Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the state of Tamil Nadu in India.[1] It is situated to the South-East of Pamban and is about 18 miles (29 km) west of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The town was destroyed during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and remains uninhabited in the aftermath.

Former settlement
Satellite view
Satellite view
Ram Setu
Map showing location of Dhanushkodi within Tamil Nadu
Map showing location of Dhanushkodi within Tamil Nadu
Location within Tamil Nadu
Map showing location of Dhanushkodi within Tamil Nadu
Map showing location of Dhanushkodi within Tamil Nadu
Dhanushkodi (India)
Coordinates: 9°09′07″N 79°26′45″E / 9.152011°N 79.445851°ECoordinates: 9°09′07″N 79°26′45″E / 9.152011°N 79.445851°E
Country India
StateTamil Nadu
0 m (0 ft)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
Telephone code+04567

1964 cyclone

The area around Rameswaram is prone to high-intensity geomorphic activity. A scientific study conducted by the Geological Survey of India indicated that the southern part of Dhanushkodi facing the Gulf of Mannar sank by almost 5 metres (16 ft) in 1948 and 1949, due to vertical tectonic movement of land parallel to the coastline. As a result of this, a patch of land of about 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) in width, stretching 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from north to south, submerged in the sea.[2]

On 17 December 1964, a depression formed at 5°N 93°E in the South Andaman Sea. On 19 December, it intensified into a cyclonic storm. After 21 December 1964, it moved westwards, almost in a straight line, at the rate of 400 to 550 kilometres (250 to 340 mi) per day. On 22 December, it crossed Vavunia in Sri Lanka and made landfall at Dhanushkodi on the night of 22–23 December 1964. Estimated wind velocity was 280 kilometres per hour (170 mph) and tidal waves were 7 metres (23 ft) high.[3]

An estimated 1,800 people died in the cyclonic storm on 22 December including 115 passengers on board the Pamban-Dhanushkodi passenger train.[4][5][6] The entire town was marooned and the Government of Madras declared Dhanushkodi as a Ghost town, unfit for living.[7]

In December 2004, the sea around Dhanushkodi receded about 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the coastline, exposing the submerged part of the town for a while followed by massive tsunami waves that struck the coast.[8][9]


Dhanushkodi is located on the tip of Pamban island separated by mainland by Palk Strait. It shares the only land border between India and Sri Lanka, which is one of the smallest in the world at 45 metres (148 ft) in length on a shoal in Palk Strait.


Remains of Dhanushkodi railway station

The National Highway completed the 9.5-km-long road – 5 km from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Dhanushkodi and 4.5 km from Dhanushkodi to Arichamunai. Tourist can visit by their own vehicle and end up with Pillars of Ashoka. Until 2016, Dhanushkodi was reachable either on foot along the seashore or in jeeps.[10] In 2016, a road was completed from the village of Mukundarayar Chathiram.[11][12]

A metre gauge railway line connected Mandapam on mainland India to Dhanushkodi.[13] Boat mail express ran from Chennai Egmore to Dhanushkodi till 1964 when the metre-gauge branch line from Pamban to Dhanushkodi was destroyed during the 1964 Dhanushkodi cyclone.[14][15] In 2003, Southern Railway sent a project report to Ministry of Railways for re-laying a 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) railway line to Dhanushkodi from Rameswaram. The planning commission looked into the possibility of a new railway line between Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram in 2010.[16][17]

