What does Ramanathapuram District Gazetteer say?
?TO those policy-makers, scholars and public interested in ascertaining authentic and reliable information related to social, political, economic, and traditional lives, this district-wise gazetteer has been compiled as an encyclopaedic reference? By publishing this Ramanathapuram District Gazetteer, a means will be provided for researches on this district'ssocial history. This is exhaustive and detailed and provides significant historical details about the lives of the people of this district. I believe that this encyclopaedic documentation will be of immense help. To the State administrators, and to those engaged in social service and research.? This is how Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi writes on June 14, 1972 in the Preface of the document published by Tamil Nadu Government. In this document, the details provided about Setu bridge (Setu Paalam) are ?Adam'sBridge. Adam'sBridge is a name which evokes Islamic traditions. Adam banished from heaven, travelled walking on this bridge to reach Sri Lanka.This is also referred to as Nala Setu and as Tiruvanai (Sacred dam) in Tamil. This is also referred to as Rama Setu. There is also another name called Adi Setu.
?This bridge is 110 miles east-south-east of Madurai, 43 miles along the same direction from Ramanathapuram. The bridge is 15.5 miles east of Rameswaram. This bridge is composed of sand and stone. The western edge of this bridge links with Rameswaram and eastern end links with the island of Mannar. Bridging these two islands (of Rameswaram and of Mannar), this bridge links Sri Lanka and India. This is called Ramar Paalam because this bridge was built under the leadership of Hanuman and with the participation of Vaanara Sena (Kuranguppadai) and facilitated the crossing by Rama to reach Sri Lanka and to attain victory. Upto 1480, this bridge had served as a land bridge to Sri Lanka. Thereafter, a severe cyclone created fissures changing the dimensions to 30 miles long and 1.25 miles wide. This stretches from south-east to north-west. This sand bridge (of shoals) is seen above the ocean waters in some places and below the ocean waters in some other places. When submerged, the depth of the ocean-waters is 3 or 4 feet. The sand shoals keep shifting. There are also canals interspersed. During the south-west monsoon season, severe ocean currents and surges impact on the Adam'sBridge. A project is under planning to link the west-coast harbours with east-coast harbours with a view to reducing the navigational distance by creating a channel across the Adam'sBridge and linking Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits.?
Excerpts from an article written on April 13, 2007 by Rama Nambinarayanan.
?Sudesi News, March 2007