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PAMBAN BRIDGE: SPANS A CENTURY
Aug 02, 2014

  • The Pamban Bridge is a basically a cantilever bridge on the Palk straits which connects the holy, pilgrim town of Rameswaram to mainland India. 

  • The Bridge is 6,776 ft (2,065 m) and was opened for traffic in 1914 and this year it completes 100 years. It has a double leaf section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. The railway bridge historically carried metre gauge trains on it, but it was upgraded to carry broad-gauge trains in August, 2007.

  • the bridge is listed in the “10 Most Dangerous Railroads” and “10 Most Amazing Train Routes” of the world. 

  • It is Located in a highly corrosive environment, the bridge was constructed by more than 600 workers between August 1910 and December 1913.


  • Until recently, the two leaves of the bridge were opened manually using levers by workers. About 10 ships — cargo carriers, coast guard ships, fishing vessels and oil tankers — pass through the bridge every month. From the elevated two-lane road bridge, adjoining islands and the parallel rail bridge below can be viewed.

  • It spans a 2 km-strait between mainland and island and is the only surface transport link between the two.

  • A cantilever bridge is basically a bridge built using cantilevers – i.e. structures that project horizontally into space, supported only on one end. The steel truss cantilever bridge was a major engineering breakthrough when first put into practice, as it can span distances of over 1,500 feet (460 m), and can be more easily constructed at difficult crossings.

  • This bridge, constructed hundred years ago, is still in good condition and is a marvel of engineering. Until recently, the bridge formed Pamban island's only link with the Indian mainland. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims on pilgrimage to the holy Hindu shrine of Rameswaram cross the bridge every day.

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