It was so exciting ! The cab turned and there we were ! On this Bridge which I had seen only in movies. It was the most romantic symbol of Calcutta hearthrobbingly brought to light by the old 60’s movie ‘Howrah Bridge’ with the most beautiful Madhubala in it. Since then I had always dreamt of seeing this marvel.
It was exactly as I thought it would be – noisy, crowded and gorgeous. The setting sun on one side and the rising full moon on the Hoogly at dusk added sheer magic to the moment. Dozens of boats and millions of lights on the banks !
It is considered to be an engineering marvel, which took six years to construct in the 1940s. Over 2,590 metric tonnes of high tensile steel make-up this unique cantilever bridge that joins the main Railway Station (for Calcutta) and the industrial city of Howrah with the city of Calcutta. Supported by two piers, each nearly 90 meters in height above the road level, the bridge has a span of almost 500 meters (no pillars in the middle). It was opened in 1943 and today it is one of the busiest bridges in the world. It is the third largest bridge in the world, has around 2 million people crossing over it daily. Visible from many places in Calcutta, the bridge is called ‘Rabindra Setu’.