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Rama Setu -1
अपि स्वंणमयी लंका न मे रोचति लक्ष्मणः
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरियसी

(After the war, upon asking, Sri Ram addresses Lakshamana that) "O Lakshaman, Lanka, even golden, interests me not. To me, mother and motherland are superior even to heaven (and whom I desire to go back to)" .... Valmiki Ramayan, Yuddha Kandam.

This is to wish everyone well on Rama Navami, the birthday of that great Sri Ramachandra.

Of course the sekoolar Government of India, which celebrates official central government holidays on the birthdays of Mohammed the Prophet, Jesus the Christ, and Gandhi the Mahatma, was working today, just like it does on the birthday of Sri Krishna... PMO office which usually releases the statements, forgot to release any greetings for darn yindoos... of course Prime Minister was too busy entertaining the state guests from Arabia.

Rahul Gandhi says, had a 'Gandhi' been in government in 1992, Babri would not have been demolished at Ram Janma Bhumi. Yes yes. Take revenge now. Demolish Rama Setu, peace be upon Babur. Crossed the coin? Cross the bridge now!

Some would just keep quiet and watch, as Baburs are at it right now. Some would cheer them, if not help. What shall rest of us do? By stand and watch? Ignorance is the culprit, misinformation the villain, inertia the crime.

This is an invitation to do what we can do. At least fight ignorance. At least challenge misinformation.

Here is a website some of us are trying to build. Just started, even hardly so. Domain bridgeofram.com is registered. Some initial content is staged at http://ramasetu.blogspot.com/ and a lot more to add.

I see this as an India Forum initiative and project. Request members to visit http://ramasetu.blogspot.com/, register the protest petition, and subscribe to the e-mail distribution list. Suggestions are welcome, contributions are sought.

Forum leaders: ideas, suggestions, advise? Hope it is fine?

Shall we be joined then, by grace of devi?
<b>BJP asks PM to protect Ram Setu </b>
PTI | New Delhi 26, March 2007

The BJP today sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to suspend Setusamudram Shipping Canal Project that it alleged would destroy an undersea Palk Strait bridge linked to Lord Ram.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, which followed a March 10 RSS resolution opposing the project, BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi said the bridge, instead, should be declared a world heritage site.

"Participating in the destruction of this age-old temple (Setumandir), which should be declared a world heritage site, is adharma and an affront to Bharatiya traditions," the former union minister remarked.

The bridge, made of a chain of shoals, is believed to have been built between India and the Sri Lankan coast under the supervision of Lord Ram.

The senior BJP leader maintained that he did not oppose to the project, but wanted that it should be realigned to save Ram Setu, also called Adam's bridge, and also provide protection from tsunamis.

The BJP leader accused the Government of arbitrarily choosing the alignment location near the international water boundary to serve the interests of the United States that, he insisted, does not recognise New Delhi's claims on its historic waters.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Sethusamudram work to resume</b>
Saturday March 24 2007 04:45 IST (New Indian Express)

CHENNAI: The work on dredging at Adam's Bridge area for the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) will resume in a few days and the project will be completed by 2008 as scheduled, Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd (SCL) chairman-cum-managing director NK Raghupathy said on Friday.

Delivering a lecture on the project for Coast Guard officials on board the CG vessel Sarang at Chennai Port, he brushed aside all speculations of delay in the work due to the problem encountered at the Adam's Bridge as a dredging vessel was damaged.

"The vessel has been repaired and it is doing preparatory rounds now. In a couple of days, full-fledged dredging will start," he said.

He claimed that manufacturers of the vessel, which had been damaged, had sought ten months time to set it right but, "We got it fixed at the Cochin shipyard in 70 days."

Similarly, dredging at Palk Strait is expected to be over by June 2008 and already 8.5 metre depth has been dredged against the required 12 metres. Raghupathy hoped that by this month, the depth would be increased to 9.2 metres.

Navigational bouys with solar lights would be installed at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore by January 2008 and the vessel traffic management system was also expected to be in place.

"All the associated work will be done and then the channel will be commissioned. Initially during the experimental period, it will be a one-way channel and subsequently made two-way," said Raghupathy. Informal talks are being held with shipping companies so that ships can start sailing.

He said the project would be economically viable saving fuel and chartering costs.

<b>Rally against Adam's Bridge dredging</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->March 26, 2007                                 
Press Statement issued by Dr. M.M. Joshi

The Bharatiya Janata Party had appointed a Committee to ascertain that facts about the wide spread apprehensions and resentment among the people at the impending destruction of a sacred monument - the bridge - which is revered by millions of people, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, as Setu Mandir, Rama Setu, Adisetu Adam's Bridge etc. and is a unique structure known as a symbol of Ancient Indian Heritage and an extra-ordinary feat of engineering skill. The existence of the bridge is well established by the Maps of 1747, 1788 and 1804 and records show that it really joined Ceylon to India until 1480 and people used to travel on foot on it. The NASA pictures have also established the existence and antiquity of the bridge. The Logo of Survey of India is Asetu Himachalam ( i.e. from the Setu to Himalayas). The major cause of the resentment arises from the fact that the UPA government is insisting on the proposed alignment of the canal which will destroy the bridge.

The issue in question is not the Project but the alignment and the reasons for selecting it arbitrarily and starting the work without proper studies which has resulted in hurting the sentiments of not only Hindus but of other communities as well. Crores of Hindus believe that this under waterbridge was constructed at the command of Sri Rama. The Committee is also not opposed to SSCP but is certainly concerned with the preservation of this most ancient cultural heritage of our country which infact should be declared as a World Heritage Site.

The committee was told that the operations at the bridge which were stymied by the breakdown of the machines are about to start now within a couple of days. Obviously this would result in destroying the great cultural heritage which could be and should be saved by choosing an alternative route which is available and was suggested by the Steering Committee. There is no explanation as to why this alignment was rejected. I had, therefore, written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to order for immediate suspension of the project work on Rama Setu on the following grounds :

1. The project should have been designed to incorporate tsunami protection structure along India's Coast line which was impacted by the devasting tsunami.

2. The alignment has been determined without any serious consultation regarding environmental and security impacts.

3. Ignoring the concerns raised by Prof. Tad S. Murthy, world's foremost tsunami expert, who categorically stated the disastrous consequences of this alignment on Kerala coastal region (which perhaps was saved due to the existing bridge), the alignment was not changed.

4. NEERI's report which forms the basis of the alignment was pre-tsunmi. The impact of tsunami on the bathymetry was never analysed by NEERI.

5. India's strategic and maritime interests have been ignored. There is nothing to show that before inaugurating the project the Indian Navy was consulted on the full implications of the present canal.

6. The implications of the tsunami on the placer deposits and the implications of the natural radioactivity from the blck thorium sands of Kerala have not been taken in to account.

7. Several queries raised by the PMO on 8th March, 2005 were responded to by the Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust only on 30th June 2005 (as seen from the Government website) without any consultations from experts including NEERI. And within two days, thereafter, without any detailed review, the project was inaugurated.

<b>This raises serious concerns of the absence of due diligence and utter disregard for the concerns expressed about the destruction of Kerala if present alignment is maintained. What is strange is that even the PMO failed in applying their mind to get the re-evaluation of the project by experts and accepted blindly the causal reply by the Chairman TPT. What was the reason for this haste.</b>

8. The government of India has failed to protect the rights of India in historic waters in Gulf of Mannar. The UPA government has succumbed to U.S. interests by an arbitrary choice of an alignment running very close to the international water boundary.

9. The UPA government by choosing this alignment has deliberately ignored the sentiments of not only Hindus but of all communities who hold Ram Setuas a symbol of cultural heritage. The UPA government has rather considered US interests more important than the national sentiments and interests.

<b>While the BJP is not opposed to the SSCP, the party on the other hand is certainly and seriously concerned with the preservation and protection of this most ancient cultural heritage of our country. The BJP believes that the preservation of our rich and unique heritage is as important as the economic development of our country. And by selecting an alternative alignment this can be achieved. </b>

The work on the bridge site should be immediately stopped and re-evaluation of the Project with ref. to the concerns raised by experts should be immediately undertaken.

