Adam's Bridge, known in India as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu
, is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India.The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep in places, which hinders navigation.The name, Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu (Sanskrit; setu: bridge) for the shoal of islands derives from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, in which a bridge from Rameswaram was built by allies of Rama that he used to reach Lanka, and rescue his abducted wife Sita from the asura king, Ravana. The sea separating India and Sri Lanka is called Sethusamudram, based on the same episode.
What is Setu Samudram Project?
Setu Samudram shipping canal project (SSCP) is a project that has been approved by the Government of India and its work has been started near Kodand Ram Temple. In this project, Palk Gulf and Gulf Mennar will be linked by making a shipping canal through Rameshwaram Island. This will allow ships and boats to navigate in the passage between India and Sri Lanka without having to circle Sri Lanka (as is being done currently). This may save about 400 nautical miles voyage on the West Coast. This project will connect the National Sea Route. This canal will shorten the length of the sea route for ships. Rs. 21 crore per year for fuel expenditure of ships will be saved.
Danger to Ram Setu
Ram Setu Picture by NASAPictures taken by NASA [National Aeronautics & Space Administration], USA from space show the remains of what appears to be an ages old man-made bridge between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka. According to Hindu scriptures and belief, Lord Ram and his vaanar sena had built a bridge from Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka about 17 lacs 25 thousands years ago. The discovery of Shri Ram Setu by NASA confirms that Hindu scriptures and belief are correct in this matter and that Ramayana is 'history' and not "mythology" as is often construed.
Setu Samudram [shipping canal project] is based on the notion that it is inevitable to break the Shri Ram Setu for easy navigation. This will amount to damaging a monument of both, historical and religious importance to Hindus.
Why Ram Setu should not be damaged :
Ram Setu prevented the tsunami from advancing from Rameshwaram to Kerala.
This is a divine bridge.
Lord Rama and his vaanar sena had built it 17 lacs 25 thousands years ago.
In Puranas, the importance of Setu is explained in great details, especially in Skanda Purana, Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana, and Brahma Purana.
Ram Setu a natural barrier to Tsunami: During the last tsunami, the Ramar Bridge (at a high elevation) from the rest of the shoal accumulations acted as a natural barrier preventing the direct devastation of the entire Bharatam coastline south and southwest of Nagapattanam. - Dr. Murthy, Chief editor of the reputed International Tsunami Journal "Science of Tsunami Hazards"
Threat of Tsunami: Many geologists, earth scientists, and oceanographers have commented critically, against the disastrous consequences of constructing SSCP. Amongst these is the impending devastation of Kerala, which will suck in after implementation of SSCP, after next Tsunami hits it.
Many Naval officials are saying that even after the completion of SSCP, the depth of the canal shall be only 12 meters (about 36 feet ), and only small and medium sized vessels shall be able to pass. Large sized vessels and carriers shall not be able to pass.
The construction of SSCP is trampling upon the feelings and emotions of millions and millions of Hindus.
Besides, this bridge is world's oldest man-made structure. It is much much older than the pyramids of Egypt, and the Great Wall of China.
Ram Setu has sentimental, religious and historic value.
People have crossed the sea using the Rama-Setu, for many thousand years, until the 15th century.
Better alternative solutions are also available !
According to the specialists, a sea route may be prepared for navigation without damaging Sri Ram Setu, by removing the barren sand heaps near village Mandapam between Rameshwaram and Dhanushkoti railway. This will not only give a shorter route for navigation but also protect the oldest man-made heritage
Other Noticeable Events
An attempt to offend Hindus
The drill, which is being used to demolish the bridge, is named 'Jai Hanuman'! Thus, as declared by the hermitage, this is a direct attempt to humiliate Hindus. Two such machines taken there have broken down. The government should take a lesson or two from this, says the hermitage.
The issue concerns us all, and should be taken up as Indians, without getting entangled in party lines and political games. The Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge belongs to all humanity, being an important heritage site; hence the government should not allow it to become another issue affecting Hindu sensitivities. Nobody is opposing the Sethu Samudram Project, only a realignment of the route is being asked, as the present one destroys the Ram Setu.