Adam's Bridge (Ram Setu) is a 18 miles (30 kms) narrow bridge of rocks, coral reef and sand that connects Pamban Island (or Rameswaram Island) off southern coast of India and Mannar Island off northeast coast of Sri Lanka. Interestingly, the name come from an Islamic legend which says that Adam (first man) travelled across this bridge when he was expelled from the paradise. 

According to Ramayana (Indian Sanskrit epic by Valmiki), this land bridge was constructed by large number of monkeys (Vanara sena) led by Lord Hanuman (general of monkeys) under supervision of Lord Rama to reach Sri Lanka for the purpose of rescuing his wife Sita from Rakshasa (demon) king Ravana. According to Hindu time calender, Rama lived during Treta Yuga (between 8,69,000 to 21,65,000). However researchers, archaeologists and historians suggest that civilized life began about 5000 years ago.  It is also disputed whether it is man made or natural.

There is confusion regarding its origin and nature. One theory says that it was formed due to accretion and rising of land. Another theory says that it was formed due to breaking away of Sri Lanka from Indian mainland. 

Satellite remote sensing data by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) suggests that the bridge comprises 103 patches of coral reefs in linear pattern, sand cays and intermittent deep channels. Field verification has not been done yet.

Another theory suggest that landmasses of India and Sri Lanka were once connected and coral reefs evolved from old shoreline which also explains linearity of Adam's bridge.

Dr. Badrinarayayan, former director of GSI (Geological Survey of India) surveyed the structure of the bridge and came to the conclusion that it is man made. His team drilled ten bore holes and found a consistent layer of sandstone and boulder like material about 6 meters below surface. Further 4-5 meters below there was loose sand and then hard rock formations. Dr. Badrinarayanan claimed that such a structure is impossible to form naturally because corals normally form above rock and they found layer of loose sand below the corals along entire stretch. However Archaeological Survey of India maintains that the structure is not man made.

Based on images taken by NASA in 2002, some US based news agencies claimed that they have discovered remains of bridge built by Vanara army and also that it is not natural. However, later NASA distanced itself from the claims saying that images are taken by it but interpretation is not theirs. They said that remote sensing images cannot determine the origin and nature of structure.

Researchers, geologists and archaeologists are divided regarding the origin and nature of Adam's bridge but religious people and believers have little doubt that the link and origin of Ram Setu dates back to the time of Lord Rama. What do you think?




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3 Responses so far.

  1. Nice write up. Whether it is man made or natural, the Ram setu or Adams bridge is a part of our cultural heritage. So it should be preserved. The Sethusamudram project should be shelved.

  2. anandhakumar says:

    actually it is not a man made but absolutely it is natural. we cannot say how the layer formed in that coral reef naturally but nature could form the layer unexpectedly by environmental changes according to the continental drift.

  3. Raj Raju says:

    Oh it was natural ??? and it was already written in our scriptures 1000 and 1000 years ago .. really
    you guys think someone visited these before writing ?
    Come on ...

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