Although this exotic island is not a part of mainland India, yet is a popular tourist destination for all Indians and beach lovers from across the world. Pamban Island is a part of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
Pamban Island is the largest island in Tamil Nadu in terms of area and is known worldwide for the popular pilgrimage site Rameshwaram. Rameshwaram is the holy place in the Hindu text, as it is believed that Lord Rama built a bridge of stones across the sea to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king of Lanka, Ravana.
History of Pamban Island
Pamban Island is located between the Indian Penninsula and Sri Lanka. Pamban Island is connected to mainland India via the Pamban channel. Apart from the ancient and religious significance, the island is also known for its rulers from the Chola Dynasty and Jaffna kingdom.
The island was invaded by many traders from the west such as Britishers, and Dutches, because of its easy to access geographical location. After independence, the region came under the Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu.
Today Pamban Island is considered an offbeat destination for travelers. The island accommodates ancient temples for religious tourists, beaches for beach lovers, a sea rail bridge, and water sports for adventure seekers.
Major Attractions in and Around Pamban Island
1. Pamban Bridge
Pamban rail bridge is India’s first sea bridge built in 1914 and is 2065m long. The bridge was made to connect the Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu to Pamban Island. Another thing that makes this bridge special is that it can open up to let the ferry boats, and ships pass. The bridge completed its 100years in 2014 and is still standing tall and strong in the water.
2. Adam’s Bridge
Rama Setu or Adam’s bridge is another tourist attraction for tourists who visit Pamban Island. As per popular beliefs, the bridge starts from Dhanuskodi and terminates at Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The bridge is made of limestone shoals, which make them float on the water surface.
Dhanushkodi is a tiny beach town located on Pamban Island. The beach town got its name after Lord Ram rescued his wife Sita and destroyed the Rama Setu with his bow and arrow. Once a significant town, Dhanushkodi has now become an abandoned land after the cyclone of 1964. Dhanushkodi is also known as ‘Ghost Town’ because the Tamil Nadu govt after the cyclone of 1964 declared the place ‘not fit for human habitation’.
4. Ramanathaswamy Temple
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per the ancient tales, Ramanathaswamy temple is the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva and prayed to him to forgive him for all the sins he might have committed in the war against Ravana.
5. Train Ride on Pamban Bridge
Chennai express and Rameshwaram Express are the two trains that pass through the Pamban bridge. If you are planning to visit Pamban island then book your tickets in advance for the train ride over the sea bridge.
6. Ancient Temples
Panchmulkhi Hanuman temple is one of the most popular temples in Rameshwaram. The five-faced idol of Lord Hanumana idol with the faces of Lord Narasimha, Lord Garuda, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Adivaraha is a famous tourist attraction.
7. Authentic South Indian Cuisine
Rameshwaram is a paradise for food lovers. The Rameshwaram platter is an amalgamation of seafood and typical south Indian food. On a visit to Pamban island or Rameshwaram where it is located one will get to taste exotic fishes and a variety of south Indian foods that are prepared with indigenously found herbs and spices.
How to Reach Pamban Island
Pamban island is an offbeat destination featuring picturesque views, serene ambiance, and exotic beaches which makes it a perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. Lying between mainland India and Sri Lanka you can easily reach here via diverse transportation modes and routes.
Pamban Island is approximately 2,700, 1,500, 2,200, and 600 km away from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Some of the best travel options have been listed below that you must consider if planning a trip to Pamban Island.
Madurai Airport (IXM) is the nearest airport to Pamban Island and after leaving the airport one has to take the local transport to travel another 178 km to reach Pamban Island. Madurai airport received direct and connecting flights from all metro cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Listed below are the airlines that operate direct flights to Madurai Airport.
From Delhi - Air India
From Mumbai - SpiceJet
From Bengaluru - SpiceJet, IndiGo
From Chennai - AirIndia, SpiceJet, IndiGo
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Pamban Island
If you are planning to visit Pamban island by car or bike then the following routes can be considered on arrival from nearby prominent cities and states.
From Rameshwaram - 3 km via NH 87
From Mysuru - 570 km via NH 87
From Coimbatore - 400 km via NH 87
From Chennai - 600km via NH 38
From Madurai - 175 km via NH 87
Rameshwaram railway station is the nearest railway station to reach Pamban island. The railway station is connected to all the major railway stations located in metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and more. Listed below are the direct trains that you may consider to reach Rameshwaram.