End of the Land
Imagine a road which cuts through the sea, with miles of beach along both sides. And then it suddenly stops! It stops at a point where you are surrounded by water on all sides while the vast horizon watches over you, or may be silently urges you to become a part of the sea. I never imagined such a road, but it exists! At the south eastern tip of Pamban Island located in Tamil Nadu (India), there is a road that led us to the end of the land, to a ghost town called Dhanushkodi!
My road trip to Dhanushkodi was a part of the 9 day road trip from Bangalore. Located at a distance of about 20 Kms from the holy town of Rameshwaram. Dhanushkodi was destroyed by a cyclone decades ago and was never inhabited again. However, it is a must visit tourist spot for anyone visiting Rameshwaram or a nearby city.
Access: The Last Mile(s)
The end point of the road is symbolized by the emblem of India which is perched over a small tower (Ram Setu view point). However, private vehicles are not allowed to go past the barricade which is located at least 3-4 Kms before the end point. Thereafter, you are expected to walk through to the end which is not a bad option at all but really depends on the weather. I got lucky though, the evening I visited, a cavalcade of top shot government official was visiting there. My car somehow got caught between the cavalcade, and voila, I could drive all the day to the end. A walk down that road is great, but a drive, is even better! Especially with so many people ogling at you and wondering how the hell could a private car get that far!
For travelers without personal/leased vehicles, there are private buses as well which ply from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi on fixed timings. The entry beyond the barrier closes just before the sunset. This is to discourage the travellers because the place is deserted and the sea tends to behave erratic. I saw a girl who was sitting on the docking point strip. Suddenly the waves splashed all over her (a height of around 8-10 ft) which was quite scary!
The Unparalleled Joy: Beach Road
The road that leads to Dhanushkodi beach or the end point of the land is as smooth as chees. This makes the driving experience a pleasure. Huge swathes of unexplored beach on either side of the road are open to exploration. You can park your vehicle on the side and trudge along. Some people say that there is Indian Ocean on one side of the road, and Bay of Bengal on the other. I can’t say if that is factual, but the water appeared to be blue hue on one side while grey tint on the other side of the road.
Nevertheless, the water is by far the cleanest I have seen in India, which is soothing to the soul. The blue hue of the water mixes with sky like an artist’s imagination on a canvas. You will also witness some dilapidated structures which still stand as a reminiscence of habitation decades ago.
Some of the old shacks are used by locals from near by areas to prepare fresh sea food. This can be a huge delight for any sea food lover. Some vendors also sell tea and cut fruits and vegetables. These shacks make for a good pit stop along the road.
We spent 3-4 hours on the beach and this time just melted like a fine chocolate. We roamed around on a small patch of sand which most likely surfaces only during the day and evening. Surrounded by sea on all sides, this patch is galloped by water every evening only to reappear the next day. The beach was relatively way less crowded than what we are used to in India.
Coiled in the rays of setting sun, we witnessed some stunning shots of the sky on our drive back to Rameshwaram. Our day was made memorable by some of the most exhilarating and beautiful moments of our trip, ironically, in a ghost town!
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