My Adventurous Road trip: Mumbai to Rameshwaram
by Habiba Sayyed
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Welcome to my adventurous road trip to Rameshwaram in India …
The Adventurous road trip from Mumbai to Rameshwaram was a sudden decision it was unplanned. I received a call from my friend who had been planning this road trip with his friends for few months, fortunately, his friends didn’t turn up. I was invited and I said, yes. I was excited because it was going to be my first road trip. And it was also going to help me explore my photography skills which I had learnt in the past few months from another friend.
My journey started from Mumbai
On 10th May 2016. I started my road trip from Mumbai. I left home at 6 am in the morning and headed towards Chembur. After I reached Chembur, I had juice and sandwich for breakfast. All the time I kept thinking, about the road trIp. I knew somewhere back in my mind that it was going to be a long journey and I was looking forward to what I will experience from this journey. We sat in the car and as my friend turned the car keys and the engine started, my heart started pumping faster with excitement and thrill as to what this journey will be like and I prayed silently for my safe journey, as the car started moving forward.
What you will you see on this road trip
The first thing I noticed was a lot of cars with different state names and number engraved on the plates. I assumed they were on a road trip too like me. As we reached the highway that lead us out of Mumbai crossing the toll, surroundings, people, landscape everything started changing slowly. I saw a lot of greenery outside the city. The buildings designs and structures were changing, they were much simple and smaller than the buildings in the city. The buildings became smaller and smaller, till I saw few huts or small bungalows here and there surrounded on all sides by vast green fields, I knew I was far away from home. What if I wanted to turn back right now and return home. I could still go. I thought, but I didn’t want to go back home now. I have to go on this trip to explore my country and myself. Thoughts of going back home started disappearing as I moved forward away from home. I was ready to face everything on this trip now. One of my favourite memory is the lady wearing a sari and riding a bike in Satara district. When I saw her, it felt like the women of Satara district are more broad-minded and less worried about their looks compared to the women in the city, because I had never come across a woman wearing a sari and riding a bike in my city. It was fascinating for me.
My friend had carried his DSLR camera. I was on a photography spree. I clicked a lot of pictures. After some time the weather changed we got caught up in the hail storm. The hail was hitting the car with force, I and my friend were scared but we kept driving. the people on bikes took shelter. For the first time, I saw the lightening struck the ground far away somewhere; I was terrified. We stopped at a roadside restaurant, ate there and continued our journey towards Rameshwaram. I saw different people on the way with Diverse lifestyle, culture, race.
It turned dark when we entered into the border of Karnataka after continuous driving without taking more than one break. We decided to take rest and started searching for a hotel. Hubli was 27 km’s away and we could only find a decent hotel there. We finally found a hotel. But in Hubli most of the people I saw on street were drunk. Next morning we started from Hubli early the highway was empty and the sun had not yet risen the vast fields laid empty in front of me. We raced ahead on the empty highway. The surprising part of Karnataka is that women are awesome at bike riding irrespective of their age.
And every village had open ancient style gates on the main road. every time I saw one I knew there was a village there.
Saw a lot of banana plantations, coconut trees, hills, mountains, lots of toll crossing was something I had already gotten accustomed too. We crossed Bangalore on the way which is the IT Hub of India. Beautiful roads of Bangalore were a good sight. We stopped at the highway and ate some uttapams and dosas with chutney. The food was delicious; I was eagerly waiting to eat idli, dosas and now I had the taste of the real south Indian mouth watering food, I craved for. Finally, we reached the entrance of Rameshwaram at midnight. we halted the car on the Pamban bridge that connects the Tamil Nadu state with Rameshwaramam.
Rameshwaram is situated on Pamban island surrounded by water on all the sides. The waters are rich in marine biodiversity. The crystal clear water is the beauty of this place where you can easily see the sea bed. Read more about Rameshwaram on Wikipedia
Where to stay?
Hotels are quite nice and decent in Rameshwaram. We chose a hotel near the beach. 700 rupees for 24 hours of stay.
Best places to visit in Rameshwaram
Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
On the third day of the journey early morning we decided to visit the famous Ramanathaswamy temple also called as Rameshwaram temple. It is also a pilgrimage site for the Hindus. Before entering the temple there are certain purification rituals you have to perform.
- Take a dip in the sea (Bay of Bengal).
- Remove your denim cover yourself with a white lungi (white piece of cloth made of cotton).
- keep your cell phones and other stuff in a locker room provided by the local temple caretakers and guides.
