Saturday, February 15, 2014

To Rameshwaram

Went on a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. Here's the pictory. Left for there last Friday of Jan 2014 at 5 AM. Rameshwaram is a 600km drive from Bangalore.

Sunrise in Tamilnadu

Not a tree on the highway but still worth a dekho

Another view somewhere in Tamil Nadu

Its Madurai that we have to travel thru the city. Why no by-pass??

Some trees near Madurai 1

Some trees near Madurai 2

Must say the road right till Rameshwaram is great. The downside is that we have to pay toll often. Costed about Rs 1200/- both ways.

Thats the Pambam Bridge

I am on the Pambam Road bridge and thats the train on the Pambam Rail bridge. What a sight !!!

Now we were about 25 KM away time 530 PM and this toll booth come in for something called Indira Gandhi Bridge - was already irritated paying all along. As we move, I realise we are not on any Indira Gandhi bridge but on the famous Pambam bridge. And the icing - on the parallel rail line we see a train coming up. wow. But how do we stop on a narrow bridge. Lucky for us there is a BJP rally and their convoy in front of us stops, so do we and jump out of the car. It a very thrilling sight to see this train almost on water. Now its very windy but why is our leg trembling. I then see that the train movement is making our bridge rattle. oh my.

Our entry to Rameshwaram was great.

Soon we drive straight to the temple and the car goes right till the temple entrance but can't park there. We ask direction to our hotel (booked on make-my-trip) but, surprise, we are directed to a designated parking place. The policeman there informs us to call our hotel and they will escort us thru. Now I didn't know about this and hence didn't note down their tele number. I quickly take out my laptop (not yet a Smartphone user) plug in my dongle and lo - no internet. kya kare kya kare and then bang in form of us is a hording of the hotel with telephone number big and bold. I call them and they soon send us a chapie who guides us thru. Soon we are in our room- good rooms for 1100/- AC and all that.

An hr later we are front of the white Shivlinga, wonderful darshan of the Lord. This is what I came for. I for one cant ask for anything. I pray for my well being, the well being of my family and friends.

Sunrise at Rameshwaram

Thats me

Hope I got the sunrise effect

Next days begins early as we have go to the seashore. Our hotel was right between the sea and the temple. 10 step one side is the temple and 10 the other sea. We see the sunrise here and go and have the morning darshan. I skip the part where good pilgrims bath in water from 22 wells.

The corridors of the temple... Looks like an addition of a much later age

Was surprised that the tip was not near the north Srilanka but the middle..

Post lunch day 2, we wanted to go to Danushkodi - Marked 'A' on the map above. The hotel guy offers us a jeep for 1300/-. The auto guy says 300/-. Finally we took the govt bus from nearby for 10/-. All these normal vehicles takes us till a point and no further - marked on the map below as Danushkodi Beach.

Beyond this it both the left and the right beaches merging into one hence not all vehicles can go thru. We need to hire a 4 wheel drive to the further.

Another problem- these vehicles are 20 seaters charging 100 per seat. They prefer familes of that size. Buggers were ignoring us, and after the third vehicle left without us, I stepped in. Grouped in with some foreigners and others to come up with the magic number of 20.

The top two pics are on those 20 seaters at Danushkodi. what you see is that we are on the very edge.

Ok so now we are ready... but there is no road... with both the beach from the Indian ocean and the beach from the Bay of Bengal side start merging. Meaning strip gets narrower and narrower... we have to travel thru the sandy beach which has furrows about 1 feet deep showing us the path.

The above 2 pics shopw us about 10 feet in and the van still going smooth.

We begin and soon are close to the shore line when the driver suddenly swerve and moves about 5 feet into the sea. Oh my god. We are going to drown. but no - cab moves steady as we drive thru the water. Its a feeling to behold.

Then I saw it. A dog - walking on water - about 100 meters into the sea. So its all shallow. Good.

We stop at a place which was previously the town of Danushkodi. Now in ruins. No thanks to the cyclone of 64. Some say it was a Tsunami but never credited so as peeps couldn't pronounce the word. Danushkodi was never rebuilt. Srilanka is about 18 miles from her and locals says we can see lights from there at night. Google and read the story of how a whole train was washed away that fateful night.

This is the erstwhile Railway station of Danushkodi.

The above 2 pics show the ruin of the local church.

Poor Fishermen still live here.

The people here dig holes in the ground to looking for drinking water. A new place every now and then.
Google maps show u so much..but the real ride is different...

The 3 pics below were taken during sunset at Danushkodi beach. 1st Feb 2014

Saw this in Madurai. Looks like a big tank with a temple in the center. Opp Girls college.

Stopped someplace for a break and had this lovely coffee.

After seeing all those great roads in Tamilnadu, I decided to have a peep at the NICE road. In short, not nice. horrible workmanship. Patches everywhere making the ride bumpy.

What we miss : Abdul Kalam Azad's home turned museum
Hotel we stayed in : JCM Towers, Mandi Street, Rameshwaram

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