The ghost town of Dhanushkodi sits at the southeast tip of Pamban Island in India’s Tamil Nadu state, just 30 kilometers from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama built a bridge between the mainland and Sri Lanka in order to bring his army across. After the war, Rama was said to destroy the bridge with one end of his bow, hence the name Dhanushkodi, which means 'end of the bow'. Hindu pilgrims come to bathe in the waters here before completing their pilgrimage to the city of Rameswaram.
Visitors can hire a jeep or join a minibus to traverse the beach, visiting the Kodanda Rama Temple, which juts out into the ocean, along the way. The beach is a stunning strip of white sand and, since there is little commercialism here, it remains clean and picturesque. The tour vehicles will navigate the sand and water up to the ‘ghost town’ resettlement colony, which was destroyed in a devastating cyclone in 1964, with only the remnants of railway platforms, the church, and an old post office remaining.
Passenger jeeps and buses can be hired from Dhanushkodi or from the city of Rameswaram. The local Dhanushkodi villagers have set up small shops at the beach and in the village where tourists can buy snacks and water.