Ram Setu (Bridge): Fact or Reality?

Ram Setu (रामसेतु) also called Nala Setu and Setu Banda, is the biggest historical and archaeological evidence of Ramayana available to mankind. The studies of oceanography suggest that the bridge is 7000 years old. Interestingly, the carbon dating of beaches near Dhanushkodi and Mannar Island syncs with the date of Ramayana.

Rama Setu Bridge
Ram Setu is also called Rama Bridge or Adam’s Bridge

According to the legend, this bridge was built by the army of money (vanara army) that had accompanied Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana, and Lord Hanuman on their way to Srilanka to rescue Goddess Sita. According to Ramanathaswamy Temple’s records, Ram Setu was above sea level and was walkable till the end of the 15th century. It got broken in a cyclone in 1480.

Location of the Ram-Setu

NASA’s satellite has photographed an underwater man-made bridge of shoals in the Palk Straits, connecting Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar.

Ram Setu starts as a chain of shoals from the Dhanushkodi tip of India’s Pamban Island (also known as Rameswaram Island) at Rameshwaram and ends at Talaimannar of Sri Lanka’s Mannar Island. Parts of the bridge, also known as Adam’s bridge are still visible.

In some early Islamic literature, scholars like Alberuni mentioned that biblical Adam fell onto earth at a peak located in Sir Lanka (later named Adam’s Peak). After his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, he used Ram-Setu Bridge to reach India, so it is later named Adam’s Bridge.

Making of Ram Setu

To reach Lanka, Rama decided to build a bridge with the help of the monkey engineer Nala. Nala was the son of divine architect Vishwakarma. He acquired skills just like his father. Rama also summoned Varuna, the God of the Ocean, to cooperate by staying calm while the bridge was in the making. Immediately thousands of monkeys set about the task of gathering the materials to build the bridge. They made the bridge using floating stones with the name of Lord Rama engraved on them.

  • Length of the Bridge: 35 Km
  • Building period: Five days

According to Yuddha Kanda 22nd Sarga 66-70 Slokas of Srimad Ramayana, the total length of the Bridge is 100 Yojanas and the construction work was completed as;

  1. First day: 14 Yojanas
  2. Second day: 20 Yojanas
  3. Third day: 21 Yojanas
  4. Fourth day: 22 Yojanas
  5. Fifth day: 23 Yojanas
Ram-Setu (Rama Bridge)
Ram Setu or Rama Setu, as seen in NASA satellite photo: India on top, Sri Lanka at the bottom

When the materials were piled up in heaps, Nala, the great architect, started to build the bridge. It was a stupendous undertaking but the entire monkey army worked hard and completed Ram-Setu (Rama bridge) in just five days. Then the army crossed over to Lanka.

Though leftist historians have chosen to rubbish archaeology, literature, and local tradition; all the places visited by Rama still retain memories of his visit, as if they happened yesterday. Rama’s memory lives on because of his extraordinary life and his reign, which was obviously a period of great peace and prosperity, making Ramrajya a reference point.

Demolish of Ram Setu

According to Skanda Purana, after getting victory over Ravana, at the request of Vibhishan, after having used the bridge, Rama broker it with the end of his bow, causing it to sink. Hence the name Dhanuskodi, which means “bow end”. But this incident is not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana. Hence, this could be an incident from a different Kalpa. Some people say that many rocks below the surface of the sea that leads out to Sri Lanka are evidence that such a bridge actually existed.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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