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When and how was Ram Setu formed? ASI OKs research | India News

NEW DELHI: An underwater exploration project to determine the age of the Ram Setu, a chain of shoals between India and Sri Lanka, and “how” it was formed will begin this year. Scientists who will be working on the project said it would “help determine the age of the Ramayana period”. The Central Advisory Board on Archaeology, a body under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), approved the proposal by the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, last month.
“The proposed study will be based on archaeological antiquities, radiometric and thermoluminescence (TL) dating for geological timescale and other supporting environmental data,” Prof Sunil Kumar Singh, director, NIO, told TOI. Radiometric dating looks for radioactive impurities to ascertain an object’s age. TL dating analyses light released when an object is heated. “Radiometric technique will be used to see if coral or pumice stones exist. The calcium carbonate in them can help us determine the age of the structure and that of the Ramayana period,” Singh added.
The project holds religious and political significance beyond the pollbound state where it will be based. The Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’ said a “vanar sena” had built a bridge over the ocean to help Rama cross over to Lanka and rescue Sita. The 48-km chain of limestone shoals has been associated with the ‘Ramayana’ as that bridge by those who say Rama was a historical figure and not a mythological one. That hinges on one claim — that it is human-made.
In 2007, the ASI had said it had found no evidence of this. Later, it withdrew this affidavit in the Supreme Court. An ASI official said the study will also find out if there are any “submerged habitations” around Ram Setu.

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