Where is it located?
Dhanushkodi is a very sparsely populated coastal town on the southwestern coast of Tamil Nadu in India. As it is very close to Sri Lanka, It is also known as the last road of India. It is a sparsely populated town hence known as Ghost Town.
Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, Dhanushkodi once used to serve as an important port for both traders and pilgrims. Ferry services were available between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar, a town in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). These ferries used to transport both goods and travelers across the sea, from one country to the other. The town of Dhanushkodi was home to all kinds of facilities a traveler would need — hotels, Dharamshala, and textile shops catering to pilgrims, travelers, and traders. And believe it or not, Sri Lanka is situated at a distance of just 31 km from this town.
The below picture shows the vast stretch of road which is a single stretch dissecting the ocean waters. At the end of this road, India ends and Sri Lanka starts.
The Devastation of 1964
Dhanushkodi town was destroyed during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and remains uninhabited the aftermath of the cyclone .In 1964, Dhanushkodi became among the worst floods India has ever experienced. Ever since that time, Tamil Nadu has slowly rebuilt this once sleepy fishing town to become one of the most unusual and unique beach destinations of India. It is one of the main centers for tourism in the Southern part of India, apart from Goa, Kerala, and Karnataka.
Dhanushkodi has a long history, which can be traced back to the 7th century. The ancient history is not fully known but according to legend, King Veeraballa instructed his minister to build a temple there, but he could not find an architect. The temple he built later was constructed of sandstone, which according to legend, was cut in half by the cyclone that devastated the town.
The legend further states that when the sandstone was cut in half by the cyclone, the pieces would then be put into the sea to ensure there would be no flooding. It is said that the pieces would float on top of the sea for almost three hundred years.
Today, Dhanushkodi possesses unparalleled natural beauty. The town has long been a favorite among the tourists who like to spend their vacation in a serene environment. Nature has played a vital role in preserving the pristine beaches and channels formed by the seasonal changing of the water levels. This is why Dhanushkodi receives scores of tourists, who come to enjoy the unmatched natural beauty, amidst a rich Tamil Culture.
Tourists coming from all over the country visit Dhanushkodi. Some of them like to go to the ghost town of Dhanushkodi, while some of them like to visit the untouched pristine beaches in nearby Nelliyampathi. The hills, waters, and the forests surrounding Dhanushkodi have been declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, thus making them a major tourist attraction in Tamil Nadu state.
Dhanushkodi has several attractions to offer to its tourists. There are many historical buildings in the town, which tell an interesting history of the region. The Baga fort, for example, is the oldest fort in the state. The story of how it came to occupy the name ‘Dhanush’ in Tamil Nadu, is an interesting one. The fort was built during the Mughal period and served as an important military post for the Mughals.
Dhanushkodi owes its name to Dhanush, the god of wealth in Tamil Nadu state. The myth says that Dhanush was born when the son of a river god started to prosper in the region. He was so successful that his family got a palace in Dhanushkodi. However, Dhanushkodi started to fail after a cyclone destroyed the region. This was the reason why the local people declared Dhanushkodi a ghost town and continued to live in the caves and hills surrounding the town.
Today, Dhanushkodi offers a spectacular view of the sea with the silver coastline, but the history behind it is quite different. Dhanushkodi has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to the unique combination of photographic and historical resources. The most popular attractions in Dhanushkodi are Dhanushkodi Beach, a thatched hut, cremation site, and the M.G. Road which takes you to the capital city of Chennai. There is also a temple dedicated to Dhanushkodi on an island in the same city; this is the only temple of this nature in the entire state.
So would you plan to visit to explore this Ghost Town?