See also


  1. ^ "Did you know? Dhanushkodi is the place where you can see the origin of the Ram Setu!".
  2. ^ G. G. Vaz; M. Hariprasad; B. R. Rao; V. Subba Rao (10 March 2007). "Subsidence of southern part of erstwhile Dhanushkodi township, Tamil Nadu". Current Science. 92: 671–672.
  3. ^ Shashi M Kulshreshta; Madan G Gupta (June 1966). "Satellite Study of the Rameswaram Cyclonic Storm of 20–23 December 1964". Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 5 (3): 373–376. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1966)005<0373:ssotrc>2.0.co;2. ISSN 0021-8952.
  4. ^ "India Train, 150 Aboard, Swept Away By Big Wave". St. Petersburg Times. UPI. 26 December 1964. p. 3A.
  5. ^ "1,800 Asians Feared Dead After Cyclone and Tidal Wave". Reading Eagle. UPI. 28 December 1964. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Ships, Planes Search for Survivors". The Age. A.A.P.-Reuters. 28 December 1964. p. 4.
  7. ^ "Eye-witness account of the cyclone". The Hindu.
  8. ^ "Submerged temple tower visible in Dhanushkodi". Zee news.
  9. ^ G. G. Vaz; M. Hariprasad; B. R. Rao & V. Subba Rao (March 2007). "Subsidence of southern part of erstwhile Dhanushkodi township, Tamil Nadu – evidences from bathymetry, side scan and underwater videography" (PDF). Current Science (PDF). 92 (5): 671–675.
  10. ^ "Dhanushkodi still attracts tourists". The Hindu. 28 June 2010.
  11. ^ D.J. Walter Scot (4 February 2016). "Road to Dhanushkodi may be opened by month-end". The Hindu.
  12. ^ "Four-lane road planned for Dhanushkodi". The Hindu.
  13. ^ Jethwa, Raja Pawan (2007). "Section II: Mileage wise available Details of Railway lines laid". Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj: A brief History & Glory of our fore-fathers. pp. 63–70.
  14. ^ Saqaf, Syed Muthahar (11 June 2010). "'Boat Mail' to run on main line from August 1". The Hindu.
  15. ^ Jaishankar, C (17 July 2006). "Their sentiment to metre gauge train is unfathomable". The Hindu.
  16. ^ C. Jaishankar (26 February 2010). "Railway budget may put Dhanushkodi back on track". The Hindu.
  17. ^ "Poll-bound TN, Kerala will get more trains". The Asian Age. 26 February 2011.

External links

1964 Rameswaram cyclone

The 1964 Rameswaram cyclone (also known as the Dhanushkodi cyclone) was regarded as one of the most powerful storms to ever strike India on record. The system was first identified as an area of low pressure over the Andaman Sea on December 15. Following interaction with a tropical wave, it began to develop and became a depression by December 18. Increasingly rapid intensification ensued over the following days with the cyclone attaining hurricane-force winds around 5°N the next day. Early on December 23, the storm struck Ceylon near Pamban Island with winds estimated at 240 km/h (150 mph), ranking it as a modern-day super cyclonic storm. Weakening somewhat, the storm soon struck Tamil Nadu. Rapid weakening followed once the cyclone was onshore and it degenerated into a depression on December 24 as it emerged over the Arabian Sea. The system later dissipated on December 26 over open water.

Boat Mail

The Boat Mail or Indo-Ceylon Express was a combined train and steamer ferry service between India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Connecting Chennai and Colombo, the system initially utilised a rail-to-sea operation, but changed to a rail-to-sea-to-rail operation. Passengers could buy a single ticket for the journey. The current Boat Mail Express is a train operated by the Southern Railway unit of Indian Railways; it usually departs Chennai egmore at 7:15pm and arrives Rameswaram at 08:25am.

Dhanushkodi (film)

Dhanushkodi is an unreleased Malayalam-language Indian feature film directed by Priyadarshan and written by T. Damodaran, and starring Mohanlal and Girija Shettar in the lead role. The film was made in the year 1989.

Dhanushkodi Ramasamy

Danushkodi Ramasamy (1945? – 24 November 2005) was a Tamil writer from Tamil Nadu, India. His works were characterized by his sympathies with communist ideals and depictions of the plight of labourers. He was the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkia Perumanram, a literary organisation.

Dhanushkodi Sivanandhan

D. Sivanandhan was the Police Commissioner of Mumbai, promoted as part of the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. He is one of India's most well-known and highly regarded IPS (Indian Police Service) officers. His career spanned multiple high-profile postings over 35 years and he is known for his use of strategy & intelligence to uphold the rule of law.He served as an active member of the special task force in the National Security Council Secretariat, he helped in restructuring India's internal and external national security provisions.During his tenure he was involved in crushing a major part of the underworld and helped establishing training centers, schools, canteens, gymnasiums and officers’ club- all with state of the art infrastructure. He was also responsible for providing the youth of the city an online portal for better communication.

Professional Highlights:

Retired as the Director General of Police, Maharashtra state in March, 2011.