(Shyam Jaju)
Office Incharge
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>HHR Press Release 27/3/2007 : Save The Ram Sethu Campaign </b>
International groups launch a campaign against destruction of  Adam’s bridge in India

International groups have jointly launched the Save Ram Sethu ( Save Adam’s Bridge ) campaign against the continuing destruction of a symbol of the Hindu faith in the narrow sea between India and Sri Lanka. The Ram Sethu or Adam’s Bridge,  which is seen as one of Hinduism’s holiest sites, is an ancient chain of shoals that once linked India’s southern areas to Sri Lanka's northwest. It is being destroyed by the Sethu Samudram Shipping Canal Project (SCCP) to create a navigable waterway in the narrow sea dividing the two countries.

The groups have pointed out that the environmental impact assessments of the project were conducted before the Tsunami disaster and have not included the increased risks to coastal areas from the removal of a natural barrier against future Tsunamis. They expressed serious concerns over the destructive effects the canal project will have on the local marine life, environment, and coastal populations in general including the livelihood of thousands of fishermen in the regions. It is believed that consultations with local communities may have excluded several stakeholder groups whose views would have highlighted critical environmental and humanitarian issues.

The Hindu Forum of Britain, Hindu Human Rights, Esha Vasyam USA and Global Human Rights Defence of the Netherlands are jointly launching the ‘Save Ram Sethu’ campaign (Ram Sethu Bachao Andolan) from 27 March 2007, which is celebrated as Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram. A growing number of international organizations are supporting the campaign, including  the Hindu Council of Australia, Hindu Conference of Canada, Hindu Collective Initiative of America, Hindu Council of Africa, Hindu Council of Holland, Hindu Forum of Belgium, Italian Hindu Union, Caribbean Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha, Federation of Hindu Temples in France and Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation, who will organize local campaigns in their countries to save the sacred bridge from destruction.

“The bridge is as holy to Hindus as the Western Wall is to the Jews, the Vatican to Catholics, Bodh Gaya to the Buddhists and Mecca to Muslims,” said Kusum Vyas, president and founder of Esha Vasyam. It is an unacceptable breach of the religious rights of over one billion Hindus to destroy such a sacred landmark without even consulting us. We will not let this happen.”

“It seems like we’re heading towards an ecological disaster,”  said Ranbir Singh, chair of Hindu Human Rights.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain asked the Government of India to open a second round of consultation under an independent Commission so that post-tsunami data and analysis could be included in a second impact assessment.  “The old data used to make this monumental decision was rendered obsolete by the tsunami of 2004 which radically altered the environment and conditions,” he added

The Save Ram Sethu Campaign ( www.RamSethu.org ) requests that:

The SSCP should immediately stop all dredging work and withdraw all equipment forthwith from the site

The Government of India should immediately set up an independent Commission that will oversee a second round of consultations. This is to ensure that views of important stakeholder groups not consulted in the first round are taken into account. This should include the oft repeated warnings, highly critical reviews and troubling questions raised by world renowned specialists and experts on the disastrous effects on the environment and livelihood of people in the region, which have not been included in the previous public consultations.

The SSCP should take into account the offence and hurt being felt by millions of Hindus around the world about the destruction of one of their holiest religious sites.

Organisers of Save Ram Sethu Campaign have asked Hindus from all over the world to write letters of protests to the leaders in the Indian Government.

For more information contact:

USA: Kusum Vyas, Esha Vasyam on 001 713 8765 400 or kusumvyas@sbcglobal.net
UK: Ramesh Kallidai, Hindu Forum of Britain on 044 (0) 7915 383 103 or ramesh.kallidai@hfb.org.uk
Europe: Nizaad Bissumbhar, Global Human Rights Defence on 31 616 494 311 or
Website: http://www.RamSethu.org
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>श्रीलंकाई नौसेना की गोलीबारी में चार मछुआरे मरे</span>
[Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:06:42 PM (IST) ]

रामेश्वरम। श्रीलंका के नौसैनिकों द्वारा कथित तौर पर की गई गोलीबारी में चार भारतीय मछुआरे मारे गए और दो घायल हो गए।
   अधिकारियों ने बताया कि छह भारतीय मछुआरे मछली पकड़ने के लिए कथित तौर पर श्रीलंका के जल क्षेत्र में चले गए थे। श्रीलंकाई नौसैनिकों के कथित तौर पर गोलीबारी करने पर दो मछुआरों की घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई, जब दो अन्य समुद्र में डूब गए।

   अधिकारियों के अनुसार दो घायल मछुआरों को इलाज के लिए कन्याकुमारी लाया गया है। उन्होंने बताया कि श्रीलंकाई नौसैनिकों ने पूर्व चेतावनी के बिना ही गोलीबारी शुरू कर दी थी।


Sri Lanka coast guards shot at Indian fishermen from Rameshwaram, who had wandered off in international waters. Shots killed 2 on the spot, and other 2 drowned. Two more are critically wounded, and have been taken to Kanyakumari hospital for treatment. Thanks to Jagran for covering such news.

Rameshwaram fishermen depend upon fishing in deep sea and many times wander off in the international waters, which is where they catch the most fish.

Thanks to this design of SSC, such events will stop, as fishermen will not be able to go in those waters at all, as the proposed SSC will become the de-facto Indian LOC. Yes, sure, fishermen can take up some other jobs like porters at Tuticorin port, or go somewhere else for fishing. They will be forever indebted to Soniaji for saving their lives (and souls, if she has her way)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thanks to this design of SSC, such events will stop, as fishermen will not be able to go in those waters at all, as the proposed SSC will become the de-facto Indian LOC. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Oh, yes, absolutely! Once the SSC is built, Indians will not be able to go anywhere outside the 3-mile limit from Indian shores. Very true. The INS Gorshkov-e-Rust ul Bucket will be parked at Nagapattinam forever.

This is as good a reason as any to stop this outrage against Shri Rama - <b>it is JUST as good as all the other "ReaSonS" given</b>. The Perfect Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Or Shatt Al Arab Incident.

<b>Let us declare war on these Rakshasas! </b>

<!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo--> AllahuAkbar! Hai Shri Ram! They also beat us at cricket and knocked us out of the World Cup! We will show them. Grab those trishuls! <!--emo&:bevil--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_evil.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_evil.gif' /><!--endemo--> Grab those Floating White Rocks of Dhanushkodi!

Off to the Maha Rama -Ravana Yuddham! <b><i>Jeeeeeehhhhhhaaaaaaaaddddddd!!!!!!! </i> </b>

Get in those prehistoric canoes! Grab those oars! Action Stations! Row! Row! Row!

It's always good to know that we have clear reasoning for our protests and offence-taking. The canal which will allow Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels to properly patrol the sea between India and Sri Lanka must be stopped ... to PROTECT INDIAN FISHERMEN!!! The sheer beauty of the logic! <!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Dear (Dr?) Narayananji,

Any sane member on the forum would appreciate the value of dialogue, arguments, criticism and debate, on any issue. Bits of humour are always enjoyed, if in fair measures, like salt in a curry. However it becomes too expensive and time consuming of posters and readers to filter out valid points of a post from a mass of unnecessary hatred, uncalled-for ridiculation and downright insults.

Did it really add any value to the discussion of your bringing in "AllahuAkbar! Hai Shri Ram" and "Jeeeeeehhhhhhaaaaaaaaddddddd" and "Grab those Floating White Rocks of Dhanushkodi" etc.? Quality of language and tone actually reminded me of Pakistani discussion forums, where they love chest beating noises. Probably you thought, it was humourous? How was it even relevant to my post where I had shared a very unfortunate news of 4 fishermen having been killed and other two struggling for their lives?

I am contemplating and undecided, whether from standpoint of time and effort, it is even economical to engage with you (or with "Bud" on ramasetu.blogspot.com).

Please Narayananji, We all agree, this is a vital issue? Important issues require serious discussions. Can we not maintain the decorum of discussion and seriousness of an issue as vital as this?

Thank you.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Important issues require serious discussions. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

As usual, you do not address the issue - which is the level of sense in what you posted above.

You do remember that I may be able to post here your own comment when the report of a Sri Lankan navy boat shooting on Indian fishermen was first reported?? Not that I waste time on such things, just so you know that I know.

If you said it, it HAS to be true, hey? Like all you have written about the SSC project?

Sorry, your campaign does not merit serious discussions. It does not merit a kindergarten level of discussion. The pre-requisite objectivity is absent. Among other things.

It is just absolutely hilarious. Thanks!!! <!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Save Ramsetu </b>
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=...3834157980 (Video, 34 min.)
http://www.bridgeofram.com/ is operational along with more content, videos etc.

