INDIA: On February 3, 1943, the Howrah Bridge, a landmark structure, was inaugurated in Kolkata, India, which would soon become an icon of the city and an integral part of its history and identity.
The timeless legacy of Kolkata’s Howrah Bridge
Originally known as the New Howrah Bridge, the bridge was constructed between 1936 and 1943 to replace the ferry service between Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Howrah. British Indian government, who were looking for a solution to ease the increasing traffic and congestion in the area, commissioned the bridge’s construction.
The Howrah Bridge, also known as the Rabindra Setu, turned 80 years old on February 3, 2023. Its significance and impact on the city and its people are still as strong as ever. The bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans the Hooghly River and connects the cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
Designed and built by the British engineering firm Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company, the British India government opened the Howrah Bridge to the public on February 3, 1943. Over the years, the bridge has become a symbol of Kolkata, appearing in countless movies, advertisements, and photographs of the city.
It’s one of the busiest bridges in the world, carrying an average of around 100,000 vehicles and more than 150,000 pedestrians daily. Despite its age and the heavy traffic it experiences, the Howrah Bridge has remained sturdy and resilient, thanks to regular maintenance and upgrades.
In 2010, the bridge underwent a massive restoration project that included the addition of new lighting systems and a paint job that refreshed its appearance, making it more accessible and safer for both vehicles and pedestrians.
The Howrah Bridge also holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Kolkata, as they consider it a symbol of their city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Every year, on its anniversary, locals organize events and celebrate the bridge’s significance in their lives and the city’s history.
The Howrah Bridge is an iconic structure that has been an integral part of Kolkata’s history, identity, and culture for 80 years. It is more than just a bridge; it’s a monument to the history and culture of Kolkata and a testament to the strength and resilience of its people.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor from afar, a trip to the Howrah Bridge is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the heart of the city.
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