The India to Sri Lanka ferry service, once a prominent mode of transportation between the two countries, had long been forgotten due to historical events and natural disasters. However, a new era is about to begin as DHPL Travels introduces the luxurious Singaporean passenger vessel ‘IndSri’ to sail between Karikkal (KKL) Port in South India and Kankesanthurai (KKS) Port in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province next month.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ferry service between India and Sri Lanka was an essential lifeline for travelers and cargo. However, the collapse of the British Raj, severe cyclones, and the civil war in Sri Lanka led to the decline and eventual discontinuation of this vital connection.
A Rekindled Bond
Thanks to the joint efforts of the Indian and Sri Lankan governments, the long-awaited IndSri Ferry Services will commence operations between KKS and KKL on May 15. With Indian government approval already obtained, this marks a significant milestone in the reestablishment of this historic sea route. Niranjan Nandagopan, Managing Director of IndSri Ferry Services Pvt Ltd and a Singaporean who relocated from Jaffna in the early 1980s, is thrilled about this new venture.
A Promising Future
In addition to DHPL Travels, four other operators are currently awaiting approval from both governments: Infinity Harbour Services (Mumbai), Drishti Cruise and Ferries Pvt Ltd (Goa), MOH Marine Transport Pvt Ltd (Chennai), and KKL Terminal Operators Pvt Ltd (Bangalore). These upcoming ferry services are expected to enhance connectivity and convenience between both countries.
The IndSri Experience
The IndSri passenger ship will accommodate around 150 people on each journey between KKL and KKS. Departures from KKL will take place from Monday to Saturday at 8 a.m., arriving in KKS at 12 p.m. The return journey will commence at 2 p.m. from KKS, with an estimated arrival time of 6 p.m. Passengers will also have a generous baggage allowance of 100kg.
A Journey Through History
The idea of connecting India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) by railway systems was first conceived in the late 19th century. Although the ambitious project to construct a bridge over the Palk Strait was not fully realized, the Pamban Bridge, spanning from Rameshwaram to Mandapam, was successfully completed in 1914.
The Golden Age of the Indo-Ceylon Express
The Indo-Ceylon Express, also known as the “Boat Mail” service, was a renowned mode of travel between Chennai (formerly Madras) and Colombo. Passengers would board a train from Egmore to Dhanushkodi, undergo immigration procedures, and then embark on a steamship to Colombo. This time-consuming but popular journey allowed travelers to explore the diverse cultural and religious sites in both countries.
The devastating cyclone of 1964 changed the course of travel between India and Sri Lanka. Dhanushkodi, once a bustling transit town, was completely destroyed along with the railway line. The subsequent civil war in Sri Lanka further disrupted ferry services, bringing an end to this historic connection.
Rediscovering the Route
With the reintroduction of the India to Sri Lanka ferry service, travelers can now embark on a modern and comfortable journey while reliving the past. The Kariakkal Port, located in the Karaikal District of Puducherry, serves as the starting point for this new adventure. The port’s efficient operations, now under the ownership of the Adani Group, promise a seamless experience for travelers.
Planning Your Adventure
Before embarking on this memorable voyage, it is crucial to make necessary preparations. Here is a checklist to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:
- Valid passports: Ensure your passport is up to date and valid for travel.
- Visa requirements: Familiarize yourself with the visa requirements of both India and Sri Lanka.
- Travel insurance: Consider obtaining comprehensive travel insurance to protect your journey.
- Accommodation: Book suitable accommodations in both KKL and KKS for a comfortable stay.
- Currency: Exchange currency to facilitate transactions in both countries.
- Weather conditions: Check the weather forecasts for your travel dates and pack appropriate clothing.
- Medications and vaccinations: Consult your physician and ensure you have necessary medications and vaccinations.
- Communication: Activate international roaming on your mobile phone or purchase a local SIM card for easy communication.
- Local customs and etiquette: Familiarize yourself with the customs and etiquette of both India and Sri Lanka.
- Excursions and sightseeing: Research and plan your itinerary, including any excursions or sights you wish to visit.
- The ferry service between India and Sri Lanka is set to be revived with the introduction of the IndSri passenger vessel.
- The service will operate between KKL in South India and KKS in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.
- The historic Indo-Ceylon Express and the Pamban Bridge played significant roles in connecting the two countries in the past.
- The tragic cyclone of 1964 led to the closure of the ferry service, which will now be reintroduced, benefiting travelers seeking a unique and memorable journey.
- Proper preparation and planning are essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
As DHPL Travels takes the initiative to reestablish the India to Sri Lanka ferry, it opens up new possibilities for travel and cultural exchange between these two neighboring countries. Embark on this exciting adventure, immerse yourself in history, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Plan your journey, explore historic landmarks, and embrace the cultural diversity of India and Sri Lanka with the all-new India to Sri Lanka ferry service by DHPL Travels. Visit DHPL Travels to know more about this exciting venture and book your tickets today!