Ghost town Dhanushkodi – where oceans meet

We visited Dhanushkodi on our trip to Rameshwaram – Kanyakumari. Dhanushkodi is heaven on earth for all the beach lovers. Bordered by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean Dhanushkodi is one of the beautiful places I have visited. The emerald-green water, white sand, where you can actually see a rainbow in milky white waves and the ruins on the shore are sure a delight for all the travelers.

Dhanushkodi is around 20kms away from Rameshwaram. It’s at the southeastern tip of Pamban island is about 29kms west of Talaimannar in Srilanka. Dhanushkodi shares the only land border between India and Srilanka which is one of the smallest in the world at 45meters in length on a shoal in Palk Strait

      Satellite view of Dhanushkodi: Source

Do you know this beautiful place is also called as a Ghost town or abandoned town? Read On….

Dhanushkodi Beach

The night when everything changed

On 22nd December 1964 night, a cyclone hit Dhanushkodi.  An estimated 1,800 people died in the cyclone including 115 passengers on board Pamban Dhanushkodi passengers train. The entire town was washed away and the Government declared Dhanushkodi as a Ghost town and unfit for leaving.

Dhanushkodi was one of the major trade centers back them, there was ferry service between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannal, Srilanka. This town had all the required facilities like a train station, post office, temple, church etc., which can be seen as ruins on the shore.

 Ruins of the Church
    Ruins of Railway Station: Source: Wikimedia/Commons

Mythological Connection

Dhanushkodi is the place where Sri Rama and his Varana army built a Ram Setu bridge also known as Adam’s bridge connecting the Pamban island and Mannar island to rescue Sita who was captured by Ravana. After rescuing Sita, on request from Vibhishana Rama destroyed the bridge using one end of his bow thus the name Dhanush- Bow, Kodi- end. It is also said that Rama marked a spot here to build Setu with one end of his bow.

    Ram Setu as seen by Air: Source: Wikimedia/Commons

How to Reach

There is a direct bus to Rameshwaram from Bangalore, the other option is to take a train to Madurai and bus/train from Madurai to Rameshwaram. There is no direct train to Rameshwaram from Bangalore. The nearest airport is in Madurai.

You can either take an auto or bus from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. The 18kms long road leading to Dhanushkodi with the sea on either side is an exciting experience itself. The bus will drop you at Moonram Chatram from here there are jeeps/minibus which will take you to Dhanushkodi village. You have to wait until there is enough number of passengers to fill in the minibus. As there is no road connectivity from Moonram to Dhanushkodi these jeeps will take you through the mud tracks a 7kms bumpy ride to ruins of Dhanushkodi.

  Jeep Tracks to Dhanushkodi Source: Wikimedia/Commons

These jeeps will take you to the Dhanushkodi village and will drop you back to Moonram Chatram, you can spend time on the beaches and then take a bus back to Rameshwaram.

Kodandarama temple is located on your way to Dhanuskodi from Rameshwaram, it is said that this is the only surviving structure from 1964 cyclone. it’s also believed that this is the place where Vibhisana had surrendered to Rama.


Kodhandarama Temple

The jeeps will first take you to the Ram Setu viewpoint and to all the ruins of Dhanushkodi town. you can see the ruins of the water tank, the church, temple, post office and railway station.

It will take around 2 hours to visit Dhanushkodi from Moonram and to return back. The time is limited to each place as you will be traveling in minibus or jeeps with other travelers

There are few fishermen who are leaving in the village, you can find a lot of stalls for shopping like pearls, emeralds, sea shells etc.

Where to stay

You have to plan your stay in Rameshwaram, there are plenty of affordable hotels, we stayed at Sunrise view hotel.

Good to Know

  • Its restricted to enter Dhanushkodi after 5 pm.
  • There no options for food at Dhanushkodi, you can find some cut fruits.
  • try to visit first half of the day, if there are not enough passengers for the jeep ride then you may have to pay the full amount.
  • No restrooms in Dhanushkodi.


Have you visited this ghost town? Share your experience


  1. Bimala says:

    Very interesting

  2. Nancie says:

    Dhanushkodi Beach is gorgeous. I wouldn’t have to think twice about visiting. Sad to read about the 1964 event and all the lives that were lost.

  3. kumamonjeng says:

    I love the ruins in Dhanushkodi, great intro for me. I didnt know it is located in Sri Lanka. Yet to visit Sri Lanka in the near future.

    1. Divya says:

      Kumamonjeng, it’s not located in Srilanka, its located in India just 29kms away from Srilanka 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    What an awesome place. Seeing all those ruins in sad but it gives it a magical quality.

  5. GiGi says:

    FRIGGIN LOVE EXPLORING PLACES LIKE THIS!!!!! I love coming up with my own stories in my head. However, I also love to actually learn the history too! So cool!

  6. nicole says:

    Such a beautiful place to visit, with a devastating past. I can imagine it would take the majority if the day to explore this ghost town, but it would be well worth the bumpy ride there.

    1. Divya says:

      Nicole, Once you reach this ghost town you will forget all about the bumpy ride 🙂

  7. Corina says:

    Wow! This sounds so mysterious, I would love to be there someday…it’s almost like the Sleepy Hollow…hard to believe that a town can be erased in a matter of minutes…

  8. Monice says:

    This is STUNNING!! I love beaches and I plan on making the trip to this beautiful place. I love your pictures 🙂

    1. Divya says:

      Thanks you 🙂

  9. Nina says:

    no restroom in Dhanushkodi. it is a good thing to keep this in mind when travelling there. thank you for sharing 🙂 this is a good guide 🙂

  10. Jennifer Prince says:

    Oh wow! All that they have been through. It’s a lovely place. Glad everything is ok now!

  11. Eileen says:

    This looks like such an amazing place to visit. I love places with history and that water looks just amazing!

  12. Holly says:

    Oh how fun…it looks like you had a great time. This is definitely a neat place to visit.

  13. Oh wow, my husband loves places like these! The view is simply stunning! 🙂

  14. Geraline Batarra says:

    Dhanushkodi is such a nice place the scenery are so beautiful. Maybe I’ll go in that place not knowing the story behind it but now I already knew it I definitely first before going there.

  15. Nicole says:

    I have never heard of this place before, but it seems really interesting. Definitely a place I’d like to try and visit one day. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Esme Sy says:

    You had me sold the minute I scrolled down to its mythological reference, I just knew this place is going to have some kind of a mystic thing going on. That aerial shot is just superb. Place really looks dreamy, in a sense that there are dreams still floating in and out of the place. Good spirits. Good place. I want to visit Dhanushkodi!

  17. Jojo Hua says:

    I haven’t heard of this place before. But I love seeing cultural and sites with history to it. It always fascinates me because there’s so much to learn from history and understanding it.

  18. Jenn Pereira says:

    I love beaches and oceans. Hope I could go visit Dhanushkodi. It’s sad to know about its history but This please is really gorgeous.

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