Photographer's Note

For more than sixty years now, the Howrah Bridge (now rechristened Rabindra Setu) has come to be recognised as the living symbol of the city of Kolkata, sharing an intrinsic relationship with its growth and evolution. It has become the Gateway of Kolkata, the veritable 'City of Joy'. The end of the 17th Century India witnessed the gradual emergence of the city of Kolkata brought about by the merger of three villages - Kolkata, Sutanati & Gobindapur, on the eastern bank of the river Hooghly, a distributary of River Ganga. On the western bank, Howrah came up as a bustling site of commerce. The twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah separated by the River Hooghly shared a common historical linkage towards the eventual construction of the Howrah Bridge. While Kolkata, from a small sleeping hamlet of artisans and mercantile community eventually developed, as a commercial hub of a modern metropolitan city , Howrah, virtually the store house of raw material resources, became its industrial satellite. Kolkata was declared the capital of India by the British and remained so till 1911. The railway station at Howrah was set up in 1906 and a bridge was much needed to serve as the logistic link. Based on designs of Rendel, Palmer and Tritton the consruction of the bridge was awarded to British firm Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company Ltd. The Howrah Bridge, the fourth cantilever bridge in the world, was commissioned in February 1943 during the height of the Second World War. It consumed 26,500 tons of steel and was constructed at an approximate cost of Rs. 25 million. It replaced an old pontoon bridge which existed from 1874.
This is a suspension type balanced cantilever bridge with central span1500 ft. between centers of main towers. The bridge was constructed entirely by riveting, without nuts or bolts. It is currently used as a road bridge, but previously had a tram route as well. It has been binding different generations of people crossing the bridge and stoically bornes the weight of nearly seventy thousand vehicles and 2 million commuters crossing it daily, thus registering itself as one of the busiest bridges in the world.
This was captured from a floating jetty on the Kolkata side. On a Sunday morning since ferries are closed, it wore a deserted look. I timed my capture with the first rays of the Sun hitting the water as thunder clouds gathered overhead.
The image has been colour and contrast adjusted.

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Additional Photos by Sabyasachi Talukdar (sabyasachi1212) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3140 W: 281 N: 5210] (19779)
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