Also up is the distribution list bridgeofram@yahoogroups.com.

A trivia that came to my notice recently.

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (1870-1944), popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema, after whom the famous Dada Saheb Phalke award is instituted, was a specialist in making movies using the greatest Indian mythologies and traditions.

One of the movies, which Gandhiji has made so famous by admitting as his eye-opener of childhood, was Dada Saheb's movie Raja Harischandra. Two other movies that he created became superhit of his time, were : Gangavatarn and Setu-Bandhan.

I will see if it is possible to find that movie...if anyone knows more, pls share the info.

Also setu bandhan is a theme which caught the imagination of another greatest artist of all times - Raja Ravi Verma.

This painting of his today decorats the hall of Mysore Palace, amongst others of his:

<img src='http://bp3.blogger.com/_MAAO1bGRfec/RhcXWe0ZUwI/AAAAAAAAAA0/9eGuyv85pOQ/s400/RamaConquersVarunaByRaviVarma.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<span style='color:red'>Don’t destroy our heritage </span>

Sethusamudram Channel Project in Tamil Nadu has become a rallying point for Hindus, once again highlighting the total disregard of the UPA government to Hindu sensitivities. For the last three years Hindu organisations led by Hindu Munnani under the respected leader Shri Ramgopalan have been campaigning for the protection of Ram Sethu, which is the most ancient underwater bridge, believed to have been built by Shri Ram.

It is sacred for the Hindus. It is a living legend of our great heritage. And the gripping description of this astounding human endeavour has become the folklore of the great Hindu tradition.

The Valmiki Ramayana has a scintillating narrative of the marvellous saga in great details. The architect who led the construction was Nala, and this fact is referred to in the Mahabharata by Veda Vyasa.

Modern studies including satellite imageries of NASA have established the existence of the remains of the bridge. The dredging work for the Sethusamudram Project had to be abandoned thrice because of the machine getting damaged at the seabed hit by the mountain-like rock formations. The organisations demanding suspension of the Sethusamudram Project in its present format submitted a memorandum signed by over a million people to the President of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam in November last. With every passing day the popular outrage over the destruction of Ram Sethu is getting louder.

The demand for a relook into the Sethusamudram Project is not confined to religious leaders and Hindus. Millions of families of fishermen who eke out a living by the sea have formed a protest group under the banner Tamil Nadu Fishermen Sangh headed by Shri Kuppu Ram. Scientists and environmentalists are apprehensive of the huge damage the destruction of Ram Sethu can do to the mainland. It is believed that the tsunami impact was largely absorbed by this protective rock shield in the seabed. These scientists argue that a similar underwater quake in the Indian Ocean in future, in the absence of such natural protection, can submerge large parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This will prove a cynical man-made tragedy, if in the name of development such natural protective wall in the sea is wantonly destroyed. Natural scientists are worried over the irretrievable loss of flora and fauna. It is feared that the Project will prove a calamity to large number of rare species in the sea. Archaeologists have expressed their desire to undertake further study on the authenticity and historicity of Ram Sethu.

Citing all these reasons the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa has opposed the Sethusamudram Project in its ongoing format. Thus opposition to the project has come from all quarters, political, religious, scientific, archaeological and environmental.

The BJP has appointed a committee under the former union HRD minister and senior party leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to ascertain the facts about the widespread apprehension and resentment at the impending destruction of the sacred monument. After visiting the site, speaking to a large cross section of people and assessing the economic and environmental impact, Dr Joshi in a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh asked for the immediate suspension of work at the project site till it is redesigned incorporating the alternative plan to save the ancient structure.

Now what is it that makes the UPA so adamant as to not give any heed to these pleas? Is it enjoying a vicarious pleasure from the latent Hindu anguish? Or is it that it is determined to do anything and everything only to damage and destroy all traces of the great Hindu tradition? It is impossible to fathom that the government has not thought it prudent enough on its part to invite all the parties concerned and address the issue afresh and give it a relook, to satisfy all sections involved in the agitation. This is the least it can do as the organisations asking for a re-evaluation have a scientific and viable alternative plan.

But the government has taken a grand standing on the issue as if it is a matter of prestige. So far the agitationists have been peaceful and they have only been asking for negotiations. But this government, it seems, will retreat only in the face of Nandigram type of pro-active action.

The government’s intention is suspect because it has in the last three years either denied support or shelved a series of projects which would have richly added to our understanding of the past and writing, rather reconstruction of our history. This attitudinal allergy has done immense damage to the hallowed heritage site of Hampi, the UPA has folded up the ambitious Saraswati River Project on purely political considerations. As commented on a number of occasions on these columns, it refused funding to the prestigious and path-breaking Dwaraka offshore archaeology excavation project. In the budget session of Parliament, Minister for Culture Smt <b>Ambika Soni informed the Rajya Sabha that she was not aware and was not interested in finding out if there was a Ram Sethu off Rameshwaram</b>, though Hindus all over the world believe and worship it. What is the message that one gets from all these? Is it that the government is uninterested in preserving and studying India’s ancient heritage? Or is it wary of their political significance? And more plainly put, is it also part of UPA’s vote bank agenda? Whatever be the consideration, the Sethusamudram episode has once again brought the central government face to face with the national resolve to protect Ram Sethu.

Ambika Soni's statement, delivered in Rajya Sabha, on 6-March-2007:

"There are no archaeological studies revealing the existence of a Ram Sethu Bridge between India and Sri Lanka. A NASA satellite picture shows the existence of a stretch of land bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. As to declaring and preserving the said bridge as an ancient monument of National and Historical importance, such question does not arise."

Written Question and Answer:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RAJYA SABHA  QUESTION NO  756 ANSWERED ON  06.03.2007


Will the Minister of CULTURE be pleased to satate :- 

(a) whether Government are aware that the Archaeological Studies reveal that the age of Ram Sethu Bridge between India and Sri Lanka is about 17 Lakh years old;

(b) whether it is a fact that NASA has released the images of an ancient bridge at the same place as mentioned above; and

© if so, what are the reasons for not declaring and preserving the said bridge as an ancient monument of National and Historical importance?  

Ambika Soni Answered:

(a) There are no archaeological studies revealing the existence of a Ram Sethu Bridge between India and Sri Lanka.

(b) A NASA satellite picture shows the existence of a stretch of land bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka.

© Question does not arise.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ramsetu: scientific evidence for ancient human activity -- Geotechnical Details Of Adams Bridge</b> (March 2007)
The Geological and geophysical survey of the Sethusamudram Project clearly reveal that the so-called Adams Bridge (Rama's Bridge) appears to be a major Geological feature. The surveys reveal that to the north of Adams Bridge on the Palk Bay side, the formation have undergone down faulting and the Adams Bridge came up as an up thrown block. This geomorphic feature is seem to be continuous and verified both by bathymetry survey and NASA land image (enclosed NHO chart and NASA picture). One could clearly see that this is but a continuous feature with minor depressions upto about 100 m width. In consonance with these things there are inter tidal marine sandy islands. These depressions and the islands appear to be neotectonic feature resulting in changes in bathymetry.

It is a well established scientific phenomenon that there has been a major glaciation period (ice age) with glacial maxima at about 18,000 years BP. This feature has been observed and studied in several parts of the world with the help of submerged Corals. During the glacial Maxima, the sea level was about 130 m lower than what is today. This is evidenced both on the east and west coast of India, where submerged Corals occur around 1 to 2m water depths and they are clear indicators of near coastal zone.

The Adams bridge ridge is a major marine divide. It separates the furious Bay of Bengal sea and sediments in the Palk bay and the very calm placid waters of the Gulf of Mannar. This ridge like feature is similar to the "Allaband" that was formed after a major earthquake in Arabian Sea in the early 19 th century. In the Allaband, a long stretch of about 90km length and about 0.5 to 4km wide zone got uplifted because of a major tectonic event that was responsible for the earthquake. Since this event occurred in the recent past and such huge track of land was raised, people called that it is happened due to the will of Alla and named it Allaband.

The Adams Bridge is a similar feature but formed much earlier due to tectonic causes that were prevalent in these areas. However, during the last ice age (18,000 year BP) the entire area from India to Sri Lanka and further south and southeast were contagious land due to the highly lowered sea level. As and when there were major melting of glaciers both from the mountains as well as from the Antarctic area, the sea level was rising. These features were well recorded and studied by several submerged Coral formations all over the world. About 7,300 years BP the sea level in the southern part of India was about 3.5 m above the present level. This has been deciphered by Dr.P.K.Banerjee, who studied Corals that found in the land part as of Pamban, Rameswaram, and Tuticorin etc. Subsequently the sea level went down and rose +2m above than what is today between 5000 to 4000 years B.P.

