The dilapidated condition of Villundi Theertham, one of the revered places of interest in Rameswaram island, has caused disappointment among devotees and tourists. The theertham is located at Thangatchimadam village near Pamban.
According to the Hindu mythology, the theertham was created by Lord Rama with his arrow when he was returning from Sri Lanka along with his wife Sita. Since there was no drinking water source in the region, he stuck an arrow into the sea to offer water to Sita, who felt thirsty. It resulted in the creation of the artesian well, which was tasty for drinking.
Since the Villundi Theertham evoked interest among devotees, who visited Rameswaram, a bridge like structure was constructed in 1979 in order to facilitate them to draw water from the holy well. The then Collector of Ramanathapuram district, S. Subramaniam, laid the foundation stone .
But the structure has been eroded apparently due to salt air in due course. The top portion of the bridge was broken apart in different places, making it impossible for the devotees to reach the holy well area to draw water.
Moreover, there is no information board stating details or responsible persons to explain the importance of the place to the visitors.
They also find it difficult to park the vehicles, as the width of road at this point is very small.
The two-km road from NH 49 to Villundi Theertham is also in a bad shape at different places. It has been alleged that the sides of the road has been encroached upon by people with vested interests. “There are no facilities including toilet and bathroom in the vicinity of Villundi Theertham. Since the condition of the bridge is not usable, no one climbs on it to reach the theertham. They can just see the theertham from a distance,” says R. Anand, a resident of Pamban.
When contacted T.N. Hariharan, Collector told ‘The Hindu' that it had been planned to give a facelift to Villundi Theertham at a cost of Rs.78 lakh. Besides laying new road and creating all the necessary facilities, the bridge would be rebuilt.