Deputy Director of the Intelligence Bureau from 1987-1991, he was tasked with protecting the nation against international criminal syndicates and terror groups.

Joint Director of the CBI from 2001-2004 covering Gujarat, Goa & Maharashtra.

6 years in the Mumbai Crime Branch as Additional Commissioner of Police – Crime and Joint Commissioner of Police – Crime (1993-1995 and 1998-2001). His Use of strategy & intelligence to uphold the rule of law resulted in a sharp decline in organised crime in the city.

During his years in the Mumbai Crime Branch he is credited with having broken the back of the underworld that was at its peak in Mumbai.

Served for 6 years as Commissioner of Police for Nagpur, Thane and Mumbai. Appointed as the State Commissioner for Intelligence, he uncovered numerous international rackets protecting the state against foreign based anti-national elements.

DIG for Nagpur range, focused on anti-Naxal operations from 1995-98.

3 years as Deputy Commissioner of Police, Pune and Superintendent of Police, Satara and Sindudurgh.Other Achievements:

He helped build city's defenses post 26/11 by acquiring state of the art equipment

Completely revamped the Thane Police School, creating an opportunity for more children to get access to excellent educational environment

He was the brains behind the Thane Police Hospital, which was Inaugurated in 2007 with free access to OPD for Police officers

He was also heavily involved in the creation many facilities for Police like Thane Police Training Centre, Police Officers Club, Police Canteen, Renovation of the C.P.'s Office

To ensure Police fitness he introduced special executive checkup scheme for the entire Mumbai Police force, which included facilities like Yoga, 25 Gymnasium, OPD Facility, etc.

During his tenure, he also introduced a website to connect with the city youth and give them a better platform to contact police.

Recipient of the President's Distinguised Service Medal, 2000 as well as the Meritorious Service Medal, 1993 and the Internal Security Medal, 1998.He was also a member of the special task force in the National Security Council Secretariat (Prime Minister's Office) for revamping India's internal and external national security measures.Currently, he serves as the chairman of a security investigations and assessments company called Securus First India Pvt. Ltd. Very many safe city projects have been done successfully by him like Nanded, Aurangabad,Kolhapur. He also serves as a Director for many boards of corporate companies.

He has also co-authored a National best seller titled "Chanakya"s seven secrets of leadership" which is translated into 5 national languages and 80,000 copies being sold .

Dhanushkodi Tirtham

Dhanushkodi Tirtham is one of the Tirthas in the island of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India. This is located beside the ghost town of Dhanushkodi at the easternmost tip of Rameswaram Island. Rama used his bow's (Dhanush) end (Kodi) to break the bridge - Adam's Bridge (hence the name). This bridge was used for his army to cross over to Lanka for the victorious war against Ravana.

Dhanushkodi railway station

Dhanushkodi railway station is an abandoned railway station in Tamil Nadu, India. It was abandoned during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone.

K. Dhanushkodi Thevar

K. Dhanushkodi Thevar was an Indian politician and former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. He was elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly as an Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate from Rajapalayam constituency in 1977 election and as an Independent candidate from Mudukulathur constituency in 1980 election.

Kothandaramaswamy Temple

The Kothandaramaswamy Temple at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu is a shrine dedicated to the Hindu deity Rama. Located at a distance of 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from Rameswaram, it forms the southernmost tip of the island. The temple is the only historical structure to survive the 1964 cyclone that washed away Dhanushkodi. The temple has the deities of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman and Vibhishana. The temple is surrounded by sea and remains a tourist attraction. It is easily accessible from Rameswaram.

Manamadurai–Rameswaram branch line

The Manamadurai–Rameswaram branch line is a branch railway line in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The line starts at Manamadurai and ends at Rameswaram.

Mannar Island

Mannar Island (Tamil: மன்னார் தீவு; Sinhala: මන්නාරම් දූපත) formerly spelt Manar Island, is part of Mannar District, Sri Lanka. It is linked to the main island of Sri Lanka by a causeway. It has an area of about 50 square kilometres, mainly covered with vegetation and sand. Adam's Bridge (Tamil: ஆதம் பாலம் āthām pālam), is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.

