Photo Credit : wikimedia
Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram
Pamban Bridge, India’s first sea bridge connecting Rameswaram island to the mainland is a tourist attraction by itself as an engineering marvels people watch in awe when the two leaves of the bridge open up to let ships to pass through.
Efforts were taken for the construction of the bridge as early as the 1870s with the British administration planning to expand trade connectivity to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon.
The construction of the Pamban railway bridge commenced only by 1911 and it was commissioned on February 24, 1914, German engineer Scherzer designed the central part of the bridge that opens up to allow ferry movement.
The bridge was the only link between Rameswaram and the mainland until 1988 when a road bridge, running parallel to it, was built. Earlier, it used to transport hundreds of pilgrims everyday to the temple in the island.
Following the instruction of the then President A P J Abdul Kalam it was converted to broad gauge rail and it wasopen for traffic in 2007.The bridge was further strengthened in 2009 for running goods traffic.
Indian Railways is vying to bring the bridge in the Unesco’s world heritage list.