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Rama's Bridge - Raam Sethu

Ships and cargo ships go from Europe, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian southern and eastern ports, such as Chennai and Kolkata, skirting Sri Lanka, which takes about 30 hours on the road and an extra 800 kilometers. The reason for this is the Rama's Bridge (Raam Sethu), blocking the way from the Manar Bay to the Polk Strait. In 1850, English commander Taylor proposed to pass through the bridge of Rama the canal. In 1955, President Jawaharlal Nehru had the same plan. The Government of India at the Supreme Court stated at the time that there was no historical evidence for the construction of the bridge by King Rama, but the sacred places of its own people were unethical to destroy, so the project died down.

In the 21st century, the Sethu Samudram Corporation was formed, and real passions arose over the construction of the canal. This company has even started construction work at the site of the future canal, but for so far unclear reasons a part of the dredgers has been screwed into the port due to breakages, including the teeth of the buckets. In addition, an unexpected storm dispersed the vessels involved in the construction, preventing the continuation of the work. Hindus immediately saw a sign in this, saying that it was personally the King of the monkeys Hanuman guarding his creation.

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On Rama's Birthday on March 27, 2007, a group of international public organizations launched the Save Rama Bridge campaign. For the Hindus around the world, the Rama's Bridge is a living proof of their ancient history. The construction started affected the feelings of millions of believers. Campaign activists also said that the destruction of the bridge would undermine the entire local ecosystem: to the north-east of the bridge there is a stormy and dangerous Polk strait with its storms and cyclones, and to the southwest is a tranquil emerald Manar bay with clear water.

Rama's Bridge, dividing the strait and the bay, mitigates the terrible consequences of cyclones and storms. The tsunami that hit India and Sri Lanka in 2004, killing tens of thousands of lives, was significantly weakened by the Rama Bridge. Without this ancient dam of victims there could be much more. Under the campaign appeal Save the Rama Bridge, thousands of people have subscribed. Advocates propose to take an alternative project. The essence of the project is to dig a canal along a large sandbanks near the village of Mandapam. What the Indian government will answer is still unclear.

The bridge is handmade. Fact:
Pictures that NASA made public several years ago, very surprised even the people of Sri Lanka and India, the belief in the man-made bridge is simply unshakable. In photos with all the precision of modern photographic equipment, a real bridge is visible between the Indian subcontinent and the island of Sri Lanka. After the publication of NASA images, the Indian newspaper Hindustan Times reported that the images received by American satellites prove the reality of the Ramayana epic, including the construction of the Rama's Bridge, which actually took place.

At the same time, NASA chose to distance itself from concrete statements: yes, in photos from satellites, the amazing geomorphology of this region is clearly visible. At the same time, NASA stated that «by themselves, images of remote sensing from orbit can not provide specific information on the origin or age of the island chain and can not determine the participation of people in the origin of this object.»

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What is the Rama's Bridge now? The backbone of the bridge is a cluster of boulders about one and a half to two and a half meters in regular shape, consisting of calcareous stone, coral and sand. Boulders lie on the sea sand, the thickness of which is 3-5 meters. And only under the sand begins a solid stone soil. The presence of free sand below the boulders indicates that the ridge is not a natural formation, but laid over sandy soil. Some of the boulders are so light that they can float on the water. Several boulders were taken from the ocean by the Indian priests and brought to the shore many years ago, placing them in the temples so that the faithful could bow to the stones along which the feet of the holy gods and the Ramayana characters walked.

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It has also been established that these areas of land were not raised as a result of any geological processes and resemble a dam. In the wells found a homogeneous material — calcareous stone. The straightforward and orderly nature of the stacking also indicates that the boulders were brought by someone and laid in a dam.

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However, the bridge has an unreasonable width for the transfer of troops, and anything else, as described in the Ramayana. But this is by modern standards. Alexander Volkov, director of the 2009 documentary film entitled «The Bridge of Rama», says:
— Legends say that it was built by the monkey warriors, who were gigantic growth. And we even tried to illustrate in the film that the height of these giants was — you will not believe — 8 meters! But, looking at this bridge, you involuntarily start to believe in it — there is no sense for us to build such a width for us. But for people of eight-meter height, while possessing some sort of armament, there probably appears logic in the width of this bridge.

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However, there are also many other questions. For example, this is the age of the bridge. Based on the legends, some Hindu theologians say that the Rama bridge is a million years old, others lead a more modest age of 20,000 years. Alternative Western researchers put forward a radical version — 17 million years. Even the Indian academic science condescended to solve the problem and proposed its own version — 3500 years, linking construction with the Aryan conquest of India. But with a lot of ambiguities, it's obvious that the Rama Bridge is really an artificial, man-made structure. The studies carried out by GSI have convincingly proved this.
  
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) explored the entire structure of the Rama's Bridge. In the area of the bridge, 100 wells were drilled, soil samples from which were thoroughly studied. A magnetic and bathymetric scan was performed. As a result of the research it was revealed that a low underwater ridge with a width of 1.6 to 4 kilometers is an anomaly, as it unexpectedly arises from the side of the Bay of Bengal.

In the Atlas of Schwarzberg on the map of India from the period 1290-1390 AD. e. Rama's bridge is referred to as Sethubandha, that is, an artificial bridge, and for many centuries it was well known to geographers and travelers. For example, Marco Polo, who lived in 1254-1324, described the bridge in his book Million.
According to ancient maps, until 1480 the bridge was pedestrian and completely was above the water. People walked on it from India to Sri Lanka. This is confirmed by the ancient map of Ptolemy. Soon the bridge was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. After the earthquake, the bridge dropped under the water approximately to a depth of one to one and a half meters, and in one place a bridge was broken, which must be overcome by swimming.

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The Sri Lankan Navy has recently started tours for those wishing to walk along the Rama's Bridge in the Talaimannar Strait. The first such tour, according to the Sri Lanka Department of Tourism, was held in April 2011. If the ocean is calm and there is no rain, then departure from Talaimannar occurs from 8.00 to 16.00. From Sri Lanka to the bridge, a boat ride lasts about half an hour, depending on the general weather conditions. The official representative of the Sri Lanka Navy assures that travelers are provided with food and water. The only restriction for trips is that it is forbidden to scatter garbage on the sandy shoal of the bridge.

We add that guests who are vacationing in the north Sri Lanka in Jaffna and Mannar have a unique opportunity to take a walking tour to the Rama's Bridge, not only having examined with their own eyes a unique ancient man-made creation, but also stepping on one of their numerous sandy islets of the ridge with their own feet, while seeing the shores of South India on the horizon.

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