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How the Raamar Bridge was built

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Life is a dream
Staff member
The bridge built by Raama was the subject of a major epic which is lost to us now.The VaalmeekiraamaayaNa gives a description of how it was built in the following verses(translated into English):
Ocean the lord of rivers spoke these words to Rama who knew all scientific treatises.
“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.”
“Let this greatly energetic monkey build a bridge across me. I can hold that bridge. He is just the same as his father.”
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:
“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.”
“This Sagara, the formidable mass of water, in fear of punishment, gave a passage to Rama, wishing to see a bridge constructed on it.”
“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.”

“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.”
“I am capable of constructing a bridge across the ocean. Hence, let the foremost of monkeys build the bridge now itself.”
Then, being sent by Rama, hundreds and thousands of monkey heroes jumped in joy on all sides towards the great forest.
Those army-chiefs of monkeys, who resembled mountains, broke the rocks and trees there and dragged them away towards the sea.
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.

The excellent monkeys, the forest animals lifted and brought, like Indra’s flag posts, some trees with roots intact and some others without roots.
From here and there the monkeys brought Palmyra trees, pomegranate shrubs, coconut and Vibhitaka, Karira, Bakula and neem trees.
The huge bodied monkeys with mighty strength uprooted elephant-sized rocks and mountains and transported them by mechanical contrivances.
The water, raised up due to sudden throwing of mountains in the sea, soured upward towards the sky and from there again, gushed back.
The rocks falling 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.)
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.
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.
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.

Then, a tumultuous sound occurred when the rocks were thrown into the sea and when mountains were caused to fall there.
On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of bridge were constructed by the monkeys speedily, thrilled with delight as they were, resembling elephants.
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.

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

On the fourth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing monkeys with a great speed.
In that manner, on the fifth day, the monkeys working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other seashore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 terrific sound of the ocean was covered up by the great sounds of the terrific monkeys who were crossing the sea.

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.

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 sacred waters.
Let us now decide whether this glorious heritage should be allowed to be destroyed by our government.
What is the official word on Ramar Bridge ? Has it been demolished or is it in the process of being demolished ?

One naive question. Is the Sethu project feasible w/o demolishing the bridge ?
sir- two giant sized machines - 1 foreign & 1 indian - were used to demolish the holy ramar bridge. but both the machines got damaged, and so, work has been temporarily stopped. when the issue was raised in parliament, ambika soni, minister in central govt. has said that 'there is no archeological proof of existence of ramar bridge in rameswaram'. But Mr. cho has said that no archeological survey was carried out on behalf of anybody in the sea at all. so it is surprising how the central govt. arrived at this conclusion. This project runs to crores of rupees. so there are many contractors , naturally who should be close to ruling DMK in t.nad, who will be benefitted. but i do not think there s any need to demolish a bridge which has been found to be over 17 lakh yrs old by NASA , to construct a controversial project out of tax payers money.
Dear Suresh:
Thank you for that translation on the bridge.
Questions: What is Sethu Project? What is it supposed to accomplish?
What is the measurement of 'Yojana'?
sir - this sethu project is supposed to link srilanka with india through sea route. but it may take years to complete and could be extremely costly too. whether there will be regular budget allocations for this project remains to be seen. in 2004, the dmk threatened congress party that if the portfolio of shipping ministry was not allocated to dmk, the dmk will not support congress in forming the govt. this open vitriol was against parliamentary traditions, where the prime minister is the sole authority on deciding who should be appointed as minister and what portfolio should be given. karunanidhi said that it was to implement sethu project that he wanted shipping ministry for dmk, and naturally so, as this was a project running to crores of rupees, and 'many' 'contractors' will be 'benefitted'. now there are allegations in parliament and outside that T.R. Baalu, shipping minister has indulged in favouritism in allocating contracts to various companies, not only in this sethu project, but also in many other projects coming under his shipping ministry, and that a company which is owned by son of T.R. Baalu, has been the main beneficiary.
i do not know much about this yojana. i think this is a quantity for measurement. may be praveen may be in a position to throw more light on this!

I think a yojana is around 8 miles (approx).


I believe Sethu canal is supposed to be a shipping canal linking Bay of Bengal to Indian ocean. Right now all ships from the east have to go around Srilanka and many of them berth at Srilankan ports on the way bringing Srilanka a lot of money. Once Sethu canal comes into operation all ships from the east need not go around Srilanka and this will save a lot of fuel costs. Not to mention the immense economic benefits it will bestow on TN's ports like Tuticorin.

SIR - but at what cost? it is said lot of damage could be caused to environment and marine lives like fishes and other sea animals. moreover allegations of corruption, favouritism are there. will budget allocations come regularly for this controversial project ? what will happen ifthere is a change in govt. at centre?
MK is raising the issue to divert attention of the people and particularly brahmins.The contracts have been awarded to closely known people to DMk.
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