I was thinking about a journey to Rameshwaram since a long time, but a budget trip was not in my plan until Siyad introduced the concept. Concept was so simple and realistic – Let us go by train in ordinary compartment. When Siyad told me this I was little bit confused which in turn converted into anxiety and excitement. While we were planning Benna stepped in and the next thing he said after hearing whole story was let’s go. And it is on ;).
We reached Trivandrum Central by 10th(10-03-2017) evening 7’o clock and took 3 tickets for Punalur-Madhurai Passenger which arrived station by 8:55 PM. Train was almost empty and we took seat in one of the compartments. Train started to roll in about 5 minutes and darkness, coldness and sleep started to strive in.
When I woke up train passed ThiruparaKundram and the next stop was Madhurai. The view through the window was just amazing as the first light appeared on the sky. I stared the so long and camera was unable to capture the moment’s beauty as it is. About 11th 6:15 AM we reached Madhurai station. I think Madhurai-Dhanushkodi passenger were waiting for us as the train was about to start it’s 200 kilometre long via Rameshwaram Pampan bridge journey. We took tickets and ran for the train. Train started to roll as we mounted.
On the way we met two other young people Vipin and Sanker. Both are studying in Madhurai Arts College and they were wondering whether we are new generation hippies. I answered them with a smile. They stepped out at Pampan Bridge Station, Rameshwaram. The train slowly climbed Pampan Bridge which stole our heart with mesmerising beauty and nature’s artworks. We tried to absorb every moment’s essence with our eyes and lens. We reached Rameshwaram in about 15 minutes after Crawling through bridge.
An eternal beauty was seen throughout the temple premises. The architecture was superb as each and every stone sculpture reflected awesomeness of traditional stone art. After a short explore we took bus number 7c to our destination Dhanushkodi from Rameshwaram. In about 40 minutes we reached Dhanushkodi. The time was almost 12’o clock noon and sun was asking us to step into shadows or else he will burn us with his rays. We ignored sun and started our walk through the beach.
Shore had lot of huts each placed congested showed the remains of 1964 Rameshwaram Cyclone. While we were observing the localities finding the remains and collecting the art of sea, a small girl, typical tamil girl of about 4-5 years old, came near us. She asked why we are walking and I replied we don’t have money for that van which takes passengers from Dhanushkodi to RamaSethu Karai which charges 150 per passenger. She said that don’t worry anna, I am Dhanalekshmi and I will accompany you. Also she gave us a white sea shell and told us to take it as a memory.
While continuing the walk she wanted to leave because her elder sister called her. After some more steps we reached a construction site. They were building a harbour bridge for small ships. We noticed a person standing next to a lorry with a beedi in his hands staring at us with surprise. When we reached near him he repeated the same question as little goddess asked earlier. We said we were exploring the beach. He introduced himself as Selvan, driver of water tanker lorry. While we were continuing our exploring he let us know that he will be leaving in 2 hrs. If we return within the period, he can drop us to Madhurai.
Consequently we found that we are out of water and dehydration is a large as well as though scenario faced by every traveller in this dry and hot climatic conditions. At that time I remembered some lines – “Water Water Everywhere Water, But not a single drop to drink.” We thought about asking the next hut we see for some water. But we couldn’t find any as we have walk past the colony about 10 minutes ago and Furthermore exploration was through some abandonded place. After quite a walk we spotted our annapoorneswari Sri. Muthulakshmi amma’s tiny shop.
She was happy to offer us enough drinking water and we were wondering how she get pure water in this sea shore. She showed us small wells of about 1-2 metres deep which have abundant fresh water. We were surprised about the mystery while she were telling us that it is Lord Rama’s boon. Since we relied on science we still can’t figure out how that happened.
After another long walk through the shortcuts Muthulakshmi amma shared, we reached Sangam point. Sangam point is about 20 kilometers away from Sri Lanka. If we use telescope we can see Sri Lanka, as this is the place once stood Ram Sethu the floating stone bridge which took Lord Ram and his army to Lanka for retrieving Seetha who was abducted by Ravan. The story is nothing else but Hindu mythology “Ramayan”.The nature created a marvellous blue mixture of sea and sky which is a precious picture you should never miss.
After spending some time there, we started our return journey. We thought we need some rest as sun was sipping away our energy. So we lied below a truck for some time and had some carrots and bread which we purchased from Madhurai. After some more steps we found a shooting location of some Malayalam movie. We met Mr. Vijith who later gave us a lift to Madhurai in his 6×6 ZiL 131 Truck which was an awesome experience beacuse of it’s off-road nature. We reached Madhurai at about 11’o clock due to the 8 hour travel in that 6 wheel drive truck which have a speed of 35 kmph .
The Madhurai-Punalur Passenger was about to leave as we reached station, may be train was expecting our arrival. The last thing I remember is laying on the seat of empty compartment, because I were kidnapped by tiredness and sleep. Most of all the experience was once in a lifetime and my fellow travellers were as more supportive and generous. Hence the journey continues 😉
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