Ram Setu is a conflicted or hypothetical bridge that is between science and religion. Here we are sharing some interesting and rare facts about ram setu or Adams bridge.
Milestones From History
- As one travels by train on Pamban bridge from Dhanushkodi tip on Pamban Island (Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu) to Mandapam on Indian mainland (off the coast of Sri Lanka), one gets a glimpse of the rocks and stones that comprise this bridge. It is actually a chain of limestone shoals.
- Walkable Bridge It is said that Rama’s bridge was above the sea level. Even some historical records suggest that it was walkable until the 15th century. Even the estimated depth is around 3 – 30 ft in the area of this causeway.
- It is said that the bridge was made by Lord Rama for rescued his wife Sita from Ravan cage.
- Mysterious & Surprising The studies of Oceanography suggests that the bridge is 7000 years old. Interestingly, the carbon dating of beaches near Dhanushkodi and Mannar Island sync with the date of Ramayana.
At The Time Of British Rule
The earliest map that calls this area by the name Adam’s bridge was prepared by a British cartographer in 1804, in reference to an Abrahamic myth, in which Adam used the bridge to reach a mountain, which the British identified with Adam’s Peak, where he stood repentant on one foot for 1,000 years, leaving a large hollow mark resembling a footprint.
A team from the Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi led by Professor S.M. Ramasamy in 2003 claimed that the “Rama’s bridge could only be 3,500 years old” and, “as the carbon dating of the beaches roughly matches the dates of Ramayana, its link to the epic needs to be explored”. However, one needs to note that the surveys which have come out with 3500 age for the bridge are based on the studies conducted on corals grown on the bridge itself and it has been argued that this represents only the age of what was measured, which is the corals. The bridge underneath the corals has been dated back to hundreds of thousands of years earlier.
A former Director of the Geological Survey of India, S. Badrinarayanan claims that such a natural formation would be impossible; He justifies the same by the presence of loose sands layer under corals for an entire stretch as corals normally from above rocks and not over sand layers.
V Ram Mohan of the Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Studies, Madras University, admitted that any reconstruction of the geological evolution of the island chain would be a challenging task and would have to be carried out based on circumstantial evidence. The lack of comprehensive field studies explains many of the uncertainties regarding the nature and origin of Ram Setu, which is also known as Adam’s Bridge.
It’s Science Vs Religion Again
It is true that satellite images have a larger than life, unreal feel about them, which sends imaginations soaring. But even if science cannot vouchsafe for any religious interpretations, does it mean history has to seek answers from science? Indian history, that probably dates back to BC era, doesn’t automatically become a myth.
Interesting Floating Stones Ramayana mentions that the Setu Banda was constructed with floating stones. Surprisingly, such floating stones are scattered across Rameswaram even to this day. Scientific theories suggest that some volcanic rocks do float in water. This might explain the linear formation of rocks which form this bridge.