What was the purpose of Raam Setu in Treta Yuga?
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In Treta Yuga a devil called Ravana had kidnapped Sita and he took her to his palace called Lanka (currently the country Sri Lanka is that place). Ravana was actually the king of Lanka at that time and his lust for Sita made him do a great sin of kidnapping her. Rama with the help of his friend Sugriva, ruler of a monkey (apes) kingdom, decided to attack Lanka to get her wife back from him. But the problem was to cross the huge sea to reach Lanka along with the huge Apes army.
According to Hindu Mythology, Nal and Neel were the two apes in the army who had a curse from some Rishi (Sage) that whatever they will throw in the sea will not sink, and will float on the surface of the water. This proved to be a great help for Rama's army to create a bridge of stones on the sea which was called as Raam Setu (currently Adams Bridge). So Raam Setu was a magical bridge where Rama's army walked on stones over the bridge, and those stones never used to sink. Who would not want to see this Raam Setu now in this modern age if it still exists?
According to Wikipedia Adam's Bridge (Raam Setu) was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in AD 1480. So now that magical bridge no longer exists in its original form, and so it's not possible to see the floating stones. However, to get the general idea how might the Raam Setu was built in ancient times, you can watch this on youtube video which is an abstract taken from the Hindi Serial Ramayana. The serial Ramayana is completely based on the life of Rama. It is based on the real story of Rama and not any fiction.
But the place where the construction of Ram-Setu was started has become a great religious place now. Lots of tourists visit there because of the holiness of this place and to see the ruins of Raam Setu. There are huge rocks that are visible in the bay between Rameswaram and Sri Lanka that are said to be the remains of the Raam Setu. Here are some pictures of stones which are floating on water instead of sinking. The name of this place is Rameswaram. Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Srilanka (Lanka) and that is the reason the army of Rama started creating the Setu from here in ancient times. Rameswaram was also the place where Lord Rama worshiped Lord Shiva before the construction of Raam Setu began. Rama established the shivalingam to worship Shiva. The Shivalingam can still be seen in the Ramanathaswamy Temple where people go to worship Lord Shiva. Ramanathaswamy Temple is also located in Rameswaram.
So Rameswaram is one of the most sacred places on the earth and thus making it a great tourist place at the same time. A person's holiness is incomplete without visiting there. The other major attraction is the Pamban Bridge which connects Pamban Island (where Rameswaram is located) to the mainland of South India. So to reach Rameswaram you need to cross this Pamban Bridge where the train runs over the sea on the bridge. Pamban Bridge ranked no.1 of the top ten most dangerous rail bridges. Just view the sight of the train Rameswaram Express passing cautiously over the Pamban Bridge in this youtube video.
How to reach Rameswaram?
There is no airport in Rameswaram. Nearest airport is Madurai airport which is located in the city of Madurai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Best is to take the train with train number 12790 from Madurai to Rameshwaram. The distance is 161 km and it will take only 3 hrs to cover this distance by train. If you are an international tourist you can first book a flight from New Delhi to Madurai on sites like makemytrip.com and from Madurai you can reach Rameshwaram in the train as mentioned above. You can also book travel package to spend holidays in Rameswaram on sites like yatra.com. Hope that helps.
Written by: Rajesh Bihani who is the webmaster of this website. Know more about Rajesh Bihani)