The Geological logging of the bore holes drilled by NIOT in the inter tidal areas of Adams bridge reveals very interesting details. In all the bore holes the top portion is seen to be occupied by recent marine sands. In almost of all the boreholes between 4.5 and 7.5m the borehole intersected hard formations, which have been found to be calcareous sand stones and corals. It is to be pointed out here that Corals are comparatively less dense, compact and somewhat easy to carry. The Corals normally grow atop compact to hard formations for the purpose of stability, and as the sea level rises, the Coral colony grows up vertically to maintain water depth of 1 to 2 m, which is essential for their survival. It is always observed that these Corals have continuous vertical growth like Lakshadweep, Andaman's, and Gulf Of Mannar Natural Park. These have always been found to grow on hard rock bottom. In the case of Adams bridge area we observe that the Coral formations hardly occur 1 to 2.5m in length and resting on loose marine sands. Most of these coral rock pieces are seem to be rounded pebbles of corals. These things appear to point these coral rock pieces and pebbles have been transported and placed in these areas.

Since the calcareous sand stones and Corals are less dense than normal hard rock and quite compact, probably these were used by the ancients to form a connecting link to Sri Lanka, on the higher elevations of the Adams bridge ridge and this is analogous to modern day causeway.

In support of these observations there are many archaeological and geoarchaeological evidences on the south east coast of India around Rameswaram, Tuticorin and the western coast of Sri Lanka. There are raised Teri formations that supported a rich assemblage of mesolithic – microlithic tools indicating the presence of strong human habitation and activity in these areas as early as 8000 to 9000 years B.P and as recent as 4000 years B.P. On Sri Lanka side there are indications of human habitation extending to late Pleistocene (about 13,000 B.P) based on bone and fossils of human and animal form.

All these point to a flourishing human activity on both side of Adams Bridge and probably when the sea levels were just right the link between India and Sri Lanka could have been established.
Source: Dept. of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India (March 2007)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>रामसेतु बचाने के लिए देशव्यापी आंदोलन छेड़ेंगे: सुदर्शन</b>

नई दिल्ली। राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के सरसंघचालक के एस सुदर्शन ने सरकार को चुनौती दी कि वह श्री रामसेतु रामेश्वरम् को तोड़ने की प्रक्रिया तुरंत बंद करे अन्यथा शंकराचार्य एवं संतों के आशीर्वाद से देशव्यापी आंदोलन प्रारंभ कर दिया जाएगा।
   राजधानी में कालकाजी मंदिर में सोमवार को आयोजित धर्माचार्यो की बैठक के बाद पत्रकारों से बातचीत करते हुए उन्होंने आरोप लगाया कि सेतु समुद्रम परियोजना की आड़ में कुछ सत्ताधारी निजी स्वार्थो की पूर्ति कर रहे है। यही कारण है सेतु समुद्रम कनाल प्राजेक्ट के लिए प्रस्तावित छह तरीकों में से सरकार ने सबसे महंगा तरीका चुना है, जबकि कम खर्चीले प्रस्ताव प्रस्तुत किए गए थे जिससे श्रीराम सेतु भी सुरक्षित रह सकता है। उन्होंने बताया कि प्रोजेक्ट पर 23000 करोड़ रुपये का खर्च आएगा और प्रतिवर्ष 1000 करोड़ का अतिरिक्त व्यय भी आएगा, जिससे बचा जा सकता था।
   के. सुदर्शन ने दावा किया कि इस सेतु को तोड़ने के विरोध के उनके अभियान में मुसलमान एवं ईसाई समुदाय के लोग भी उनके साथ है क्योंकि यह पुल उनके लिए भी पूजनीय है। उन्होंने आरोप लगाया कि रामसेतु को बंद करने की कार्रवाई अमेरिका के दबाव में की जा रही है।
   संघ प्रमुख ने पुरी के शंकराचार्य स्वामी निश्चलानंद और कालकाजी के महंत सुरेंद्रनाथ अवधूत के साथ रामसेतु बचाने के उपायों पर चर्चा की।
[Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:25:08 PM (IST) ]

Talking to reporters after a meeting attended by various dharma acharyas in Kalkaji Mandir New Delhi, RSS Sarasanghachalak K S Sudarshan said nation-wide agitation is to be started to stop the destruction of the Setu.

He said government has selected the most expensive of the 6 alternative configurations which were proposed, for the project which will cost 23000 Crores of initial and 1000 Cr of annual expenditure. He claimed that, in this agitation, even Muslims and Christians are supporting Hindus, as Setu is revered by them too.

He discussed the topic with Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nishchalananda and Kalkaji Mahant Surendranath Avadhoot.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Textual evidences for Rama Setu (or Setu bandha)
Mirrored at: http://hinduthought.googlepages.com/setuband.doc
Declare Rama Setu as a protected monument

Apart from the Ramayana which has emphatic references to the construction of Setu bandha in 85 s'lokas in a separate sarga in Yuddha kanda, Mahabharata also refers to the continued protection of Nala Setu following the command of Sri Rama. Sri Rama refers in Kalidasa's Raghuvams'a also refers to the Setu of mountains. So does Skanda Purana ( III.1.2.1-114), Vishnu Purana (IV.4.40-49), Agni Purana (V-XI), Brahma Purana (138.1-40) refer to the construction of Rama Setu.

<b>Epics and classics</b>

·        Valmiki describes the construction of Sethu in detail. For an exquisite rendering of Valmiki's descriptions see: http://ramasetu.blogspot.com/2007/03/setu-...i-ramayana.html Also: http://bridgeofram.com/

hastimaatraan mahaakaayaaH paaSaaNaamshca mahaabalaaH parvataamshca samutpaaTya yantraiH parivahanti ca Valmiki Ramayana 2-22-58
Vaanara having huge bodies, with mighty strength uprooted elephant-sized rocks and mountains and transported them by mechanical contrivances (yantraih).

Vedavyasa refers to Nalasetu and notes how the setu was protected during Mahabharata times
nalasetur iti khyāto yo 'dyāpi prathito bhuvi rāmasyājñāṃ puraskṛ tya dhāryate girisaṃ nibhaḥ MBh. 3.267.45

.... which even today, popular on earth as Nala's bridge, mountain-like, is sustained out of respect for [Lord] Rama's command. (Nala was son of Vis'wakarma)

Kalidasa's Raghuvams'a (sarga 13):  Rama, while returning from SriLanka in pushpaka vimaana: "Behold, Sita, My Sethu  of mountains dividing this frothy ocean is like the milky way dividing the sky into two parts"

There is a kavya in Prakrit by King Pravarasena II (550-600 CE) called "Setu bandha or Ravanavaho." "Dasamuha Vadha" (Setubandha Kavya) was written by the King Damodara Sen (5th Century).


"…the most common reference to Rama in early inscriptions is in a verse that begins to appear commonly at the end of land-grants from the early 9th century onwards in Rashtrakuta regions. "Common to all kings is the setu of dharma: you should abide by it moment by moment. Again and again Ramabhadra implores all future kings to do the same ( Epigraphica Indica 23.212 – a record of AD 807)… Tiruvalangadu plates of Rajaraja Cola I (AD 985-1014) describe the king as surpassing Rama in military prowess and crossing the ocean with his powerful army and subduing the king of Lanka… The concept of a hill-top imprinted by the feet of Visnu is repeatedly found in the Mahabharata24 and it is suggested that a column on the hill may have enshrined Visnupada. (Vishnupadam in Srilanka was renamed as Adam's peak just as Ramar bridge was renamed as Adam's Bridge by James Rennel in 1804 when he was the first surveyor general of British India)… In the temples of Orissa dated from 7 th to 10th centuries, Rama is represented both as an avatara of Visnu as also the hero of the Ramayana narrative. In a dasavatara group, the image of Rama is sculpted along with Balarama and Parasurama at the entrance of Manibhadresvara and also at Simhanatha. Ramayana friezes occur on several temples, such as Svarnajalesvara, Sisiresvara, Varahi and Panca-Pandava. These include scenes of Rama shooting through seven trees, killing the golden deer, abduction of Sita, fight between Bali and Sugriva and building the bridge across the ocean." http://www.ochs.org.uk/publications/multim..._HPRay_1006.doc 

Hampi inscription of Krishnaraya Saka 1430 (1508 CE) in Epigraphica Indica refers to Rama Setu

Skanta Purana (VI.101.1-44) describes the installation of threee Shiva linga at the end, middle and beginning of Rama Setu and making the same bridge submerged and thereby creating Setu-Teerth. This is also related in Kurma Purana ( 21.10-61). Garuda Purana (1.81.1-22) lists sacred places including Setubandh and Rameswar. Narada Purana (Uttara Bhag 76.1-20) extols the greatness of Rama-Setu.

