In the great Indian epic of Ramayana, penned several thousand years ago, author Valmiki speaks of a bridge over the ocean connecting India and Sri Lanka. The epic poem, that stretches for nearly 24,000 verses, narrates the life of the divine prince Lord Rama and his struggle to rescue his abducted wife Sita from the demon king Ravana, the ruler of Sri Lanka.

Lord Rama, the crown prince, was forced to relinquish his right to the throne and go into exile for fourteen years. During his stay in the forest, his wife Sita was abducted by the evil demon king Ravana and taken to Sri Lanka.

In the story, when Lord Rama’s army reaches the ocean across which lies the island of Sri Lanka, Lord Hanuman and his team construct a floating bridge across the sea by writing the name of Lord Rama on the stones and tossing them into the water. The stones didn’t sink because they had Lord Rama's name written on them. Lord Rama’s army then used the bridge to cross the sea towards Sri Lanka.


Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a long, twisting stretch of shoal and sandbank connecting the Indian island of Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, to Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The bridge is about 50 km long. Much of it is under water today, but centuries ago, it formed an intermittent, but otherwise solid, connecting link between India and Sri Lanka. The causeway existed as late as the 15th century and was passable on foot, as per records kept at the Rameswaram temple, until it was flooded in a storm.

The existence of the bridge has been known in India as well as Sri Lanka since ages, as evident from the legend perpetuated by the ancient epic of Ramayana. For as long as anybody could remember, the sea separating the two countries has been called Sethusamudram meaning "Sea of the Bridge". The 9th century Persian geographer, Ibn Khordadbeh, mentioned the bridge in his Book of Roads and Kingdoms, referring to it is Set Bandhai or "Bridge of the Sea". The name “Adam’s Bridge” is an early-19th-century British invention —a reference to an Abrahamic myth that Adam used the bridge to cross from Sri Lanka to India.