India’s growth as a potential super- power has already been a word of mouth across the globe. A spell-binding growth in its infrastructure has not only raised the standards of living for us as citizens but has also given India a chance to showcase its engineering marvels.
Our country has been a witness to some of the exemplary bridges. Call it the feats of engineering or the need to unite the country by linking lands – there are some bridges in India that are surely the masterpieces of construction and some of them garner a sense of admiration for standing tall and strong even after so many years. These bridges that were built in the past times deserves a pat for being technologically advanced even then.
Let us take a ride by exploring bridges that surely has stood well under the test of times:
• Naini Bridge, Allahabad –
The historical Naini Railway Bridge stand majestically above the gently flowing Yamuna has completed its 150 years of existence in 2015. This bridge, which has been a witness of the illustrious journey of Indian Railways, was opened for public on August 15, 1865, and serves as a vital link on the New Delhi- Howrah route. One of the unique characteristics of this bridge is its 13th pillar, which is shaped in the form of ‘Elephant’s Foot.’
One of the oldest and longest bridges that traverse the Yamuna, the Naini Setu boasts of both rail and road compatibility. Upper deck has two-lane railway line and lower deck has road line working since 1927.
• Narmada Setu, Ankleshwar – Bharuch, Gujarat–
When it comes to the ‘Golden Bridge’, Narmada Setu in Bharuch, the proverb Old is Gold sets right. Withstanding the ravages of nature since 135 years, this bridge is as much a part of the history of Bharuch as are its architectural wonders.
Started in 1881, it connects Ankleshwar to Bharuch. It was said then that the cost incurred was so high that the bridge could be constructed in gold. The Golden Bridge has seen many floods and natural disasters like earthquakes and still continue to provide daily transportation to the people of the two towns. It is not just been a connection between two towns, rather it is a tourist spot for people who throng it in the evenings and enjoy the sight of the Narmada.
• Pamban Setu, Rameshwaram –
The first sea bridge and also one of the longest in its type, this bridge connects the historical Rameshwaram to the mainland and was opened in 1913. With 143 piers, spanning 2km between the mainland and the island, it is the second longest sea bridge in India and is an engineering marvel that evokes an awe. As a popular railway bridge located on the Palk Strait connecting Rameshwaram on Pamban island to mainland India, its cantilever bridge is a much popular tourist attraction.
• Rabindra Setu, Kolkata –
Also known as the Howrah Bridge, it was started in 1943 and is a popular and iconic landmark for the City of Joy. It is a cantilever bridge that spans the Hooghly River in West Bengal. Carrying a daily traffic of around of 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles on a daily basis, it is one of the busiest cantilever bridge in the world.
• Saraighat Setu, Guwahati –
Built in 1962, Saraighat Bridge on the Brahmaputra not only connects the northeast with the rest of the country, but it has also been instrumental in strengthening the bond among the seven NE states. Built after a relentless struggle by the people of Assam, the rail-cum-road bridge has completed its 54 years of its existence. As a 1st rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra River, it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
• Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand –
Another engineering marvel, the suspended iron bridge was built in 1939 between two places that Lakshman, Lord Rama’s younger brother, is said to have crossed the Ganga on jute ropes. There’s a panoramic view of the mighty river that the bridge gives. Lakshman Jhula marks the old route to the shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath some kilometres away.
Being from Uttarakhand, I personally love crossing this bridge on foot so that I can feel the sway. Also, the Ganga provides a great pastime, gives a marvellous view of the river, ghats across both sides and of the hills.