Adam's Bridge also called Rama's Bridge, chain of shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry, and nowhere are the shoals deeper than 4 feet (1 m); thus, they seriously hinder navigation. Dredging operations, now abandoned, were begun as early as 1838 but never succeeded in maintaining a channel for any vessels except those of light draft. Geologic evidence suggests that Adam's Bridge represents a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. Traditionally, it is said to be the remnant of a huge causeway constructed by Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, to facilitate the passage of his army from India to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for the rescue of his abducted wife, Sita. According to Muslim legend, Adam crossed there to Adam's Peak, Ceylon, atop which he stood repentant on one foot for 1,000 years.


Using search terms: India, Ceylon, bridge, the Google search produces the following links.

A book by Alexander Hamilton, 1744, A New Account of the East Indies: Giving an Exact and Copious Description of the Situation, P. 338 describes his visit to 'zeloan' (alt. spelling for Ceylon) by walking on the bridge.

An article in: Asiatic Society, 1799, Asiatick Researches: Or, Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal, P. 52 refers to the bridge called Setband (alt. spelling, setuband like Allahband; setu-bandha), broken in 3 places. It also notes "The people call it a bridge; or otherwise it appears to have wood growing on it, and to be inhabited."

"On the north-west side of the Island, where the currents are checked by the obstruction of Adam's Bridge and still water prevails in the Gulf of Manaar, these deposits have been profusely heaped, and the low sandy pains have been proportionally extended; whilst on the south and east, where the current sweeps unimpeded along the coast , the line of the shore is bold and occasionally rocky. The explanation of the accretion and rising of the land is somewhat opposed to the popular belief that Ceylon was torn from the main land of India by a convulsion, during which the Gulf of Manaar and the narrow channel at Paumbam were formed by the submission of the adjacent land. The two theories might be reconciled by supposing the sinking to have occurred at an early period, and to have been followed by the uprising still in progress." http://www.lankaweb.com/news/features/ceylon3.html Source: Ceylon - an account of the island by Sir James Emmerson Tennent, KCS, LLD Compiling exclusively to LankaWeb by Tilak S. Fernando, London
Rama Sethu construction  -- Valmiki Ramayana

Book VI : Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War Chapter [Sarga] 22

When Rama is about to release a missile presided over by Brahma from his bow, the sea-god appears in person before him with joined palms and advises him to get a bridge constructed by Nala across the ocean. The ocean god disappears after giving this advice to Rama. Nala accordingly constructs a bridge across the sea with the help of other monkeys.

athovaaca raghushreSThaH saagaram daaruNam vacaH |
adya tvaam shoSayiSyaami sapaataalam mahaarNava || 2-22-1

Then, Rama spoke these harsh words to the ocean: "O, ocean! I will make you dry up now along with your nethermost subterranean region."

sharanirdagdhatoyasya parishuSkasya saagara |
mayaa nihatasattvasya paamsurutpadyate mahaan || 2-22-2

"O, Ocean! A vast stretch of sand will appear, when your water gets consumed by my arrows; when you get dried up and the creatures inhabiting you get destroyed by me."

matkaarmukanisR^iSTena sharavarSeNa saagara |
param tiiram gamiSyanti padbhireva plavaN^gamaaH || 2-22-3

"By a gush of arrows released by my bow, our monkeys can proceed to the other shore even by foot; O, ocean!"

vichinvannaabhijaanaasi pauruSam vaapi vikramam |
daavnavaalaya samtaapam matto naama gamiSyasi || 2-22-4

"O, Sea the abode of demons! You are not able to recognize my valor or prowess through your intelligence .You will indeed get repentance at my hands."

braahmeNaastreNa samyojya brahmadaNDanibham sharam |
samyojya dhanuSi shre SThe vicakarSa mahaabalaH || 2-22-5

"Fixing an arrow resembling the Rod of Brahma (the creator) charged with a missile (presided over by Brahama) to his excellent bow, the exceedingly powerful Rama stretched it towards the sea."

tasminvikR^iSTe sahasaa raaghaveNa sharaasane |
rodasii sampaphaaleva parvataashca chakampire || 2-22-6

While Rama was stretching that bow, both the heaven and earth suddenly seemed to be split asunder. Mountains also were shaken.

tamashca lokamaavavre dishashca na chakaashire |
praticukshubhire caashu saraamsi saritastadaa || 2-22-7

Darkness enveloped the world. All the quarters were obscured. Lakes and rivers were soon agitated.

tiryak ca saha nakshatraiH samgatau candrabhaaskarau |
bhaaskaraamshubhiraadiiptam tamasaa ca samaavR^itam || 2-22-8
pracakaashe tadaakaashamulkaashatavidiipitam |
antarikshaachcha nirghaataa nirjagmuratulasvanaaH || 2-22-9

The moon sun and the stars moved obliquely and though the sun's rays lighted the sky, it was enveloped by darkness and shined with a blaze of hundreds of meteors while thunders reverberated with an unparalleled sound in the sky.

vapuHprakarSeNa vavurdivyamaarutapaN^ktyaH |
babhaJNja cha tadaa vR^ikshaan jaladaanudvahan muhuH || 2-22-10

Series of celestial winds blew in their colossal form and the winds, then sweeping away the clouds, tore up the trees again and again.

aarujamshcaiva shailaagraan shikharaaNi babhaJNja ca |
divi ca sma mahaavegaaH samhataaH samahaasvanaaH || 2-22-11
mumucurvaidyutaanagniimste mahaashanayastadaa |

The wind, shattering the mountain peaks, broke off the points of the rocks. Winds of great velocity struck together in the sky and emitted flashes of radiance proceeding from lightning with a great sound and then there were great thunders.

yaani bhuutaani dR^ishyaani chukrushushcaashaneH samam || 2-22-12
adR^ishyaani ca bhuutaani mumuchurbhairavasvanam |
shishyare caabhibhuutaani samtrastaamyadvijanti ca || 2-22-13
sampravivyathire caapi na ca paspandire bhayaat |

The visible creatures cried out along with the thunders. The invisible beings too gave off a terrific noise. The creatures were overpowered, frightened, agitated, lied down and also very much anguished. They did not move due to fear.

sahabhuutaiH satoyormiH sanaagaH saharaakshasaH || 2-22-14
sahasaabhuuttato vegaadbhiimavego mahodadhiH |
yojanam vyaticakraama velaamanyatra samplavaat || 2-22-15

The great ocean with its waves and water, along with its living creatures including snakes and demons soon became possessed of a terrific velocity. Due to that speed and swelling of waters, the ocean crossed beyond the other shore to the extent of a Yojana (eight miles).

tam tathaa samatikraantam naaticakraama raaghavaH |
samuddhatamamitraghno raamo nadanadiipatim || 2-22-16

Rama born in Raghu dynasty and the annihilator of enemies, did not retreat before that ocean, which swelled and crossed its limits.

tato madhyaat samudrasya saagaraH svayam utthitaH |
udayan hi mahaashailaan meror iva divaa karaH || 2-22-17

Then, Sagara (the ocean god) himself rose from the middle of the ocean as the sun rises at dawn from the huge mountain of Meru.

pannagaiH saha diipta aasyaiH samudraH pratyadR^ishyata |
snigdha vaiduurya samkaasho jaambuu nada vibhuuSitaH || 2-22-18

That ocean along with snakes of flaming jaws appeared with a hue of glossy emerald adorned with gold.

