India TravelTamil NaduDhanushkodi - Where the Land ends

Dhanushkodi – Where the Land ends


Once a thriving town, Dhanushkodi now stands as a  ruined reality that is serene yet mysterious.

Recent days brought a new joy for the whole nation. The arrival of Ram-Lalla in Ayodhya brought a gigantic wave of enthusiasm in the entire country and became once in a century moment. Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked his respect and devotion to the Pran-pratishtha of toddler Rama with an eleven-day Anushthan (fast). As a part of it, He paid a visit to a series of temples that were built in places that were related to the Ramayana. Intriguing, the Last place which he visited before the pran pratishtha was Dhanushkodi, which also forms the last destination of India.

Dhanushkodi is a mysteriously serene town in the Rameshwaram district, of Tamil Nadu. It can be visited while traveling to Rameshwaram, one of the Chaar dhams of India. Once a thriving town, Dhanushkodi now stands as a ruined reality. However, it continues to hold the remnants of the admirable past it lived through.

The Elapsed Era of Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi Once lived as a vibrant coastal town filled with hustle and bustle. It was one of the richest fishing belts in the country and the only land border between Sri Lanka and India. Because of its bustling businesses, Dhanushkodi earned the title of “Kutti Singapore”. However, the lividness of the town was swept away in December 1964 when it was hit by the  Rameshwaram cyclone. The cyclone is said to be the worst-ever Natural disaster witnessed in Tamil Nadu.

The major catastrophic event during the cyclone was the annihilation of the train no. 653, the Pamban-Dhanushkodi passenger train that had around 300 commuters including Railway staff. The storm had also swept the pamban bridge with itself. Around 1500-2000 people were killed in the cyclone after which the government of Tamil Nadu declared Dhanushkodi unfit for Human settlement. As a result, the Town of Dhanushkodi became an abandoned city as all of its citizens evacuated themselves.

Today, Dhanushkodi lives an isolated life. However, amidst the catastrophic past, there is another legendary tale that adds to Dhanushkodi’s congruity.

The tale emerges from the epic Ramayana, also a reason behind the name “Dhanushkodi”. The name literally means “bow’s end”. As per the legend, Dhanushkodi is the same place where Shri Rama had met Vibhishan, Raavan’s younger brother who joined Shri Rama’s army and it is the same place from where began the construction of Rama-setu, the bridge that connected the two countries and reunited the divine couple. Interestingly,  one can still find floating stones around the Dhanushkodi, reminding people about the Rama-setu, that symbolise the divine love of Shri Ram and Devi Sita.

Why you should visit Dhanushkodi?

Inspite of the fact that Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town, it still holds a trinket within itself.

The town of Dhanushkodi was once blessed with the presence of Shri Rama, and evidently it still holds a special place for Shri Rama, a reason why it was visited by Prime Minister before the Pran-pratishtha.  It is interesting to note that Dhanushkodi is the point where the confluence of Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal takes place, similar to the tale of destined reunification of Sri Rama with his Janki when he met Vibhishan in Dhanushkodi and incepted the Ram-setu to reach Lanka to finally confront Ravan.

When you visit Dhanushkodi, you are welcomed by the amalgamation of stillness of the town and the tumultuous noise from the ocean ahead, a sound similar to human minds, which is still yet has clamouring sounds coming from it. It is ironic how a city which was once known for hustling sounds is now filled with nothing but stillness and mysterious tranquillity.

Places to visit in Dhanushkodi

Moving ahead let’s talk about the places to visit in Dhanushkodi. People often assume that Dhanushkodi has nothing to offer since it was abandoned years ago. However, They are partially wrong. Partially because although the town no longer thrives the way it did six decades back, it still has some alluring spots to show. Let’s have a look at them.

1. Kothandaraswamy Temple

Dedicated to Shri Rama, the Kothanadaraswamy temple is situated on the way from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. The temple presides over Shri Rama, Devi Sita, Lakshman, God Hanuman, and Vibhishana as the main deities. The temple is classified as one of the 108 Abhimaan kshetra of the Vaishnavaite sect. This is the only temple in India that worships Vibhishana.

The temple is around 500 or 1000 years old and is said to be built in the same place where Shri Rama met Vibhishana. Surprisingly, the Kothanadaraswamy temple is the only historic edifice that survived the deadly cyclone that obliterated the entire town, Thus making it more divinely miraculous. It would be Auspicious to visit the Kothanadaraswamy temple after visiting the Ramnathswamy temple in Rameshwaram as it is both temples hold significant connections to the epic Ramayana.

