Photos: In Tamil Nadu, the Rama Setu set for an underwater study

In Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu, an underwater archaeological study of the Rama Setu is likely to take off soon. This will be a first of its kind project as no underwater exploration has so far been done to find out whether the Rama Setu or the Adam’s Bridge is a myth or an artificial phenomenon. Meanwhile, tourists continue to flock the site in large numbers, hoping for the myth to turn out to be true.

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST 6 Photos
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The Pamban Bridge connects Pamban Island and the port town of Rameswaram to mainland India. The island is a longstanding pilgrimage site due to mythological tales in which Lord Rama crossed a bridge called ‘Rama Setu’ to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana in modern Sri Lanka. (Atul Loke / NYT)

The Pamban Bridge connects Pamban Island and the port town of Rameswaram to mainland India. The island is a longstanding pilgrimage site due to mythological tales in which Lord Rama crossed a bridge called ‘Rama Setu’ to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana in modern Sri Lanka. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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The Ramanathaswamy temple is in Rameswaram in Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu, one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites. The trip to Dhanushkodi is a bit easier for pilgrims today due to better roads and a direct train line. (Atul Loke / NYT)

The Ramanathaswamy temple is in Rameswaram in Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu, one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites. The trip to Dhanushkodi is a bit easier for pilgrims today due to better roads and a direct train line. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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Selfies have made their way even to Gandamadana Parvatham, also known as Rama’s Foot because it is said to bear the imprint of Lord Rama in Rameswaram on Pamban Island.The improved access has brought in waves of tourists while the previous spartan accommodation in ashrams has made way for a Hyatt hotel and large touring groups. (Atul Loke / NYT)

Selfies have made their way even to Gandamadana Parvatham, also known as Rama’s Foot because it is said to bear the imprint of Lord Rama in Rameswaram on Pamban Island.The improved access has brought in waves of tourists while the previous spartan accommodation in ashrams has made way for a Hyatt hotel and large touring groups. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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Devotees bathe in the waters of Dhanushkodi on Pamban Island, the country’s closest point to Sri Lanka. Recently, a team of researchers announced their intention to conduct an underwater exploration to determine the formation of Rama Setu. (Atul Loke / NYT)

Devotees bathe in the waters of Dhanushkodi on Pamban Island, the country’s closest point to Sri Lanka. Recently, a team of researchers announced their intention to conduct an underwater exploration to determine the formation of Rama Setu. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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Fishermen at the Dhanushkodi beach, on Pamban Island. A group of sinewy fishermen ripping shells from a net said they had no idea what was submerged in their fishing grounds. (Atul Loke / NYT)

Fishermen at the Dhanushkodi beach, on Pamban Island. A group of sinewy fishermen ripping shells from a net said they had no idea what was submerged in their fishing grounds. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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As devotees continue to pour in, many historians have warned that scientific evidence has been deliberately played down because of the soft power gained by developing pilgrimage sites. However, the lack of a clear visual has not deterred residents and pilgrims from describing, sometimes in elaborate, contradictory detail, what the mysterious bridge looks like. (Atul Loke / NYT)

As devotees continue to pour in, many historians have warned that scientific evidence has been deliberately played down because of the soft power gained by developing pilgrimage sites. However, the lack of a clear visual has not deterred residents and pilgrims from describing, sometimes in elaborate, contradictory detail, what the mysterious bridge looks like. (Atul Loke / NYT)

UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2017 03:36 PM IST
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