Between 1914 and 1964, there was a train and ferry link from mainland India via Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar to Colombo, but this was not resumed after the disastrous damages caused by a cyclone in 1964. The Palk Strait bridge was proposed in June 2015, to link mainland India to Mannar.

The island is dry and barren; fishing is economically important.Its main settlements are Mannar and Erukkulampiddi on its eastern coast and Pesalai on its northern coast, all connected by the A14 road which leads across the bridge to mainland Sri Lanka

NSS College Rajakumari

NSS College Rajakumari is a higher education institution in Rajakumari. This college was founded as a first grade aided college in 1995 and is managed by the Nair Service Society. It is affiliated with the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala.The college is situated near Kulapparachal Town, Rajakumari. The campus is situated in Rajakumari panchayath of Idukki district, placed 5 km away from Pooppara town in Kochi- Dhanushkodi National Highway. The college is equally distanced 35 km each from Munnar, Adimali, Nedumkandam and Theni. It is geographically placed in between Munnar and Mathikettan hills of Western Ghats.


Neriamangalam is a village in Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala.

Neriamangalam is on the banks of Periyar River. It is on the border of Ernakulam and Idukki districts. Agriculture is the predominant occupation in this area. The Neriamangalam Bridge, Ranikallu (stone of queen) etc. are of historical importance. The Neriamangalam Bridge, built across the Periyar river, is often referred as 'The Gateway to the Highranges' as it is on the way to the higher regions of Idukki district, especially Munnar. The bridge was made by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1935. Now the bridge is a part of National Highway 49 which leads to Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu.

The St Joseph's church, Neriamangalam is a major place of worship for Syro-Malabar Christians of this region. The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Neriamangalam is an important educational institution in this region.

Neriamangalam gets the highest average rainfall in the state of Kerala. So this place is aptly hailed as 'The Cherrapunjee of Kerala'. The nearest town is Kothamangalam, which is about 17.6 km (11 mi) from Neriamangalam.

Palk Strait

The Palk Strait (Tamil: பாக்கு சலசந்தி / பாக்கு நீரிணை, Sinhala: පෝක් සමුද්‍ර සන්ධිය Pok Samudra Sandhiya) is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Mannar district of the Northern Province of the island nation of Sri Lanka. It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with Palk Bay in the southwest. The strait is 53 to 82 kilometres (33 to 51 mi) wide. Several rivers flow into it, including the Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu. The strait is named after Robert Palk, who was a governor of Madras (1755–1763) during the Company Raj period.

Pamban Island

Pamban Island (Tamil: பாம்பன் தீவு Pāmpan Island), also known as Rameswaram Island, is an island located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The island is a part of India and forms the Rameswaram taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest island in Tamil Nadu by area. The principal town in the island is the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram.

R. Dhanuskodi Athithan

R. Dhanuskodi Athithan (born 6 March 1953) was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represented the Tirunelveli constituency of Tamil Nadu and is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party. He was critically wounded in a road accident which happened near Vaagaikulam on the Tirunelveli - Tuticorin National Highway on 6 August 2006. His wife Indra Devi Adithan died in the accident.


Rameswaram, (also spelt as Ramesvaram, Rameshwaram) is a town and a second grade municipality in the Ramanathapuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 40 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is in the Gulf of Mannar, at the tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimage.

It is said the Hindu god Rama built a bridge from here across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, is at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple and the town are considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivas and Vaishnavas.Rameswaram is the closest point from which to reach Sri Lanka from India, and geological evidence suggests that the Rama Sethu was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The town has been in the news over the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, Kachchatheevu, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and capturing local fishermen for alleged cross-border activities by Sri Lankan Forces. Rameswaram is administered by a municipality established in 1994. The town covers an area of 53 km2 (20 sq mi) and had a population of 44,856 as of 2011. Tourism and fishery employ the majority of workforce in Rameswaram.

Rameswaram railway station

Rameswaram railway station is a railway station serving the town of Rameswaram located on the Rameswaram Island in the Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu. It is belongs to the Madurai railway division and is an important terminal of the Southern Railway Zone. The station links the pilgrim town as well as the rest of the island to the mainland via the highly acclaimed Pamban Rail Bridge.

Tiruchendur (Lok Sabha constituency)

Tiruchendur was a Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu until 2008 constituency realignment.

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