Submerged temple tower visible in Dhanushkodi

Rameswaram (TN): Over four decades after tidal waves ruined Dhanushkodi, in the southern tip of this island, some parts of the submerged town are now visible indicating that the sea is receding, local fishermen said.

The top portion of the tower of a Ganesh temple which went under sea was now visible, says octogenarian 'Neechal' Kali, a witness to the 1964 tragedy.

Recalling the tidal wave disaster, Kali, who saved many people then, said vast stretches of Dhanushkodi town, 26 km from here, went under the sea as the 20-foot waves rushed into the town for about one km stretch.

"It is surprising that the top portion of the Ganesh tower which remained submerged is visible. I saw it on last Amavasya day (May 13) and for some days that followed. I am not an expert, but from what I observe, I think the sea is slowly going back to its original position," he said.

"I used to play near that Ganesh temple, when I was young. The tower is visible now at a location that will be about one km from the shore. All these years I did not see it. Now I am happy I could see it. If I could see the entire building that went under the sea I will be happy," Kali said.

Ramanathapuram district officials said they had been informed about the sighting of the temple tower by fishermen and were now ascertaining it with various sources.

Dhanushkodi, a holy place for Hindu pilgrims, was ruined by giant waves triggered by a cyclone on December 24, 1964, which also swept away a train load of 200 passengers.

Now Dhanushkodi can be reached on foot along sea shore or in jeeps traversing across sand dunes.