brad brace

11/4/2006

Rama's/Adam's Bridge as seen from the air

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 7:20 am

Rama’s Bridge, also called Nala’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep. This seriously hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot as late as the 15th century until storms deepened the channel. A ferry links the island and port of Rameswaram in India with Talaimannar in Sri Lanka; the Pamban Bridge links Rameswaram island with mainland India.

Mythology

The names Rama’s Bridge and Nala’s Bridge originate in Hindu mythology. According to the Hindu epic Ramayana (Chapter 66, The Great Causeway [1]), the bridge was constructed at Rama’s request by his subjects. The bridge was supported on floating rocks but the gods were said to have later anchored the rocks to the sea bed, thus creating the present chain of rocky shoals. It was said to have helped Rama to reach Sri Lanka to rescue Sita from a monster (aasur) called Ravana, who was then the ruler of Lanka.

Some Hindu groups claim that the bridge is evidence that events narrated in the Ramayana epic actually took place and cite NASA’s imagery of it as proof of their claims.

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