Rama’s Bridge: The 30-Mile Sandbank That Divides Two Cultures

Rama’s Bridge, also called Adam’s Bridge, is a 30-mile-stretch (48 km) of 103 sandbanks that form a natural connection between the island of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, India and Mannar in northwestern Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that the bridge is a remnant of a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. Though usually a symbol of connection and peace, this particular bridge has caused controversy galore between Hindus, Moslems, politicians and environmentalists for quite a while now.
The problem starts with the perceived origin of the bridge. Hindus claim that the bridge was built by Rama and his army when they invaded Lanka (today’s Sri Lanka) to free Sita, Rama’s wife who had been abducted by the ten-headed demon king Ravana. Rama’s victory over Ravana is still celebrated today with the festival of Dussera and his return to India three weeks later as Diwali, falling this year on October 17th. As proof, Hindus cite the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Ramayana, which describes Rama’s life.



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