View Full Version : A chain of limestone shoals - Ram Setu

Vikash ks
4th June 2009, 03:45 PM
Adam's Bridge also known as Rama's Bridge or Ram Setu (Sanskrit:रामसेतु), is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka. Geological evidence indicates that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.

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 in places, which hinders navigation.

Location -

Adam's Bridge starts as chain of shoals from the Dhanuskodi tip of India's Rameswaram Island and ends at Sri Lanka's Mannar Island. Rameswaram Island is connected to the Indian mainland by 3 km long Pamban Bridge. Adam's bridge and neighbouring areas like Rameswaram Dhanushkodi, Devipattinam and Thirupullani are mentioned in the context of various legends in Ramayana.



The bridge was first mentioned in Valmiki's ancient Sanskrit epic, Ramayana. The western world first mentioned it in "historical works in the 9th century" by Ibn Khordadbeh in his Book of Roads and Kingdoms (ca. 850 AD) and was called Set Bandhai or "Bridge of the Sea". Later Alberuni described it.

The name Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu (Sanskrit; setu: bridge) was given to this bridge of shoals in Rameshwaram, as Hindu legend identifies it with the bridge built by the Vanara (monkey-men) army of Rama , which he used to reach Sri Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from the Rakshasa king, Ravana, as stated in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. It is called as Adam's Bridge in the west and the name probably comes from an Islamic legend, according to which Adam used the bridge to reach Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka, where he stood repentant on one foot for 1,000 years, leaving a large hollow mark resembling a footprint. Both the peak and the bridge are named after this legend.

The sea separating India and Sri Lanka is called Sethusamudram "Sea of the Bridge". Maps prepared by a Dutch cartographer in 1747, available at the Tanjore Saraswathi Mahal Library shows this area as Ramancoil, a colloquial form of the Tamil Raman Kovil (Rama's Temple) Another map of Mogul India prepared by J. Rennel in 1788 retrieved from the same library called this area the area of the Rama Temple Many other maps in Schwartzberg's historical atlas and other sources call this area with various names like Koti, Sethubandha and Sethubandha Rameswaram along with others. Valmiki Ramayan called the bridge built by Lord Rama Setu Bandhanam in verse 2-22-76.

The earliest map that calls this area Adam's bridge was prepared by a British cartographer in 1804.


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Certain historical inscriptions, old travel guides, old dictionary references and some old maps have reinforced the religious and geographical belief of this structure being the ancient bridge that is considered with great regard by the Hindus in the Indian Subcontinent.This conjecture must be tempered with the fact that there are no geographical pointers to the structure being Rama's Bridge in any of the ancient texts or Puranas. Vaishnava News Network and some other U.S.-based news services suggested that they had discovered the remains of the bridge built by Rama and his Vanara army that is referred to in the Ramayana, and that it was not a natural formation, basing their claim on 2002 NASA satellite footage. NASA distanced itself from the claims saying that what had been captured was nothing more than a 30-km-long, naturally occurring chain of sandbanks. It also clarified that, "The images reproduced on the websites may well be ours, but their interpretation is certainly not ours. [...] Remote sensing images or photographs from orbit cannot provide direct information about the origin or age of a chain of islands, and certainly cannot determine whether humans were involved in producing any of the patterns seen."

A team from the Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi led by Professor S.M. Ramasamy in 2003 claimed that, "Rama's bridge could only be 3,500 years old" and, "as the carbon dating of the beaches roughly matches the dates of Ramayana, its link to the epic needs to be explored". However, one needs to note that the surveys which have come out with the 3500-year age for the bridge are based on the studies conducted on corals grown on the bridge itself and it has been argued that this represents only the age of what was measured, which is the corals. The bridge underneath the corals has been dated back to hundreds of thousands of years earlier. A former director of the Geological Survey of India, S. Badrinarayanan, claims that such a natural formation would be impossible. He justifies the same by the presence of a loose sand layer under corals for the entire stretch. Corals normally form above rocks. He feels that thorough analysis was not conducted by the Geological Survey of India before undertaking the SSCP project. In connection with the canal project, the Madras High Court in its verdict stated that the Rama Sethu is a man-made structure.Geological and archaeological findings of Teri formations, a rich assemblage of Mesolithic-Microlithic tools and human fossils found on both sides of the bridge by the Department of Earth-Science in March 2007 are also quoted as evidence for manmade structure.

Prof. N. Ramanujam, Head, Post-Graduate Department of Geology and Research Centre, V.O. Chidambaram College, astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar and a group of professors of Madurai Kamaraj University (which is in the state of Tamil Nadu and is directly under the control of the state ministry of education) stated that Rama's bridge is a natural geographical feature which formed some 17 million years ago. In addition, the Archeological Survey of India has said that the structure is not man-made. A government publication from National Remote Sensing Agency, which was recently tabled in the Indian Parliament, says that the structure "may be man-made".The Congress Government, in 2006, stated that Rama himself destroyed the bridge that he had built.

4th June 2009, 04:02 PM
wah ji wah.......RAM JI v aakhir WAQT de avtaar c...
BHAGWAN da roop c....