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Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram, Length, Distance, Train Timings

by Nomad Saikat faviconNomad Saikat
33 minutes read
Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram is a beautiful place full of scenic locations as we all know. But this location also has a lot of historical and mythological legends attached to it. But what we will be discussing today is the engineering marvel located at this spot. The location is the Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram, which is the first ever sea bridge in India. It was also the longest sea link bridge till 2010. However after a lot of maintenance and constructions and reconstructions the New Pamban Bridge is all set to open as well. In that situation you need to know everything about the Old Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram as well as the new bridge.

So keep on reading this article as I will mention each and everything that you need to know about the Rameshwaram Pamban Bridge. This will be an informative, educational and helpful article for you if you want to know more about this bridge.

Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram

Location : Pamban Bridge, Pamban, Tamil Nadu, India

Timings : This bridge opens 24 cross 7 throughout the year as it is the primary communication between mandapam to Rameswaram.

The Pamban Bridge is the main connection between the Rameshwaram Island and the town of Mandapam which is the mainland.

How to reach

 By air

The nearest airport to reach Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram is the Madurai Airport as Rameshwaram does not have its own airport. From there the distance of the Pamban Bridge is 165 km and it would take around 2 hours and 37 minutes to reach there. Tuticorin Airport is another nearest airport to reach the bridge and it is 182 km away. It would take 3 and a half hours to reach there from the airport by road.

By train

If you are travelling by train then the nearest airport to reach the bridge is the Rameshwaram railway station. The railway station is 13. 7 km away from the Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram and you can reach there in about 20 minutes. From the railway station you will have to hire a car to reach the location.

By road

You will get buses to reach this location from major cities so you can avail that to reach Pamban Bridge. The Rameshwaram Bus Stand is the nearest bus stop and it is only 12 km away. However you can also hire a car or drive through your own vehicle to reach the location in Rameshwaram. The route to this location is very scenic so if you are travelling by road you will be able to enjoy the area well.

Overview of Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram

The Pamban Bridge is one of the important sightseeing locations in Rameshwaram. It is one of the finest engineering marvels that you can find in India as this bridge is the first bridge that is built across the sea in India. The bridge therefore holds a lot of historical and architectural significance even today. If you are wondering who built the Pamban Bridge then it was the British who initiated the idea. The efforts of installing this historical bridge started as early as the 1870s. Moreover the main idea behind this construction was to expand the trade connectivity of India to Sri Lanka.

Pamban bridge

Pamban Bridge length stretches with 143 piers and the length of Pamban Bridge kilometer is 2.2. Officially the bridge was commissioned in 1914. It was the longest sea bridge until 2010 before the construction of the Bandra Worli Sea Link. What made this bridge even more special is the way the bridge rests on the concrete piers. However this has a double leaf bascule section midway that can be raised and therefore even ships can pass through.

 Pamban Bridge History

The construction of the Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram is a part of the South India Railway Project and it officially opened on 24th of February 1914. Until 1988 this bridge was the only surface transport that connected Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to the mainland of India. In 1988 there was a construction of a road bridge parallel to the rail bridge. This road bridge is popular as the Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. This road bridge further connects Rameshwaram with the National Highway 49. It is located in between the shores of Mandapa and Pamban on the Palk Strait. In 1988 the then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi inaugurated this bridge on the 2nd of October. Overall the bridge took 14 year to complete and it is 2345 km long.

The Pamban Rail Bridge followed the Scherzer Rolling Lift Technology which allowed the ferry movements here. This bridge opens up at a 90 degree angle and therefore it allows the ferry movement here. Each half of the lifting span of the bridge weighs 515 tonnes.  With the use of manual levers the two leaves of the bridge opened manually.

What’s more?

