The government of India has given its approval to an underwater exploration project to determine the origins and the truth of the Ram Setu, a 48-km-long chain of shoals between India and Sri Lanka.
Ram Setu is also known as Rama’s Bridge or Adam’s Bridge or Nala Setu. It is a chain of limestone shoals, that connects Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.
This bridge holds religious significance to the Hindus as it is mentioned in the Ramayana – one of the two major Hindu epics of ancient India.
Last month, the Central Advisory Board on Archaeology, a body under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), accepted the proposal for the underwater exploration project.
Reportedly, the study will be conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Goa. It will help to know the age of the Ramayana period and focus on the process behind the formation of Ram Setu. Moreover, the study will also help find out whether there are any submerged habitations around Ram Setu.
The proposal for the exploration says, “The historicity and the date of ‘Ramayana’ remain a debatable subject among historians, archaeologists and scientists. It is proposed to carry out scientific and underwater archaeological studies to understand the nature and formation of the Ram Setu and its surrounding area.”
Reportedly, the research is likely to begin this year based upon the advancement of the upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.