ratna maalya ambara dharaH padma patra nibha iikSaNaH |
sarvapuSpamayiim divyaam shirasaa dhaarayan srajam || 2-22-19
jaataruupamayaishcaiva tapaniiyavibhuuSito bhuuSaNottamaiH |
aatmajaanaam ca ratnaanaam bhuuSito bhuuSaNottamaiH || 2-22-20
dhaatubhirmaNDitaH shailo vividhairhamavaaniva |
ekaavaliimadhyagatam taralam paaNDaraprabham || 2-22-21
vipulenorasaa bibhratkaustubhasya sahodaram |
aaghuurNitataraN^gaughaHkaalikaanilasamkulaH || 2-22-22
gaN^gaasindhupradhaanaabhiraapagaabhiH samaavR^itaH |
devataanaam saruupaabhirnaanaaruupaabhiriishvaraH || 2-22-23
saagaraH samatikramya puurvam aamantrya viiryavaan |
abraviit praanjalir vaakyam raaghavam shara paaNinam || 2-22-24

The valiant ocean, the lord of rivers, wearing a wreath of pearls, with his eyes resembling lotus leaves, bearing a beautiful garland made of all kinds of flowers on his head, with ornaments of refined gold, adorned with excellent jewels made of pearls from his domain, decorated with different kinds of gems and metals, resembling Himavat mountain, wearing on his broad chest a locket shedding a white luster, resembling a Kaustubha gem (adorning the blossom of Lord Vishnu) and hanging in the middle of a single string of pearls, with a multitude of waves whirled around him, encircled by the clouds and winds, escorted by rivers mainly the Ganga and Sindhu, endowed with diverse forms resembling various deities, approached Rama with joined palms, who stood with arrows in hand, addressing him first as 'Rama!' and spoke the following words:

pR^ithivii vaayur aakaasham aapo jyotiH ca raaghavaH |
svabhaave saumya tiSThanti shaashvatam maargam aashritaaH || 2-22-25

"O, beloved Rama! Earth, wind ether, water and light remain fixed in their own nature, resorting to their eternal path."

tat svabhaavo mama api eSa yad agaadho aham aplavaH |
vikaaras tu bhaved raadha etat te pravadaami aham || 2-22-26

"Therefore, I am fathomless and my nature is that it is impossible of being swum across. It becomes unnatural if I am shallow. I am telling you the following device to cross me."

na kaamaan na ca lobhaad vaa na bhayaat paarthiva aatmaja |
raagaannakraakulajalam stambhayeyam kathamcana || 2-22-27

"O, prince! Neither from desire nor ambition nor fear nor from affection, I am able to solidify my waters inhabited by alligators."

vidhaasye yena gantaasi viSahiSye hyaham tathaa |
na graahaa vidhamiSyanti yaavatsenaa tariSyati || 2-22-28
hariiNaam taraNe raama kariSyaami yathaasthalam |

"O, Rama! I shall make it possible to see that you are able to cross over. I will arrange a place for the monkeys to cross me and bear with it. As far as the army crosses me, the crocodiles will not be aggressive to them."

tamabraviittadaa raamaH shR^iNu me varuNaalaya || 2-22-29
amogho.ayam mahaabaaNaH kasmin deshe nipaatyataam |

Then, Rama spoke to that ocean as follows: "Listen to me. This great arrow should not go in vain. In which region should it be descended?"

raamasya vachanam shrutvaa tam ca dR^iSTvaa mahaasharam || 2-22-30
mahodadhirmahaatejaa raaghavam vaakyamabraviit |

Hearing Rama's words and seeing that powerful arrow, the large splendid Ocean spoke the following words to Rama:

uttareNaavakaasho.asti kashchitpuNyataro mama || 2-22-31
drumakulya iti khyaato loke khyaato yathaa bhavaan |

"Towards my northern side, there is a holy place. It is well known as Drumatulya, in the same way as you are well known to this world."

ugradarshanakarmaaNo bahavastatra dasyavaH || 2-22-32
aabhiirapramukhaaH paapaaH pibanti salilam mama |

"Numerous robbers of fearful aspect and deeds, having the sinful Abhiras as their chief, drink my waters there."

tairna tatsparshanam paapam saheyam paapakarmabhiH || 2-22-33
amoghaH kriyataam raama tatra teSu sharottamaH |

"I am not able to bear that touch of those wicked people, the evil doers, O, Rama! Let this excellent arrow with out vain be released over them there."

tasya tadvacanam shrutvaa saagarasya mahaatmanaH || 2-22-34
mumoca tam sharam diiptam param saagaradarshanaat |

Hearing those words of the high-soled Ocean, Rama released that excellent and splendid arrow towards that place as directed by the ocean.

tena tanmarukaantaaram p^ithivyaam kila vishrutam || 2-22-35
vipaatitaH sharo yatra vajraashanisamaprabhaH |

The place where the arrow, whose splendor was akin to that of a thunder and a thunder bolt, was descended by Rama- that place is indeed famous as desert of Maru* on this earth.

nanaada ca tadaa tatra vasudhaa shalyapiiDitaa || 2-22-36
tasmaadbaaNamukhaattoyamutpapaata rasaatalaat |

The earth there, pierced by the dart, then emitted a sound . The waters of the penultimate subterranean region gushed forth from the mouth of that cleft.

sa babhuuva tadaa kuupo vraNa ityeva vishrutaH || 2-22-37
satatam cotthitam toyam samudrasyeva dR^ishyate |

Then the hollow became known as Vrana. Water constantly seen, gushing forth from it resembled seawater.

avadaaraNashabdashca daaruNaH samapadyata || 2-22-38
tasmaattadbaaNapaatena apaH kukshiSvashoSayat |

A terrific splitting sound was born in that place. Water was dried up in those cavities, as a result of hurling of that arrow by Rama.

vikhyaatam triSu lokeSu madhukaantaarameva ca || 2-22-39
shoSayitvaa tu tam kukshim raamo dasharathaatmajaH |
varam tasmai dadau vidvaanmarave.amaravikramaH || 2-22-40

That desert of Maru became famous in the three worlds. Rama (the son of Dasaratha), a wise man and a valiant man resembling a celestial, made that cavity dried up and gave a boon to that desert of Maru.

pashavyashcaalparogashca phalamuularasaayutaH |
bahusneho bahukshiiraH sugandhirvividhauSadhiH || 2-22-41
evametairguNairyukto bahibhiH samyuto maruH |
raamasya varadaanaacca shivaH panthaa babhuuva ha || 2-22-42

Due to granting of a boon by Rama, that desert of Maru became the most congenial place for cattle rearing, a place with a little of disease, producing tasty fruits and roots, with a lot of clarified butter, a lot of milk and various kinds of sweet- smelling herbs. Thus it became an auspicious and suitable move, bestowing these merits.

tasmin dagdhe tadaa kukshau samudraH saritaam patiH |
raaghavam sarvashaastrajJNamidam vacanambraviit || 2-22-43

While that cavity was burning, Ocean the lord of rivers spoke these words to Rama who knew all scientific treatises.

ayam saumya nalo naama tanujo vishva karmaNaH |
pitraa datta varaH shriimaan pratimo vishva karmaNaH || 2-22-44

"O, excellent man! This one, named Nala, a glorious person, is the son of Vishvakarma; who was given a boon by his father and is equal to Visvakarma."

eSa setum mahaautsaahaH karotu mayi vaanaraH |
tam aham dhaarayiSyaami tathaa hi eSa yathaa pitaa || 2-22-45

"Let this greatly energetic monkey build a bridge across me. I can hold that bridge. He is just the same as his father."

evam uktvaa udadhir naSTaH samutthaaya nalas tataH |
abraviid vaanara shreSTho vaakyam raamam mahaabalaH || 2-22-46

Thus speaking, the god of Ocean disappeared from that place. Then Nala, the more distinguished among monkeys stood up and spoke the following words to Rama of great power:

aham setum kariSyaami vistiirNe varuNa aalaye |
pituH saamarthyam aasthaaya tattvam aaha mahaaudadhiH || 2-22-47

"The great Ocean disclosed a truth. I will construct a bridge across this large Ocean, taking recourse to the skill and ability of my father."

asau tu saagaro bhiimaH setukarmadidR^ikshayaa |
dadau daNDabhayaadgaadham raaghavaaya mahodadhiH || 2-22-48

"This Sagara, the formidable mass of water, in fear of punishment, gave a passage to Rama, wishing to see a bridge constructed on it."

mama maatur varo datto mandare vishva karmaNaa |
aurasas tasya putro aham sadR^isho vishva karmaNaa || 2-22-49

"On the mountain of Mandara, the following boon was given by Visvakarma to my mother: "O, god like lady! A son equal to me will be born to you."

