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.
During my trip across Central Asia I journeyed to this amazing area of Northern Tajikistan. I will let the images speak for themselves. Yes the sky is that blue and yes the lakes are that colour! and glacial cold too! The Zeravshan Valley (also Zarafshan or Zarafshon) is situated in northern Tajikistan, embedded between the impressive mountain ranges of the western Pamir-Alai massive.“Zeravshan” – which means “Golden River” in Tajik –is the main stream which crosses the valley and which supplies its inhabitants with a most precious resource: water. The area is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and its beautiful lakes: the Alauddin lakes, the Kulikalon lakes, Iskanderkul Lake, the seven lakes of Shing among many others. While being an important tourism and recreation destination during the Soviet era of dispatch tourism, it is now an insiders’ tip among those interested in mountain trekking, alpinism and the little travelled branches of the silk road.
The Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex, known locally as Aranmanai, is the official residence of the Bhonsle family which ruled over the Tanjore region from 1674 to 1855 Tanjuvar Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. In these two parts, there are royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden. King Thirumalai Nayak celebrated festivals like Sceptre festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival and the Float festival. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places.