(Last Updated on : 07/01/2015)
Ram Setu is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island and Mannar Island. According to Geological evidence, this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The Setu is situated southeast of Rameshwaram, connecting the Talaimanar coast of Srilanka. The bridge is 30 kilometers long and separates the Gulf of Mannar
from the Palk Strait. It is said that the bridge was passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel. Ram Setu is also known as Adam's Bridge or Rama's Bridge.
Historical Significance of Ram Setu
The scriptures and beliefs in Hinduism
throws light on a fact that the Ram Setu is said to have been built by Lord Rama
and his Vaanar Sena seventeen lacs twenty five years ago to go to Lanka and rescue his wife Sita
from the demon king Ravana
. This is narrated in the great Indian epic Ramayana
. Often taken as a myth, the discovery of Shri Ram Setu by NASA confirms the Hindu scriptures and belief are correct in this matter and that Ramayan is not "mythology
" as is often construed but "history
Age of Ram Setu
On the basis of "Project Rameswaram", the Geological Survey of India concluded through the dating of corals that Rameswaram Island
evolved beginning 125,000 years ago. Thermoluminescence dating by GSI hints that the sand dunes between Dhanushkodi
and Adam's Bridge started forming approximately 500-600 years ago.
Projects on Ram Setu
According to the scientists, a sea route may be prepared for navigation without damaging Sri Ram Setu, by removing the barren sand heaps near village
Mandapam between Rameshwaram and Dhanushkoti railway. This will not only give a shorter route for navigation but also protect the oldest man-made heritage.
Setu Samudran, a shipping canal project, has been approved by the Government of India
to be set up near Kodand Ram Temple
. Making a shipping canal through Rameshwaram Island in this project will link the Palk Gulf and Gulf Mennar. This will enable ships and boats to navigate in the passage between India and Srilanka and will also save about 400 marine miles voyage on the west coast.
The National Sea Route will be connected with this project. It will also connect the National highways
. This canal will not only shorten the length of the sea route for ships but also will aid in saving the fuel costs of the ships. According to the researchers, approximately Rs. 21 crore per year for fuel expenditure of ships will be saved. Presently, India imports a big quantity of crude oil and with this project fuel will be saved which in turn will save foreign currency. The time that the ships take will also decrease by 16 hours and therefore the numbers of ships navigation will also improve.