aurasastasya putro.aham sadR^isho vishvakarmaNaa|
smaarito.asmyahametena tattvamaaha mahodadhiH || 2-22-50
na ca api aham anukto vai prabruuyaam aatmano guNaan |

"I am a son born of Visvakarma's own loins. I am equal to Visvakarma. This god of Ocean has reminded me. The great ocean spoke the truth. Being unasked, I have not told you my details earlier."

samarthshcaapyaham setum kartum vai varuNaalaye || 2-22-51
tasmaadadyaiva badhnantu setum vaanarapuN^gavaaH |

"I am capable of constructing a bridge across the ocean. Hence, let the foremost of monkeys build the bridge now itself."

tato nisR^iSTa raameNa sarvato hari yuuthapaaH || 2-22-52
abhipetur mahaaaraNyam hR^iSTaaH shata sahasrashaH |

Then, being sent by Rama, hundreds and thousands of monkey heroes jumped in joy on all sides towards the great forest.

te nagaan naga samkaashaaH shaakhaa mR^iga gaNa R^iSabhaaH || 2-22-53
babhanjur vaanaraas tatra pracakarSuH ca saagaram |

Those army-chiefs of monkeys, who resembled mountains, broke the rocks and trees there and dragged them away towards the sea.

te saalaiH ca ashva karNaiH ca dhavair vamshaiH ca vaanaraaH || 2-22-54
kuTajair arjunais taalais tikalais timishair api |
bilvakaiH saptaparNaishca karNikaaraishca puSpitaiH || 2-22-55
cuutaiH ca ashoka vR^ikSaiH ca saagaram samapuurayan |

Those monkeys filled the ocean with all types of trees like Sala and Asvakarna, Dhava and bamboo, Kutaja, Arjuna, palmyra,Tilaka, Tinisa, Bilva, Saptaparna, Karnika, in blossom as also mango and Asoka.

samuulaamH ca vimuulaamH ca paadapaan hari sattamaaH || 2-22-56
indra ketuun iva udyamya prajahrur harayas taruun |

The excellent monkeys, the forest animals lifted and brought, like Indra's flag posts, some trees with roots intact and some others without roots.

taalaan daaDimagulmaamshca naarikelavibhiitakaan || 2-22-57
kariiraan bakulaannimbaan samaajahruritastataH |

From here and there the monkeys brought Palmyra trees, pomegranate shrubs, coconut and Vibhitaka, Karira, Bakula and neem trees.

hastimaatraan mahaakaayaaH paaSaaNaamshca mahaabalaaH || 2-22-58
parvataamshca samutpaaTya yantraiH parivahanti ca |

The huge bodied monkeys with mighty strength uprooted elephant-sized rocks and mountains and transported them by mechanical contrivances.

prakSipyamaaNair acalaiH sahasaa jalam uddhatam || 2-22-59
samutpatitam aakaasham apaasarpat tatas tataH |

The water, raised up due to sudden throwing of mountains in the sea, soured upward towards the sky and from there again, gushed back.

samudram kshobhayaamaasurnipatantaH samantataH || 2-22-60
suutraaNyanye pragR^ihNanti hyaayatam shatayojanam |

The rocks befalling on all sides perturbed the ocean. Some others drew up strings a hundred Yojanas long (in order to keep the rocks in a straight line.)

nalaH cakre mahaasetum madhye nada nadii pateH || 2-22-61
sa tadaa kriyate seturvaanarai rghorakarmabhiH |

Nala on his part initiated a monumental bridge in the middle of the ocean. The bridge was built at that time with the cooperation of other monkeys, of terrible doings.

daNDananye pragR^ihNanti vicinvanti tathaapare || 2-22-62
vaanaraiH shatashastatra raamasyajJNaapuraHsaraiH |
meghaabhaiH parvataabhashca tR^iNaiH kaaSThairbabandhare || 2-22-63

Some monkeys were holding poles for measuring the bridge and some others collected the material. Reeds and logs resembling clouds and mountains, brought by hundreds of monkeys, lead by the command of Rama, fastened some parts of the bridge.

puSpitaagraishcha tarubhiH setum badhnanti vaanaraaH |
paaSaaNaamshca giriprakhyaan giriiNaam shikharaaNi ca || 2-22-64
dR^ishyante paridhaavanto gR^ihya daanavasamnibhaaH |

Monkeys constructed the bridge with trees having blossom at the end of their boughs. Some monkeys looking like demons seized rocks resembling mountains and peaks of mountains and appeared running hither and thither.

shilaanaam kSipyamaaNaanaam shailaanaam tatra paatyataam || 2-22-65
babhuuva tumulaH shabdas tadaa tasmin mahaaudadhau |

Then, a tumultuous sound occurred when the rocks were thrown into the sea and when mountains were caused to fall there.

kR^itaani prathamenaahnaa yojanaani caturdasha || 2-22-66
prahR^iSTaijasamkaashaistvaramaaNaiH plavaN^gamaiH |

On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of bridge were constructed by the monkeys speedily, thrilled with delight as they were, resembling elephants.

dvitiiyena tathaivaahnaa yojanaani tu vishatiH || 2-22-67
kR^itaani plavagaistuurNam bhiimakaayairmahaabalaiH |

In the same manner, on the second day twenty Yojanas of bridge were constructed speedily by the monkeys of terrific bodies and of mighty strength.

ahnaa tR^itiiyena tathaa yojanaani tu saagare || 2-22-68
tvaramaaNairmahaakayairekavimshatireva ca |

Thus, on the third day twenty-one Yojanas of the bridge were constructed in the ocean speedily by the monkeys with their colossal bodies.

caturthena tathaa caahnaa dvaavimshatirathaapi vaa || 2-22-69
yojanaani mahaavegaiH kR^itaani tvaritaistataH |

On the forth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing monkeys with a great speed.

paJNcamena tathaa caahnaa plavagaiH kshiprakaaribhiH || 2-22-70
yojanaani trayovimshatsuvelamadhikR^itya vai |

In that manner, on the fifth day, the monkeys working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other seashore.

sa vaanaravaraH shriimaan vishvakarmaatmajo balii || 2-22-71
babandha saagare setum yathaa caasya tathaa pitaa |

That Nala, the strong and illustrious son of Visvakarma and an excellent monkey built the bridge across the sea as truly as his father would have built it.

sa nalena kR^itaH setuH saagare makara aalaye || 2-22-72
shushubhe subhagaH shriimaan svaatii patha iva ambare |

That beautiful and lovely bridge constructed by Nala across the ocean the abode of alligators, shone brightly like a milky way of stars in the sky.

tato devaaH sagandharvaaH siddhaaH ca parama R^iSayaH || 2-22-73
aagamya gagane tasthurdraSTukaamaastadadbhutam |

With a desire to behold that marvel, celestials along with Gandharvas, the heavenly musicians, Siddhas (semi-divine beings of great purity and perfection, possessing super natural qualities) and great sages came then and stood up in the sky.

dashayojanavistiirNam shatayojana maayatam || 2-22-74
dadR^ishurdevagandharvaa nalasetum suduSkaram |

The celestials and Gandharvas, the heavenly musicians saw Nala's bridge, having a width of ten yojanas and a length of hundred yojanas and which was very difficult to be built.

aaplavantaH plavantaH ca garjantaH ca plavam gamaaH || 2-22-75
tam acintyam asahyam ca adbhutam loma harSaNam |
dadR^ishuH sarva bhuutaani saagare setu bandhanam || 2-22-76

The monkeys taking long leaps and short leaps shouted in joy. All other beings saw that construction of the bridge across the ocean as unimaginable, impossible and wonderful, causing their hair to stand on end in amazement.

taani koTi sahasraaNi vaanaraaNaam mahaaojasaam |
badhnantaH saagare setum jagmuH paaram mahaaudadheH || 2-22-77

Those thousand crores of monkeys in a great spectacle reached the other shore of the great ocean soon after building that bridge across the sea.

vishaalaH sukR^itaH shriimaan subhuumiH susamaahitaH |
ashobhata mahaasetuH siimanta iva saagare || 2-22-78

That colossal bridge, which was broad, well-constructed, glorious, well postured and held together firmly, looked beautiful like a separating straight line in the ocean.

tataH pare samudrasya gadaa paaNir vibhiiSaNaH |
pareSaam abhighata artham atiSThat sacivaiH saha || 2-22-79

