Pamban Bridge: India’s Answer to London’s Tower Bridge
Pamban Bridge connects Rameshwaram, the holiest city in India to the mainland India. The bridge is nothing less than an architectural marvel. Rameshwaram, one of the holiest towns in Hindu religion braces thousands of disciples every year. Needless to mention, the Pamban Bridge is a mandatory path that everyone has to take to venture into the holy town. You might not get a perfect look if you are on a train journey, but if you are travelling by road, you can get an up-close and intimate tryst with the bridge.
Surrounded by various shades of blue and green water, Pamban Bridge reveals a saga which talks about India’s marvellous history of engineering. My encounter with the bridge is rather special because I was travelling by road and thus I could stop and soak my eyes to the beauty till I was content. And it wasn’t just me there were many standing on the parallelly running road bridge admiring the beauty of Pamban Bridge.
The idea behind this post is to share my awe-inspired state of mind with all my readers.
Pamban Bridge is India’s first sea bridge.
Located 100 meters above the sea level, the bridge has 140 spans sprawling across 2 kilometres, this bridge was the longest sea bridge until the inauguration of 2.3-km Bandra-Worli sea link on Mumbai’s western coast in 2009.
2. The construction of Pamban Bridge started in 1911 and it was open to the public in 1914. On February 2014 the bridge completed 100 years of its existence. This is indeed a monumental landmark in the history of Indian Railways.
3. Pamban Bridge is India’s first cantilever bridge.
It essentially means that it has sections that project horizontally into space with support from just one end. The bridge also has the double leaf bascule structure. The structure opens to allow movement of ships and ferries through the bridge. The splitting of bascule structure and ships passing through it is a sublime sight. I was fortunate to be there at that moment and that sight fulfilled my longtime wish that I had for London Tower Bridge. Guess your own country will always be more welcoming to your wishes.
4. Another important aspect of Pamban Bridge is its strength.
The bridge withstood the monstrous cyclone storm of 1964. The same storm which brought Dhanushkodi to grounds was handled very well by this bridge. Though many parts of the bridge were destroyed the centre span was intact and the damage was restored from there. I cannot miss mentioning that a German Engineer Scherzer is the designer of this bridge.
In 1988 a road bridge was constructed adjacent to the bridge in order to facilitate the movement by road to the mainland India. The road bridge is known as Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. It was inaugurated by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi On the date of October 2, 1988.
Pamban Bridge should be an essential part of an itinerary of Rameshwaram. Mostly because of its architectural history and the beautiful scenic sights. It is a delight to the sore eyes and if you are fortunate enough to see the bascule opening your visit Pamban Bridge is complete in every possible aspect.
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