Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

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Palk Straits
Palk Straits - A Narrow Stretch of Shallow Water that Divides the Tamil Homeland

From Wikipedia - "The Palk Strait is a strait that lies between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the island nation of Sri Lanka. It connects the Palk Bay to the northeast (and thence the Bay of Bengal) with the Gulf of Mannar to the south. The strait is 40 to 85 miles (64 to 140 km) wide. Several rivers flow into it, including the Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu. The strait is named after Robert Palk, who was a governor of Madras Presidency (1755-1763) during the British Raj period.

It is studded at its southern end with a chain of low islands and reef shoals that are collectively called Adam's Bridge (or the original name Rama's Bridge). This chain extends between Dhanushkodi on Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Talaimannar in Mannar in Sri Lanka. The island of Rameswaram is linked to the Indian mainland by the Pamban Bridge.

The shallow waters and reefs of the strait make it difficult for large ships to pass through, although fishing boats and small craft carrying coastal trade have navigated the strait for centuries. Large ships must travel around Sri Lanka. Construction of a shipping canal through the strait was first proposed to the British government of India in 1860, and a number of commissions have studied the proposal up to the present day. The most recent study of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, as it is now called, was an environmental impact assessment and a technical feasibility study commissioned by the Tamil Nadu government in 2004.

Like the English Channel, the Palk Strait has been taken up as a challenge by many long-distance swimmers.

The Indian epic poem Ramayana, written thousands of years ago in Sanskrit and an important Hindu text, recounts how Rama, with the help of an army of vanaras, built a bridge of stones across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the Asura king Ravana. The Ram Karmabhumi movement, encouraged by a NASA satellite photograph which they say proves that remnants of this bridge still exist, was formed to prevent the shipping canal from being built.

The name Adam's Bridge is a later name than Rama's bridge and derives from the story that South India or Sri Lanka was the site of the biblical earthly paradise, and that Adam's Bridge was created when Adam was expelled from paradise."

Adam's Bridge across Palk Straits 3,500 years old
The New Indian Express, Madurai. 19 February 2003

The land bridge (shallow coral formation), popularly known as 'Adam's Bridge' and reputed to be the remains of the bridge built by Lord Rama, is only 3,500 years old and not 1.7 million years old, according to the findings of the Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi. A CRS team led by Dr S. M Ramasamy engaged in unraveling the geological processes that took place along the Tamil Nadu coast during the last 40,000 years has come up with starting facts.

A NASA satellite picture had brought the existence of a stretch of land bridge into sharper focus. According to mythology, the 'bridge' was built by Ramah 1.7 million years ago. But NASA didn't give any credence to this claim. Some reports had mentioned that it was only a coral reef dating back to 1.7 million years. Historians, too, don't subscribe to the claim linking this stretch with Ramayana. Besides the NASA pictures, those snapped by Indian Remote Sensing satellites also showed the Adam's bridge, between Dhanushkodi in the west and Talaimannar in the east.

Detection of bundles of ancient beaches - between Thiruthuraipoondi and Kodiyakarai-in satellite pictures and carbon dating of such beaches showed that Thiruthurajpoondi beach dates back to 6,000 years and Kodiyakarai to 1,100 years.

This indicated that the sea was near Thiruthuraipoondi 6,000 years ago and reached Kodiyakarai around 1,100 years ago. The IRS satellite picture also showed that the beach at Thiruth uraipoon continued up to Ramanatha puram and further down to Thoothukudi, three km from Manamelkudi, 2.5 km west of Thondi and 3 km from Devipattinam.

Carbon dating of ancient beaches found west of Uchichipuli in Ramanath puram district put their age at 3,500 years. These were clear examples that the sea had receded from Thiruthurai poondi and Kodiyakarai as well as from Ramanathapuram to the west of Unhchipuli, around 3,500 years ago. The sea may have receded to Pamban only during this period.

Because of such divergent littoral currents, there remained a current shadow zone between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar and hence the sand brought by the currents had been dumped in a linear pattern in the current shadow zone. Corals might have accumulated over these linear sand bodies, later on Ramasamy said.

So the land bridge is only the sand, which had begun accumulating in the current shadow zone 3,500 years back, and continues to the present day. Therefore, the age of the Adam's bridge could only be 3,500 years old, he asserted.

But, as the carbon dating of the beaches roughly matches with the dates of Ramayana, its linkage with Ramayana needs to the explored, Ramasamy said. One thing that must be appreciated is the knowledge of our ancestors on the land-ocean configuration, he added.

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