darshan in the temple. Mani is the precious crystal in the form of holy shivling. Darshan of Mani can be done each morning from 4-6.30 AM.

As we were coming out of our hotel, we heard some music, some traditional music which was playing. We were expecting a few people to be standing outside the temple in a queue but as we went in front of the main gate we saw something beyond expectations. There was a huge queue of people standing outside the temple and I thought this was the first one to wake up to do Mani Darshan. My bad. At first we were scared to become a part of the line but in some time merged in the line for the darshan. It took us 2 hours to do the darshan and come out of the temple even after paying the price for early darshan. Now you can imagine how long the queue would have been.

After coming out, we quickly got ready for Dhanushkodi as we were having less time to complete the day’s itinerary. We started and as soon as we left the Rameshwaram town, there came a quiet road, as in, nothing was there on either side of the road, only greenery. Dhanushkodi is 17 km away from Rameshwaram. After some time a checkpost came on which said that the road opens at 6.30 AM and closes down at 5pm because the road and the way to Dhanushkodi was a bit risky for the evening time. 

On the way to Dhanushkodi

As we moved ahead on the road, both sides were big plants, the road was so smooth and these little things made the drive so amazing. As we moved further, on one side of the road there was still water and on the other side it was seaside mud and plants. The still water looked like backwaters till the moment I realized that it was not backwaters. Instead it was the Bay of Bengal, a sea so silent so calm like seriously there were no waves in it. After some time on both sides, the sea was visible. Interestingly, there are two different seas on two different sides of the road, the left side is the Bay of Bengal and Right side is the Indian Ocean. The nature of both the seas is also very different, the bay of bengal is silent and calm whereas the Indian Ocean is fierce and aggressive. It was an amazing view. I have never imagined such a landscape. And the fun part was driving a two wheeler between these two seas.

As we moved further, Dhanushkodi town came which is also known as ghost town because the town got destroyed because of a massive cyclone in 1964. There are remains and ruins of a church, railway station, water tank and also some fishermen live there. I am the most curious kid in the room when it comes to knowing about the history of a place. I stopped my two wheeler at every nook and corner and took a look at each and every destroyed building. 

Ruined Railway Station

After this we headed to the last land of India, 4 km ahead of Dhanushkodi which is also known as Arichal Munai where both Bay of Benagl and Indian Ocean merge. The road there has a circle shape at the end point. I was literally dancing out of excitement when I reached there. We parked our vehicle, there were few people there before we reached and it was a bit crowded. I saw a person having a telescope and charging Rs. 20 from each one interested to see Sri Lanka border and also Ram Setu rocks which were visible inside the sea. I literally missed this opportunity because we forgot to carry cash and at the last land network was not working and phonepe was also not working and as a result I couldn’t see Sri Lanka border which is said to be only 27 km away from Arichal Munai. 


Still we managed to take good pictures at the Merging point of both the sea. We took pictures on the last land, on the last road, on the last water and everywhere last. It was a super fun and beautiful experience to be defined in words. I wanted to know more about where Ram Setu was built and everything but sadly there was no one to calm down my curiosity. 

On the last road of India

The wind there was very heavy just like Kanyakumari. Maybe because both are the last lands of India. We enjoyed every bit of this visit to Dhanushkodi. Dhanushkodi became the highlight of the whole trip. I was emotional when returning back because Dhanushkodi was truly a vision truly, the place had history, beauty, and geographical location was also worth visiting.

When we returned back from Dhanushkodi, we went to Pamban Bridge (India’s first sea bridge) and it is a place worth going. From Pamban we went back to the hotel, packed our bags and started again for Madurai as this time we knew it would take another 4 hours to reach Madurai and we had to catch the train at 8 pm.

As we boarded the first bus that we saw, after some time we realized that the bus was not non-stop and it would take longer to reach Madurai. Our heart beats were high all the time till we reached Madurai. Thankfully, we reached Madurai at 7.30, ate our dinner and waited for our train to come. Waiting at Madurai Junction for the train was a terrible experience as it was sweating a lot because of the super humid climate.

When the train arrived, one more struggle was there in front of us and both our tickets got confirmed but mine was in S1 and Ishan’s was in S13 and there was no chance to get together. We slept at 8.30 only because we were up from 3.30 in the morning and it was an eventful day.

Next day I got up super fresh, reached home and started the back to life routine and headed for the office 🙂

1 Comments Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi!

  1. Nana

    Your discription of the place is so good that I feel like going there again, though I visited this place many times but could not go to Dhanuskodi, hence I will have to go again, I think you have forgotten to write about the musium of Dr Abdul kalam, hope you might have certainly visited.


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