Religiously good kitesurfing destination!
Well known for its Rama Setu (Pamban Bridge), the legendary bridge mentioned in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. Also known as Pamban Island, Rameswaram is one of the most religious and spiritual places of the ancient India. It lies at the tip of the Indian Peninsula in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This sacred island is located in the Gulf of Mannar, just a throw away from the Sri Lankan Mannar Island and just about 30 kilometres away from the epic kitespots of Kalpitya, one of the top notch Sri Lankan kitesurfing destinations.
Rameswaram Island is one of the best and most recommended kitesurfing holiday destinations in India, in fact the top one on the east side for its strong trade winds and great overall conditions. You can have over 300 perfectly rideable days in a year here and if you’re willing to put up with a few hours of rain during the monsoon season, you can still have a good kiting session.
Kitespots in India can be generally split into 2 parts, western and eastern. The strongest winds can be found right here in the Gulf of Mannar, between Rameswaram and Sri Lanka. The winds in this area in peak season (June to September) are reaching the average speeds around 25 knots and since you won’t get much rain in this time of the year, you’re up for a real treat with blue skies, spectacular sunset backdrops and crystal clear waters.
When to go?
There are a couple different winds blowing at different times of the year making Rameswaram a perfect kiteboarding spot for nearly all year round. No matter which direction the wind blows you can always move around the island to get away from the offshore blasts. The north winds are prominent during December to March and average at around 15-20 knots, while the south-west winds blow from April to September with speeds of around 18-25 knots.
Where to rig up?
There a quite a few kitespots in Rameswaram, but the hotspot for kiting on the island is Swami’s Bay with consistent cross shore winds. It offers a good combination of flat waters for beginners, but also spectacular waves at the reef for the pro-riders or those who love the wave riding. The nearby islands act as a breakwater and prevent the waves from being too choppy even in high wind conditions. The swell during the peak seasons is just begging for some tricks and jumps.
The spot is one of the well-kept secrets with just local fishermen and few tourists wondering around, otherwise you’ll have the place most just to yourself. Kitesurfing in the area requires a permit, but it can be easily obtained with the assistance of the local kiteschool. So before you venture out to explore a new spot, just stop by the kiteschool to see what the deal is and if you need a permit for your spot.
Getting there, around & about
There are frequent bus and train services leaving from the nearest cities such as Bangalore or Chennai. The nearest airport is at Madurai which is very well connected with other major Indian cities and only about a couple of hours drive from Rameswaram. The nearest international airport would then be Chennai.
No wind? Go to explore the town!
Rameswaram is rich in ancient history, architecture and magnificent ancient temples, Ramamanathswamy temple being the most prominent, for the more inquisitive minds. The temple is a centre of Hindu religion visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. The town is full of eating joints offering vegetarian meals and snacks practically everywhere.