February 3, 2003
The Adam’s bridge over Palk Strait, said to be the remains of a bridge built by Lord Rama, dates back to only 3,500 years and not 1.7 million years as claimed earlier.
A team from the Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi, has come up with startling facts about this ‘‘bridge’’. Led by Professor S.M. Ramasamy, the team is studying the geological changes that took place along the Tamil Nadu coastline in the past 40,000 years.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ramasamy said the CRS findings will give a clearer picture of the bridge connecting Dhanushkodi in India to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
A NASA satellite picture had brought the land strip under focus and some reports had mentioned that this was only a coral reef dating back 1.7 million years. Historians also do not subscribe to the claim linking this stretch to Ramayana. Besides NASA pictures, those taken by Indian Remote Sensing satellites also showed the bridge clearly.
Ramasamy says the satellite pictures and carbon dating of some ancient beaches between Thiruthuraipoondi and Kodiyakarai show the Thiruthuraipoondi beach dates back to 6,000 years and the Kodiyakarai beach to 1,100 years. In other words, the sea was near Thiruthuraipoondi 6,000 years ago and reached Kodiyakarai around 1,100 years ago.
Ramasamy explains that the land/beaches were formed between Ramanathapuram and Pamban because of the long shore drifting currents which moved in an anti-clockwise direction in the north and clockwise direction in the south of Rameswaram and Talaimannar about 3,500 years ago.
The sand was dumped in a linear pattern along the current shadow zone between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar. Later, corals may have accumulated over these linear sand bodies, Ramasamy adds.
But as the carbon dating of the beaches roughly matches the dates of Ramayana, its link to the epic needs to be explored, he adds. Declining to comment whether the bridge was indeed built by Rama, Ramasamy says he would leave that to the experts to answer.
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