Read More: Kanyakumari – The Princess of Tamil Nadu

2. Ramar Patham Temple:

Ramar Patham Temple - Dhanushkodi

Situated on the hillock named Gandha-Madhana parvatham, the Ramar-patham temple is another temple dedicated to Shri Rama. Here, the Foot imprints of Shri Rama are worshipped by the devotees. The Gandha-Madhana Parvatham is the highest hill on the Rameshwaram island giving an exquisite panoramic view sunrise and sunset from the top. The temple is around 30 minutes away from the Dhanushkodi and is open for devotees from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the evening.

3. Dhanushkodi beach:

The major spot in Dhanushkodi that has been a witness of shore and silence, Dhanushkodi beach is situated on the tip of Rameshwaram. The Dhanushkodi beach is an ideal place for picnics and long walks, relaxing time and releasing the stress from minds. Interestingly, During the winter season, the Dhanushkodi beach welcomes a number of migratory birds like flamingos and gulls that add to the beauty of the place.

4. Arichal Munai:

Mujeebcpy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on the Dhanushkodi beach, the Arichal Munai point grabbed attention when Prime Minister Modi visited it in January. The Arichal Munai literally means Erosion point and is the confluence spot for the Bay of Bengal and the Indian ocean.

Read More: Ayodhya – The Abode of Siya Rama

5. Dhanushkodi Remnants:

st-anthonys-church - Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi was destructed years ago, however, there are still structures and remnants of the buildings that once stood high. The ruins of the Roman catholic church built in 1914, The Ganesh temple, Railway water tank and the post office building are found in Dhanushkodi, giving a glimpse of its past glory to the travellers.

6. Rama-Setu Beginning Point:

A particualry beautiful and thrilling site in Dhanushkodi is the place from where begins the Rama-setu. Rama-setu finds its mention in the epic Ramayan. It was built by the Vaanar sena of Shri Ram to reach Sri-lanka and fight Raavan. Rama-setu is a true symbol of eternal love as it was constructed to reunite Shri Ram and his wife devi Sita, the immensely divine couple in the sacred Hindu religion.

Read More: Hogenakkal – The Hamlet of Pennagaram, Tamil Nadu

How to reach Dhanushkodi?

Since Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town, there is no direct way of transport to the town. One can reach Dhanushkodi using private vehicles from Rameshwaram since it is the nearest town from it. The distance between Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi is 20 KM.

One can also easily fetch a taxi or cab from Rameshwaram to reach Dhanushkodi without an issue.

The trip to Dhanushkodi can be completed in a day and it is advised to leave the town before sunset. As no one lives there, it could be slightly eerie to be present there at night.


Feeling thrilled? Knowing how a small town carries so many wonders and miracles to itself. From a hustling glory to a tragic end, and now a silent town, Dhanushkodi has it all. Its Religious importance adds to the charm of it. For a long period of time Dhanushkodi has been referred as the Ghost town, a place devoid of people. However, it’s time we change our perspective and narrative. Although the Tragic past snatched the glory of Dhanushkodi, the natural beauty of the town added to its religious sanctity is still doing the magic here. Thus, it becomes significant that we recognise Dhanushkodi for what it offers today that is peace and quite.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to visit Dhanushkodi?
The right time to visit Dhanushkodi is from November to February. This is the time of winters and makes for a pleasant weather in the coastal town. Also, during the time, flamingos and gullu arrive on the beach adding to the beauty of it.

How much time does it take to visit Dhanushkodi?
Dhanushkodi being a small and abandoned town does not take long to travel. It can be visited in a day. It is advisable to travel dhanushkodi from Rameshwaram in the morning and leave before darkness tales over.

Is there any food outlet in Dhanushkodi?
There are few eating outlets on the road from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. Mr fish is the most famous food outlet in Dhanushkodi popular for its authentic sea food.

Why was Dhanushkodi never reestablished?
After the terrific cyclone that had hit the coastal city Dhanushkodi, the city was abandoned by everyone. The State government had declared that Dhanushkodi was unfit for living owing to its proximity to ocean and the chances of yet another such cyclone can be disastrous for everyone. Hence, the city was never reestablished. However, there was plans initiated by the current government to reestablish the Pamban-Dhanushkodi Railway bridge

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