You either love trains or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. I have always been a lover of trains. In the last decade there have been instances that have kept my love for trains ‘on track.’
The first was a 90-minute ride in a train engine from Kotawar to Najibabad on our way back from Landsdowne, a small cantonment hill town in Uttarakhand. What started as a casual conversation with the locopilot soon turned into an invitation to ride with him in the engine. An invitation too good for me to resist. The second instance was during a recent trip to Rameshwaram, a temple town in Tamil Nadu. For agnostic folks like us, it was less about the temples and more about the magnificent Pamban Bridge & the ghost town of Dhanushkodi.
The Pamban Bridge stands sturdy on the Palk Strait which connects the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island to the Indian mainland. It’s the second longest sea bridge in India after the 2.3-km Bandra-Worli sea link on Mumbai’s western coast. Though it was built in 1914, it still is a beautiful anachronism of Rameshwaram – an irony we didn’t miss.
The central part of the bridge opens up to allow larger ships to pass and it’s surreal to see such a complicated structure flanked by crystal blue waters on all sides. These photographs don’t do justice to this manmade wonder. It has to be seen to be believed.
The easiest way to get to Rameshwaram is either through Bus or Car. It is an overnight journey from Bangalore. If you do take the road, the best way to view the Pamban bridge is on the parallel Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. You can catch the train over the bridge around 5pm against the setting sun. However, the best way to experience this train bridge is to be on it. So look up timings for the Boat Mail (Rameshwaram Express).