|NASA satellite photo of Rama's Bridge|
or Adam's Bridge
is a narrow land connection between Sri Lanka
and the Indian
mainland which, according to the Ramayana
(Chapter 66, The Great Causeway
), was constructed at Rama
's request by his subjects.
This roughly 30 km
long bridge is now mostly submerged approximately 1.2 m
below sea level
, with only a chain of limestone
shoals left showing. It is, however, clearly visible in satellite photos taken by NASA
such as the one shown here.
The alternate name Adam's Bridge
derives from the notion that the biblical Garden of Eden
was Sri Lanka
Temple records suggest that the bridge may have been submerged by a violent storm as recently as 1480
The October 2002 release of a series of images by NASA caused quite a furor, as previously the bridge had been thought to exist in legend only.
Nasa spokesman Mark Hess hurriedly released a cautious statment, distancing the Agency from the multitude of claims being based on the images:
- "The images [...] may be ours, but their interpretation is certainly not ours. [...] Remote sensing images or photographs from orbit cannot provide direct information about the origin or age of a chain of islands, and certainly cannot determine whether humans were involved in producing any of the patterns seen."
Meanwhile, there remains the fact that the bridge's shape is very unusual indeed for a natural geological feature.
Archeological studies of the bridge are ongoing, but several archeologists
believe to have found additional evidence suggesting that it is indeed man-made. Its age is currently estimated at approximately 1.75 million years.