A (very!) brief history of Adam’s bridge

Posted on Posted in Kitesurf

The history of Adam’s bridge is a bit of a mystery, with plenty of different theories on how it came to be, some scientific, some religious and some a bit out there, but all interesting!

It’s pretty widely accepted that this 50km land bridge from Sri Lanka to India was previously passable on foot, with most sources agreeing it was above sea level until some time in the 15th century. Temple records show a cyclone in 1480 was what finally broke it down, but it’s still only 1m deep in places and obviously (great for kiting!) there are still all the numerous sand bars and islands stretching all the way across.

A (very!) brief history of Adam's bridge 1
Mmmmmm sandbars 😀

The religious story goes that the Vanara army of Rama (in Hindu theology) built this bridge so Rama could reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from the Rakshasa king, Ravana. This is why in India it’s commonly known as Rama’s bridge. The name Adam’s bridge seems to come from Islamic sources, which claim Adam fell to earth at Adam’s peak and then crossed to India via Adam’s bridge.

kalpitiya beach
That’s quite a walk….

Ask a scientist what caused the bridge to form and you could get any number of answers, as nobody really agrees exactly how it came to be. There are many theories, but due to lack of real on the ground research and mostly circumstantial evidence there’s never been a conclusive theory put forward. Some claim the bridge is made up of reefs, some that it’s purely sand bars cause by long shore drift, some think it’s the remnants of a barrier reef when Sri Lanka and India were connected. We may never conclusively know, but maybe it just adds to the mythology and majesty of the place, we certainly think it’s pretty magic!

Vayu Resort - Kitesurfing Mannar Sri Lanka
Doesn’t get much better than that