Sometimes we believe only after we see. And Dhanushkodi, on the southern tip of the Rameshwaram Island in Tamil Nadu, is a classic example. Perhaps because of the visual contrasts: seas, sand dunes, migratory birds and the cyclone-included ruins. A solitary road is flanked by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. It is a journey laden with surprises, weaving through sand dunes and remnants of civilisation: a roofless church, a post office and a railway station. The 1964 cyclone turned Dhanushkodi into a ghost town. The two seas merge here, giving the place its name: Dhanushkodi. The narrow strip of road is the arrow which bisects the semi-circular shaped ocean (resembling the bow or Dhanush). Or perhaps the name came about thanks to Lord Rama who marked this spot with one end of his famous bow for the starting point of the Ram Setu (bridge to Lanka). Hardly any wonder then that Dhanushkodi is regarded as the holiest of holy places in India.
If we travel towards the western part of the country and want to see a sea of blossoms, the Kaas Plateau in Maharashtra is a good stop, especially in August/September. This place would be nothing but a paradise of flowers that greets visitors with 850 different species. For miles, the eyes are treated to a vivid display of petals of kaleidoscopic colours as these unending stretches of flowers only end at the horizon. If there is a flower paradise, it is the Kaas Plateau.
But this is not the end. It is simply the beginning of some exotic locations hidden in nooks and corners of India, surreal locations that beckon every traveller to visit once. Like Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
These dream-like places are here in our own country, waiting, as they have done for centuries, watching silently as time passes them by. All you need is to dream and discover them.