Dhanushkodi - The Unexplored Ghost Town With A History

by Yogesh Indolia

Posted on 6th September, 2015

Dhanushkodi Church
Image Credit - +rex

If there's a place, in India, which will make you feel like you are at the end of the world, with just the sea all around, it has to be Dhanushkodi.

Dhanushkodi Map

If you have heard of Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi is the southern tip of the island, 23km from the city. I was fortunate to see it, the way I wished. For simplicity, I have marked various points midst the travel in the above map.

P0 - Rameshwaram

Quite famous for its religious importance amongst Hindus. Our journey starts here. Buses for Dhanushkodi are available from here.

Pamban Bridge
Rameswaram Temple
Image Credit - Petri Olderhvit

P1 - The Base-Tower

The point, where the road to Dhanushkodi ends. This is the last place where you'll find some basic shops to eat and sit around. By this time you can see the sea quite apparently. There are some fishermen settlements around the beach, mostly temporary. I was pretty excited by this time. The end, P3 point, is somewhere around 10-12 Km from here. There are shuttles available till point P2 to serve the tourists in day time, but nothing beyond that. I had planned to walk it all, so I started walking from here. if you like walking, I would recommend doing it, but its not easy on the sands without any shade along the way.

Dhanushkodi Base Tower
The Base Tower

As you start walking, you will start feeling the strong waves and the view, never to forget. It is like a never ending nascent beach you see next to you, and the water is just so blue.

Dhanushkodi Beach Route
Dhanushkodi Sea

P2 - Dhanushkodi Town

Popularly known as one of the ghost town, there are just broken, spalled structures, left to disintegrate with time. It used to be inhabited, until the tsunami of 1964, which literally flushed the town and the railway station. Nobody lives here now and there are just broken and deteriorated structures all around.

Dhanushkodi Old Church
Dhanushkodi Ruins

The journey ends here for most of the people, as there is nothing available for going further. You can only walk; and if you are walking, you are already tired because of the extreme hot-humid weather.

I kept walking. Further ahead, you'll see very few to none people around. And the very very few whom i came across as they were coming back had decided to return back, without going till the end. The air becomes more stronger and the waves are also higher. Crabs start to roam around your paths, the big and the swift ones. Remenents of past activities can also be seen.

Dhanushkodi Empty Beaches
Dhanushkodi Empty Beaches

It is tiring to walk all along. However, as the end approaches, which does feel like to be forever far, you'll see; flamingo's flying around, some unimaginable type of shells and many amazing things you would just feel like picking and taking with you. These are probably among the least touched sands in India.

Dhanushkodi Sea Shells
Dhanushkodi Sea Shells

P3 - Ram Setu Point, the Tip

As you reach the end, it does feel like the end of the world, with just the sea around in all directions (well, almost all) and nothing else. The locals in Rameshwaram city had told that its very rare for anyone to go this far till the end. The air there is stronger than ever and more refreshing. You can't stop yourself from getting into the sea here.

RamSetu Tip Beach

At the Tip, you could see 3 waves from different directions splashing each-other. Trust me, these moments, make all the efforts you did to come here, worthwhile.

Ramsetu Waves
Waves from 3 directions

The Epilogue

The walk back was of-course more painful, but then the sunset along the way back, made all the pains to just surcease. Undoubtedly, the best sunset I ever saw.

Dhanushkodi Sunset At Beach

I have a couple of shells which I had found at the tip of Dhanushkodi, and are the only ones am left with. Here's the photo.

Dhanushkodi Sea Shells

The one on the left, had longer Fractals on the sides. The right one (I wonder, what it inhabited), feels beautiful to hold. The shell on the right is called "Sea urchin".

Tips and Hacks

  • Carry plenty of water, and if you are walking all of it, then 3-4 litres atleast.
  • Take a plastic container with you, with some cushioning. The shells and other things you find are just out of the world, but they are delicate. I collapsed almost all of them on the way back, and the ones i was left with were taken away by friends back home.
  • Start as early as possible. I reached base tower(P1) at 11 am and it was 6:30 pm by the time i was back. Last bus is at 7:00 pm and the place is totally uninhabited and scary, even at dusk.

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