Indian Geoparks: Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram located on the south eastern tip of India is a place where king Ram planned his strategy to win his battle over Ravan to get back his wife Sita. But the task was not easy for him belonging to Ayodhaya mainland region of Bharat oceans were very great and vast.

Geologically it is placed in the rocks which are coral reefs or made of Pamban sandstone consisting of recent fossils of gastropods bivalves which have consolidated to form rocks. They have been dated to be around 7000 years ago based on fossil record.

The entire island is made of corals


Dhanuskoti the southern end of Rameshwaram once the center of trade between India and Sri Lanka is today the ghost town located on the SE tip of India. It was a flourishing township once upon a time till the cyclone of 1964 destroyed the entire region in the night uprooting the train submerging the railway track 3 meters below the sand, destroying the church, post office , bank etc.

Church destroyed by cyclone of 1964

The borewells drilled by GSI have revealed presence of fossils of corals from Inland regions indicating presence of sea

Pamban sandstone fossiliferous

Britishers constructed the railway bridge more then 100 years ago between Pamban and Rameshwaram over the waters which are confluence of Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The main geological consideration for selecting this site was the presence of sand which accumulated over the years at the confluence of the two great ocean and sea perpetually moving in opposite directions.

Pamban bridge

On careful observations it is concluded that the alignment of this bridge was actually governed by the fact that they also studied the alignment of the Ram Sethu bridge which was also built on the confluence of the two mighty water bodies the Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal and cleverly named it Adams bridge which we accepted as a biblical truth as it was given by the Britisher’s. It is irony that the Adams bridge is acceptable to us but Ram Sethu is not. Whereas the actual planners of making this bridge . Nal and Neer were the geologist who could identify the coral rocks which would float on the surface of water some of them were favia platygallia latavia etc . And Ram and his sena VANAR sena VAN mein rahenay waley NAR were the real builders.

New Railway bridge at confluence of Indian Ocean (right) and Bay of Bengal (left)

Interestingly even today if anybody wants to build the Sethu or bridge he has to follow the same principle of alignment of the bridge as was followed by Ram 1000 of years ago. The picture shows

Evidence to find the RamSethu across the island of Rameshwaram was a very interesting journey and took me through very interesting places

Corals found 2feet below the ground around

the most interesting was the section along the pond which was cut to store water or may be to culture the fishes etc.

On careful observations it was found that leaving aside 1-1.5 feet the remaining sediments are all corals haphazardly arranged or representing high energy of deposition

the site actually looked like a graveyard of corals was it naturally growing or deposited due to action of currents. May be cyclone or tsunami in the past.

Huge piles of corals found on site after digging 1-2 feet.

Corals have been used to construct building blocks and as construction material. A perfect example is church and post office in Dhanushkodi where the corals are used to make walls this wall was able to withstand the cyclone moving with the speed of in 1964.

Corals have been used for construction material and in one village road is constructed over the coral reef



The great ancient history and culture which this region was a part along with the preservation of corals makes it a perfect place for making it a world class geoheritage site