Not enough is said about the one bridge that withstood the test of time and a cyclone! Welcome to the tale of the gorgeous Pamban Bridge in Rameswaram.
Where is Pamban Bridge?
Rameswaram is literally the south eastern tip of India. It is an island in itself and the only way it connects to mainland India is through this 100 year old sea bridge. The bridge is located 14.8km from Rameswaram Bus stand. You can reach the bridge through government buses or ideally through private vehicles. You can either take the rail route or a road route which runs parallel to it to get to Rameswaram.
I bought the ticket for INR 25 from Rameswaram station for a thrilling ride over this fascinating sea bridge. Apparently, there aren’t too many trains that go over this bridge and therefore you must plan your trip well. The Rameswaram Chennai Express leaves around 5 pm everyday from Rameswaram station.
Not too many locals here speak in Hindi or English. You just have to mix all the languages you know and hope that someone makes sense of what you are saying. Luckily for me, I had Hyatt Rameswaram’s General Manager, Deepak Sharma accompanying me, who filled in as my translator for this train journey.
I spoke to a lot of locals to know if they were apprehensive of taking this journey given the sea bridge is more than 100 years old. A lady said, it is such a routine for them that the thought doesn’t even cross their mind. And just when we were approaching the sea bridge, almost everyone moved a bit closer to their only outlet to the outdoor beauty – their windows. I wanted an uninterrupted view so I went to the door (Sshh…I know, its not allowed!)
But what a beauty! You are surrounded by pristine blue waters till as far as your eyes can see. The bridge is only 1 meter wide and 2.5 km long. The speed is reduced to 20-30 km/hr while the train is on this vulnerable bridge. The experience is totally worth it!
More Interesting Facts About Pamban Bridge
Pamban Bridge opened in the year 1914 and it connects Rameswaram to mainland India. What makes it magnificent is not just its age but the fact that it was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It is also a cantaloupe bridge. Considering the time it was made, this is nothing short of an engineering marvel. The central part of the bridge was designed by German engineer Scherzer. Even today, about 10-15 boats and small ships pass under the bridge.
Pamban Bridge survived a major cyclone in 1964 – one that flattened the town of Dhanushkodi. The people of the island call the bridge Pamban palam.
Would you like to take a ride on Pamban sea bridge?
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