Vibhishana, wielding a mace in his hand, stood up on the seashore along with his ministers, for the purpose of invading the enemies.

sugriivastu tataH praaha raamam satyaparaakramam |
hanumantam tvamaaroha aN^gadam tvatha lakshmaNaH || 2-22-80
ayam hi vipulo viira saagaro makaraalayaH |
vaihaayasau yuvaametau vaanarau dhaarayiSyataH || 2-22-81

Thereafter, Sugriva on his part spoke to Rama, the truly brave man as follows: "O, valiant man! This ocean, the abode of alligators, is indeed vast. You ascend the shoulder of Hanuman and let Lakshmana ascend the shoulder of Angada. These monkeys can hold both of you while flying in the sky."

agratas tasya sainyasya shriimaan raamaH salakshmaNaH |
jagaama dhanvii dharma aatmaa sugriiveNa samanvitaH || 2-22-82

Rama the glorious and righteous man, wielding a bow along with Lakshmana together with Sugriva, went in front of that army.

anye madhyena gacchanti paarshvato anye plavam gamaaH |
salile prapatanti anye maargam anye na lebhire || 2-22-83
kecid vaihaayasa gataaH suparNaa iva pupluvuH |

83. anye= some; plavaNgamaaH= monkeys; gachchhanti= went; madhyena= through the middle(of the bridge); anye= some others; paarshvatah= went through the sides of the bridge. Anye= some others; prapatanti= were jumping into; salilam= water; anye= some others; prapedire= went forward; maargam= on the path; kechit= some others; vaihaayasagataaH= entered the sky; pupluvuH= and aviated; suparNaaH iva= like Garuda, the eagle.

Some monkeys went along the middle of the bridge. Some others went along the sides. Some others were jumping into water. Some others marched forward on the path. Some monkeys entered the sky and aviated like Garuda the eagle.

ghoSeNa mahataa ghoSam saagarasya samucchritam || 2-22-84
bhiimam antar dadhe bhiimaa tarantii hari vaahinii |

The highly terrific sound of the ocean was covered up by the great sounds of the terrific monkeys who were crossing the sea.

vaanaraaNaam hi saa tiirNaa vaahinii nala setunaa || 2-22-85
tiire nivivishe raaj~naa bahu muula phala udake |

That army of monkeys, which crossed the ocean by the bridge constructed by Nala, was encamped by Sugriva at a shore having many fruits tubers and water.

tad adbhutam raaghava karma duSkaram |
samiikSya devaaH saha siddha caaraNaiH |
upetya raamam sahitaa maharSibhiH |
samabhyaSincan sushubhiar jalaiH pR^ithak || 2-22-86

Seeing that Rama's accomplishment, which was amazing and arduous; celestials, Siddhas (semi-divine beings possessing supernatural faculties) and Charanas (celestial bards) along with great sages, forthwith approached Rama and consecrated him with very splendid waters separately.

jayasva shatruun nara deva mediniim |
sasaagaraam paalaya shaashvatiiH samaaH |
iti iva raamam nara deva satkR^itam |
shubhair vacobhir vividhair apuujayan || 2-22-87

The celestials, Siddhas and others exalted Rama, who was duly respected by kings with their auspicious -words as follows: " O, king! Defeat the enemies. Rule the earth and ocean eternally for years."

ityaarSe shriimadraamaayaNe aadikaavye yuddhakaaNDe dvaavimshaH sargaH

Thus completes 22nd Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Source: http://www.valmikiramayan.net/yuddha/sarga...dhaitrans22.htm
Interesting. The translations in other languages also say the same things:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->That beautiful and lovely bridge constructed by Nala across the ocean the abode of alligators, shone brightly like a milky way of stars in the sky.

The celestials and Gandharvas, the heavenly musicians saw Nala's bridge, having a width of ten yojanas and a length of hundred yojanas and which was very difficult to be built.

That colossal bridge, which was broad, well-constructed, glorious, well postured and held together firmly, looked beautiful like a separating straight line in the ocean.

Thereafter, Sugriva on his part spoke to Rama, the truly brave man as follows: "O, valiant man! This ocean, the abode of alligators, is indeed vast. You ascend the shoulder of Hanuman and let Lakshmana ascend the shoulder of Angada. These monkeys can hold both of you while flying in the sky."

Rama the glorious and righteous man, wielding a bow along with Lakshmana together with Sugriva, went in front of that army.

Some monkeys went along the middle of the bridge. Some others went along the sides. Some others were jumping into water. Some others marched forward on the path. Some monkeys entered the sky and aviated like Garuda the eagle.

The highly terrific sound of the ocean was covered up by the great sounds of the terrific monkeys who were crossing the sea. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


1. The bridge was 100 yojanas long, and 10 yojanas wide, and looked like a straight line parting the sea.

IOW, Aspect Ratio of 10. If it was 22 miles long, it had to be 2.2 miles wide.

2. It was built in 5 days. I don't see where they sat around chewing the cud (or whatever vanaras chew) and arguing about this way or that, or Environmental Impact Statements, or what would happen the next time the tsunami came.

Instead, they decided what had to be done to take care of security imperatives, and to complete the mission of rescuing Sita and destroying the terrorist Ravana and his gang who had enslaved Lanka.

3. It was built for a very specific mission: take an army across. Like a Bailey bridge built to get tanks across rivers in East Pakistan during the liberation of Bangladesh.

Where does it say that nothing is ever to be done to that "bridge"? I note that Sri Rama and Lakshmana did NOT walk upon this bridge. They rode on the shoulders of Vanara X and Vanara Y. IOW, as the above says, they went IN THE AIR.

So it is the AIR above the Setu that is truly holy, is it not? I asume that the 1435,000,000,000 cyclones that have blown there since then, have dispersed the specific air molecules from there, so that many are now over Pakistan.
and some over Antarctica.

In the many thousands of years since then, the land has gone down by many 50 feet, and/or the sea has come up by that much. Look at the temples under the sea bottom off Mahabalipuram and Dwaraka. The rise in sea level, and/or drop in land level is about 50 feet.

This is why even the middle spine of the Vanara Sena Sethu (VSS) is now 6 to 9 feet under sea level, even at low tide.

The SSC project only aims to scrape off the top of this spine, to achieve a TOTAL DEPTH of 36 feet. So, technically, the bottom of the SSC canal is still going to be some 8 feet above the mean level of the Sethu itself.

Thus the hype about the Canal "destroying" the Sethu is just that - hype.

Sorry, but there it is. I know, facts, logic, all p-sec anti-Hindu concepts according to some.

But note that the ancients had their heads screwed on straight. They did a massive logistics project brilliantly. So why should modern Hindus choose instead to go with the idle, lazy cud-chewing folks who just want to obstruct? THIS is what Hinduism has sunk to?

A good poetic and rhyming translation of a part of Valmiki Ramayana below. Translated in poetry by Ralph Griffith. Context is that Ram, Sita, Lakshaman and other are returning from Lanka to Ayodhya on Pushpak Vimana. Ram is pointing to Sita, different sights from Vimana as follows:

There gleams the margin of the deep,
Where, worn with toil, we sank to sleep.
Look, love, the unconquered sea behold,
King Varun's home ordained of old,
Whose boundless waters roar and swell
Rich with their store of pearl and shell.
O see, the morning sun is bright
On fair Hiranyanabha's height,
Who rose from Ocean's sheltering breast
That Hanuman might stay and rest.
<i><span style='color:red'>There stretches, famed for evermore,
The wondrous bridge from shore to shore.
The worlds, to life's remotest day.
Due reverence to the work shall pay,
Which holier for the laps of time
Shall give release from sin and crime.</i></span>

This roughly corresponds to this part of Valmiki Ramayana:

एतत तु थृश्यते तीर्दं समुथ्रस्य वरानने
यत्र सागरम उत्तीर्य तां रात्रिम उषिता वयम
एष सेतुर मया बथ्धः सागरे सलिलार्णवे
तवहेतॊर विशालाक्षि नलसेतुः सुथुष्करः
पश्य सागरम अक्षॊभ्यं वैथेहि वरुणालयम
अपारम अभिगर्जन्तं शङ्खशुक्तिनिषेवितम
हिरण्यनाभं शैलेन्थ्रं काञ्चनं पश्य मैदिलि
विश्रमार्दं हनुमतॊ भित्त्वा सागरम उत्दितम
अत्र राक्षसराजॊ ऽयम आजगाम विभीषणः

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