The Government of India declared in the Court that the Rama Sethu was destroyed by Rama himself.
“Responding to petitioners’ argument that Ram Sethu was a place of worship and that if it was breached it would no longer be fit for worship, senior advocate Fali S Nariman said: “The scriptures say it was already broken into several pieces by Lord Rama himself after the Rama-Ravana war. If that is so, it is already broken since time immemorial and hence it can no longer be a place of worship.”
There is also a Tamil belief that Dhanushkodi,Tamil Nadu whci was destroyed by a Cyclone in 1964, means that the term Dhanushkodi means ‘ that the place was destroyed.
The mythological importance assigned to this town is that when Lord Rama returned to India after vanquishing Ravana, Vibhishana pleaded with him to break the setu (bridge) so that no other armies would use it. Rama acquiesced to his request and broke the Indian side of the bridge with the end of his bow. This place came to be known as Dhanushkodi (Dhanush is ‘bow’ and kodi is ‘end’ in Tamil) and remains to this day a holy place for Hindus.
I am unable to find any reference in the Ramayana that Rama Sethu was destroyed.
To my understanding, Dhanush Kodi means the ‘end of Bow’, certainly no indication about it having been destroyed.
Contribution on this subject welcome.
Reference to Rama Sethu in Hindu Puranas.
Apart from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata also refers to the continued protection of Nala Setu following Sri Rama’s command. Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsham also refers to the Setu. So does the Skanda Purana (III 1.2.1-114), the Vishnu Purana (IV 4.40-49), the Agni Purana (V-XI), the Brahma Purana (138.1-40).
And hearing these words of Rama, the genius of Varuna’s abode (Samudra), joining his hands, answered in great affliction, ‘I do not desire to put any obstacle in thy way. I am no foe of thine! Listen, O Rama, to these words, and having listened, do what is proper! If, at thy command, I get a way for the passage of thy army, others then, from strength of their bows, will command me to do the same! In thy army there is aVanara of the name of Nala, who is a skilful mechanic. And endued with great strength, Nala is the son of Tashtri (Viswakarma), the divine artificer of the Universe. And whether it is wood, or grass or stone, that he will throw into my waters, I will support the same on my surface, and thus wilt thou have a bridge (over which to pass)!’ And having said these words, the genius of the Ocean disappeared. And Rama awaking, called Nala unto him and said, ‘Build thou a bridge over the sea! Thou alone, I am sure, art able to do it!‘ And it was by this means that the descendant of Kakutstha’s race caused a bridge to be built that was ten Yojanas in width and a hundred Yojanas in length.And to this day that bridge is celebrated over all the world by the name of Nala’s bridge. And having completed that bridge, Nala, of body huge as a hill, came away at the command of Rama.
And while Rama was on this side of the ocean, the virtuous Vibhishana, the brother of the king of the Rakshasas accompanied by four of his counsellors, came unto Rama. And the high-souled Rama received him with due welcome. Sugriva, however, feared, thinking he might be a spy. The son of Raghu, meanwhile perfectly satisfied (with Vibhishana) in consequence of the sincerity of his exertions and the many indications of his good conduct, worshipped him with respect. And he also installed Vibhishana in the sovereignty of all the Rakshasas and made him his own junior counsellor, and a friend of Lakshmana’s. And it was under Vibhishana’s guidance, O king, that Rama with all his troops crossed the great ocean by means of that bridge in course of a month
.-Translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguly.
(Within the Mahabharata, Markandeya tells the story of the Ramayana to encourage Draupadi after Jayadratha’s attempted kidnapping of her.
Within that is a reference to the Rama Sethu which was called as Nala Sethu after the engineer in the time of Veda Vyasa.
Source : Mahabharata : Vana Parva : Book 3 : SECTION CCLXXXI 🙂