During my stay in Bangkok during the funeral of King Rama 9 I visited the Erawan Museum on the edge of the city.
A fantastic place with an enormous three headed elephant on an equally gargantuan pedestal. Beautifully ornate and stunningly detailed inside you find two dragons curling their way round the interior of the building creating the spectacular stair case.
As you ascend through the three floors you are taken higher and closer to heaven where you can see a most amazing coloured stain glass ceiling. Above that yo reach the nirvana, or temple of Buddha with again such wonderful blue painted sky and gold adornments. Half way down yo can look out through a window (the elephants stomach) and see across Bangkok.
The Gardens are full of not only beautiful plants and flowers but also detailed Thai sculptures and water features. The Elephant itself weighs a hefty 250 tonnes and stands at 29 meters high and 39 meters long and made from Bronze.
In December 1964, a cyclonic storm destroyed a vast part of Danushkodi, a massive tidal wave toppled a passenger train carrying 116 passengers and the Pamban Bridge which connected the island of Rameswaram to India was also destroyed in the storm. Over 1800 residents were killed in act of nature and most buildings and structures in Danushkodi were destroyed. It is said that the tidal waves battered the region all the way down till the entrance of the Ramanathaswamy temple of Rameswaram which was a main shelter point for people during the storm.
After this massive destruction, the town of Danushkodi was declared a ghost town by the Government and all remaining settlements were moved away for the town was stated to be “unfit for living”. Today, Danushkodi is a jeep ride away from Rameswaram. Hundreds of people visit the place to pay tribute to the ghost town. The skeletal remains of the Church building, the old Railway Station and the Water tank are reminders of a prosperous town that was here once.
We took a shared jeep ride to enter Danushkodi; from there, another local jeep took us on a thrilling ride to Land’s End, the tip of the island where we could see traces of the old town. A small settlement of fishermen now occupies the land.