When you go inside you will find the floor very watery, the reason behind this is that the temple has 22 natural sweet water wells inside. when we went inside we saw a lot of shiv lings. It is said that the lord Hanuman had brought hose shiv lings. Then as we went further inside we saw people standing in a queue near a well; a man stood on the edge of the well who was pouring water on the people for further purification and cleansing of a person as a part of the ritual. So I and my friend tasted the water from all the 22 wells and also got ourselves washed. The temple’s architecture is a wonder. The designs and carvings are detailed. The temple is mainly known vast corridor consisting of vast pillars. After the visit of the temple, we strolled out on the beach enjoying the view. You will find most of the people there are dark skinned. Their lifestyle is very simple and vibrant. The men wearing white lungi and women wearing a sari. I tested my photography skills as I explored and strolled excited with the new surroundings, people and a mind broadening the experience of diverse culture, ethnicity.
People here are mostly fishermen by occupation and since the island is sandy the vegetation is difficult. The vegetables are transported from Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram. In the whole island, I did not see a single vegetable vendor.
Dhanushkodi and Adams Bridge
It is the southernmost tip of Rameshwaram in India. It’s a beach shaped like a bow. We went there with a local driver in an old jeep it took us 15 to 20 mins to reach Dhanushkodi from our hotel. The beach is full of wild bushes, trees, sand, the aqua blue sea.
the most amazing and fun part of the whole trip was when we drove on the beach and slowly the jeep entered the sea. My head was out of the window when the driver drove the jeep in the crystal clear water. the tyres were a few inches of the water and the sky reflected upon the water. I couldn’t stop myself from clicking pictures non-stop as I was enveloped by the most beautiful view all around me. I saw a new species of birds by sea, a mare standing alone chewing up the wild grass on my right. a lady walking right in between the sea with a utensil on top of her head.
The jeep in between started to slip and turned a few degrees due to the slippery algae on the beach. But we were fine. Few boats lay on the beach as if they were abandoned by the owners.
It was a long drive and we had reached the Dhanushkodi beach. There are few open shacks on the beach where the locals sell sea shells, pearls, ornaments made of shells, soft drinks. As I stood facing Rameshwaram the water on my right was green crystal clear and silent like a river at the same time the sea on my left was blue and tall waves splashing on the shore.
It was beautiful to see the two different water bodies meet at the tip of Dhanush Kodi Where the Adams Bridge is located.Admas bridge connected India with Sri Lanka many centuries ago now the Adams bridge has submerged into the water and is barely visible. The locals say that at night Sri Lanka city lights can be seen from Dhanushkodi. I saw around 10 people who claimed to live there in two or three huts, rest fo the buildings were in ruins due to the cyclone that had hit Dhanushkodi and since then it still remains inhabited.
It was soothing and peaceful at Dhaushkodi I felt away from the hustle bustle of the city; simple life and fresh air; no pollution it was very relaxing. More about Dhanushkodi
We returned to our hotel tired and happy. While watching TV int he hotel we saw the weather forecast for Rameshwaram indicating heavy storm and rainfall there; we decided the leave for Mumbai the very next day. It was the 5th day of the trip we left Rameshwaram early morning at 5 am with a heavy heart and when we reached Pamban bridge we halted there to witness the sunrise but the sky was covered with dark clouds it seemed it was going to rain.
we saw the water rich in marine life, and the fishermen readying their boats to catch fish we watched from the top to get the view of the whole island. The big boats anchored by the shore, tiny huts by the shore and people sitting by the fire chatting.
Few men stood on the bridge beside us in their lungi’s and shirts looking at the water and sky.
We enjoyed the cool breeze and before getting inside the car I took a last glimpse of the island as I was leaving it behind and heading towards home.
What to eat here?
The south Indian delicious food that ou can eat at Rameshwaram is mouth-watering healthy fermented idlis with spicy coconut chutney, Uttappa, Dosa. Idlis are served only in the day time for breakfast. Also, other types of cuisine are served with roti, rice, vegetables. etc. Don’t miss out on relishing the coconut water here it’s very cheap. It will cost only 20 to 30 rupees for coconut water. We drank from the coconut which was orange in colour; it was ripe and it had one litre of coconut water. Sadly in the city coconuts are small and it’s costly.
How to travel to Rameshwaram from Mumbai?
Aeroplane, Train and car.
Travelling by car will help you broaden your mind and give you a lifetime experience because you will witness the change in the landscape, culture, people, lifestyle, ethnicity.
It has been one of the best and the most adventurous trip of my life till now. I wish to go there again someday and travel around the world, explore, learn and share my experiences.
by Habiba SayyedWednesday, May 17, 2017
I am 25 years old. I am a freelancer. I am a film editor and a sportswoman. I am into air rifle shooting currently focused on my training, editing films have become my source of my air rifle expenses. I fund myself by editing to achieve and become an honoured sportswoman. I am learning to swim too. besides that, I am learning classical Arabic language so that I can study the Quran and memorise the holy Quran. I love travelling and photography, I would love to travel the world.Read more at gohabiba.com