Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rameshwaram and its secret beaches

Yes, Rameshwaram is an island of joy. So much fun here and unspoiled beaches. You know why; people don’t even believe if there are beaches in Rameshwaram. Most people mind their pilgrimage or point seeing and then back ….
No Sir, Rameshwaram is a great place and also has enchanting beaches. And there is no crowd at the beeches.
So let me take you to Rameshwaram.
I prefer to reach here by Train from Madurai. Let’s take the early morning train that arrives here at 10:30AM. This way you can witness the bridge to the island. Train bridge runs parallel to the road bridge. Road bridge is very high so water vessels can pass through it but train bridge is low and there is a draw bridge in between that opens to allow water vessels.

Panbam bridge
One day we crossed this bridge on foot and it was much fun. Someday I will put another post about that one 6km journey.
So now our train has arrived at Rameshwaram town. Journey before the bridge and after the bridge was equally interesting. After the bridge, train is moving in between sandbars with ponds here and there. All vegetation in this area is unique. Rameshwaram is a very small town; let’s walk to the town instead of taking any taxi or tempoo etc. City center is barely one km. Hey, we reaped the reward of our walking because on the way we liked a hotel and booked our room there. Hotel had large verandas facing the streets so that caught me because I love open and airy places. Hotel was reasonably clean and inexpensive. Anyway Rameshwaram is full of staying places and rooms are not expensive here. Also there are plenty of restaurants serving South Indian food and many restaurants serving North Indian eat all you can meals for about 50 – 75 rupee.
So we arrived here. Assimilated in the surrounding and first thing first. We visited the famous temple. It is Lord Shiva temple and whole town is settled around it. At the one end is the ocean but anyway ocean is not far from any place. Good market around the temple and towards railway station where I love to eat freshly fried vadas. You cannot miss that shop if you walk towards railway station from the temple. This shop is the one that has the biggest crowd around it.
Rameshwaram temple is huge. It has kilomter long corridors and walkways. It is just majestic and no words are enough to describe it. We visited temple several times. Big rush in the mornings but other times no rush at all. One can read more about this temple from Wikipedia etc.
It is an enjoying place. One can walk in the around the temple and spend a couple of days enjoying. Or one can sit at the sea shore near temple and watch at people doing their rituals and taking bath. Time just flies here and one has to drag himself to get away from the shore.
Now we come to the secret beaches of Rameshwaram. Well secret or no secret people don’t even realize that there are beaches. Beaches are on the way to Dhanushkodi. There is no sense in writing about Dhanushkodi because there is already an excellent article about that journey.
You can fetch public bus towards Dhanushkodi and take it to the last point. Anyway whole way is scenic. Bus comes out from the small town Rameshwaram and then there are sandbars and casurina forest on both sides and once can glimpse sea from the trees. Well actually one get serious temptation to get down at just any place on the way and so we did. We got down near Vibikshan temple. This temple is surrounded by the water and there is a 1 km walkway to it with blue water at both sides. Whole way is very windy and we did it on foot. You will rarely see anyone on foot here because people book transportation and visit from point to point with no time to spend in between.
This walk is so memorable because the views are breathtaking with water on your all sides and town of Rameshwaram visible far away and this area is pollution free. Speed of gale is so severe that you need to struggle with it while walking.
Walk to Vibhikshan temple.
We sat on the rocks by the water on this way; it was very soothing and calming.
Another picture at the way to Vibhikshan temple
Way to Vibhiksahan temple.
Temple itself is in the serene surrounding but what surrounding … it is surrounded by water on all sides except for the road that brings you here. You can enjoy forever sitting on the temple platform or just anywhere on the rocks touching the water.
There are some shops at the temple area serving tea, coconuts, ice-cream etc. Place is so calm and serene that one wants to sit here forever. But it is the time to move; to much to do here and there are other places equal serene. So now let’s walk back to the main road (Walk back if you wish or you can fetch any transportation moving that way) of-course you want to walk back because you tasted the walk to here. No choice.
Well now we hit the road again. If you wish you can continue your walk towards Sri-Lanka or Dhanushkodi it is barely 2 km. Not Dhanuskodi but the last place to where buses ply. Or you can hail any bus or auto. Buses are about half hour each and sometimes longer and sitting arrangement is acceptable. Not brutally crowded because of the scanty populations here. Mostly fishing villages on this last frontier of India.
Well now we arrived at the last point of the paved road. Road used to go to the Dhanushkodi and beyond but no more. Long story and this post is not about that story. This post is about to enjoy Rameshwarem in its fullest; NOW.
Well Sir; so we arrived here and it is a several kilometers long and very narrow sandbar barely 200 meters apart. There are fishermen huts and fishes are drying at some places. Well I guarantee that this is the Best Beach you ever seen. It is the time to take bath. Hope you brought your bathing gear. Well I didn’t. There I had to borrow a lungi from a fisherman.
Great beaches but probably you’d want to stay around the small market; it is ok. Nobody is watching you because fishermen are busy in their catch and tourists mind their own business; they are covering their points so all beach is yours. You own it today. Do what you have to do. Make all your beach dreams come true. Need more privacy then walk a bit farther. Need hot water bath … yes you can do it. Other side of the sandbar has very shallow beech and there is no waves because actually north side is a lagoon with another sandbar that is visible from a km. So this lagoon is warm but need warmer water then make some effort and make your private pond here. Just pick any shallow depression and close it up with sand and water warms up in sun and have your own sauna bath here.
Done bathing and need some freshwater to wash off the salt ….
There are plenty of shallow wells here and you can borrow a bucket from someone. Last time accidently I dropped my bucket in the well so then I had to jump in the well to bring it out.
Well you got the touch of this place. All beaches are your’s here; Enjoy. Food is cheap. All you have to do is to come here from Rameshwaram. Ride is so scenic anyway that brings you here time after time.
Rama was here with his military of Monkeys.
I feel that my walk on the Panbam bridge is out of the scope for this post so will make another post someday.
I close it right here.

1 comment:

  1. There are number of untouched islands around Rameshwaram and is a perfect places for photographer's and biologists with plenty of flora to explore. For tourist looking for reasonable stay options, there are decent number of budget hotels in rameshwaram.


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