While we celebrate the consecration of the long awaited Bhagwan Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a peek into the different significant places where the Ramayan took place is a refreshing thought. One of the most astounding and important one is the bridge which is the Ram Setu.
The Ram Setu is the bridge which was constructed by Bhagwan Ram with the help of the Vaanaras to reach Lanka and rescue Mata Sita from the clutches of the demon king Ravan. It was designed and built by the Vaanar brothers, Nal and Neel, the sons of the divine architect, Vishwakarma, who were adept in engineering and building skills. Valmiki Ramayan mentions that the bridge was completed in five days’ time, which stands as the most brilliant man made structure in the World in such a short time.
Shri Valmiki gives a detailed description of the bridge in the Yuddh Kand of Ramayan. There
is mention of the various kinds of trees used for this like the साल (sal) and अश्वकर्ण (Asvakarna), धवा (Dhava – axle wood tree) and वंशः (Vanshah – bamboo), कु टज (Kutaja – cherry Bark, अजुणन (Arjun) ताड़ (Taad – palmyra), ततलक (Tilaka), तततनसा (Tinisa – jarul), बिल्व (Bilva – golden or wood apple tree), सप्तपर्ण (Saptaparna – blackboard tree), कर्र्णका (Karnika – Maple tree) in
blossom as also Mango and Asoka trees. These trees were uprooted by the mighty Vaanars and thrown into the sea. They also used the pomegranate shrubs, coconut and ववभीतक
(Vibhitaka – beach almond tree), (Karira – kerda tree), िकु ल (Bakula – cherry tree) and neem trees. Along with trees, elephant sized rocks from huge mountains were also thrown into the sea and thus the bridge‘s construction started with huge skill.
The engineering skill used in this construction is beyond measure. There were Vaanars who were assigned the task of drawing a straight line with the help of strings till 100 yojanas. Few were holding poles for measuring the bridge. There were big logs and reeds which were bought together to fasten the parts of the bridge. With blessings of Bhagwan Ram, the Vaanars roared with enthusiasm and shouting his name and moving ahead.
Rishi Valmiki also mentions the number of days in which it was finished. He mentions that 14 yojanas on the first day, 20 on the second, 21 on the third, 22 on the fourth and finally 23 on the fifth day. Thus was such a mighty bridge constructed with a width of ten yojanas and length of 100 yojanas.
The bridge shone like a milky way and all the Devas, Gandharv, Siddh and Rishis appeared in the sky to have a look at the Ram Setu. They praised Bhagwan Ram as God among humans and blessed him to proceed and defeat the enemy and establish Dharma.ImageSource
In the present day, this bridge lies between Pamban in Rameswaram to the Thallimannar in Sri Lanka. The construction of the bridge with such engineering skills, by the son of Vishwakarma and blessings of Bhagwan Ram is a proud factor to all of us and is an astounding construction for the world to wonder at our knowledge and skills right from the vedic times. (Source – Yuddh Kand, Valmiki Ramayan)