Furthermore this area is prone to cyclones and strong wind force. Also the bridge survived the massive cyclone of 1964 and therefore it required some repair work. It took only 45 days for the repair work on the bridge after the cyclone. Also there were other developments here too. Earlier the Pamban Bridge train route only carried metre gauge trains. Later in 2007 the Indian Railways upgraded the bridge so that it can carry broad gauge trains. From the Pamban Bridge the train line bifurcates into two lines. There is one line that goes towards Rameshwaram about 10.06 km. And there is another line from Pamban Bridge to Dhanushkodi that goes till 24 km.

Later in 2009 there was maintenance work under the supervision of E. Sreedharan which enabled the bridge to carry goods trains. However in 2018 the train movement on this bridge completely stopped after a reporting of a fissure on 4th December 2018. On 19th of March the rail movement again got restored in 2019.

On 23rd of December in 2022 extreme corrosion damaged the bridge and the sensors started giving out continuous warning signals. After that transportation on this bridge suspended permanently. The last train that ran on this bridge was the Secunderabad Rameshwaram Special Express. After that there were plans of construction of a New Pamban Bridge and therefore Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the new bridge in 2019.

 Pamban Bridge train accident

There was a lot of damage in 1964 due to a dangerous cyclone in Rameshwaram. The Pamban Bridge train accident 1964 was dangerous as it overturned the Pamban Dhanushkodi passenger train. This accident killed more than 200 passengers on board along with several others injured.

New Pamban Bridge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the new bridge in 2019. It is almost complete now and the New Pamban Bridge opening date is scheduled for 2024. This new bridge will have a double railway line along with electrification. As the Indian Railway is moving towards the model of full electrification for its broad gauge network, here also electrification will be there. The bridge will be a little over 2 km long. With 99 spans and 18.3 meters long girders the navigational span of the bridge will be 63 metres.

What will be most special about the new bridge is the vertical lift facility of this bridge. Due to this facility the passage of boats underneath will be smooth. Moreover the navigational span would move up to a height for the boats to pass. And during this time the rail traffic will stop. Pamban Bridge train timings will be in such a way to smoothly facilitate the shipping routes and timings too.  Another attraction of this bridge is, this will be one of a kind of a construction in the country as it will allow full horizontal navigation up to a length of 72.5 meter. Also the new bridge will be 3 meters more in height than the old Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram.

cantilever bridge

Tourist attractions in Pamban Bridge

The area of the Pamban Bridge is one of the scenic locations that you can visit in Rameshwaram. However other than being a scenic location this area also has a legend attached to it. And that further makes the area more popular for visitors. According to a legend, people believe that this bridge is located at a sacred place Pamban. Pamban is a sacred location because according to beliefs this is the location where Lord Rama had used an arrow on the ground so that he can get cool water to quench the thirst of his wife Devi Sita. So other than being a scenic location, this location also has a mythological and spiritual importance attached to it. And a lot of viewers also visit here for that reason as well.

Also from earlier times this bridge has been a line of connection and has served as a connecting ground between Rameshwaram Island and the mainland. That also makes it an important location geographically. It will be a site in itself to witness the trains passing here through the Pamban railway line or the ships crossing under the bridge. It has always been a site of tourist attraction and with the completion of the New Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram also it would be one of the splendid locations to visit.

Furthermore if you are planning a trip to the Pamban bridge then you must also visit the Pamban Beach nearby which is another popular location. It is a serene beach where you will be able to spend some good time. One of the major attractions on the beach is Glass Boating which you need to try for sure. These boats have transparent bottoms that will enable you to see underwater which is extremely alluring to experience. The sea water is clear and offers a clear view of the corals underwater. So definitely don’t forget to try glass boating there.

Wrapping Up!

Now that you have all the information about the Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram, plan a visit there soon. If you look at the Pamban Bridge photos you will not be able to grasp the beauty of the location. So you need to visit there in person to understand the beauty of the location. So tell me when you are planning a visit to Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram. Also let me know if this article on the bridge in Rameshwaram is helpful for you in knowing about the location.

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