Sunday, April 24, 2011

Navy-operated boat trips to Adam's Bridge

The Sri Lanka Navy has initiated a novel project to let the public experience a journey to the renowned Adam's Bridge in Thalaimannar. Inaugurated on April 10, as a part of this project they operate boat tours for the public to the bridge.

If the sea is calm and if there is no rain, departure from the old pier at Thalaimannar to the sand banks will be operated from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday. The journey is 15 km from the mainland to the bridge. After landing at the sand bank, people can explore the area.
"Visitors are not expected to bring anything specifically for the trip. We provide everything including food and water. Only thing is that they should not litter on the sand bank," a Navy official who is in charge of the tour said.
Adam's Bridge or Rama's Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, off the South Western coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island. There are many legends related to this bridge. A famous story in the ancient Sanskrit script, Ramayana identifies the bridge as a construction by the Vanara army of Rama, which he used to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from Ravana, the Raksha king who ruled Lanka at the time. The believers of this chronicle named this bridge as 'Rama's Bridge'. According to the geologists, this stretch of sand banks was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 30 km long and it is believed that this had been a continuous stretch during the olden days. However, sea erosion has separated the sea bank into 18 fractions.
The Sri Lankan Navy governs nine of them and the other nine belong to the Indian Navy. Adam's Bridge, which separates the Gulf of Mannar from the Palk Straits, consist of some dry sea banks. The sea around the banks is very shallow. It is said that during the bygone days people reached India by foot through this bridge.

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