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Pamban Bridge: Surprising Facts of India’s First Sea Bridge

Pamban Bridge is India’s first sea bridge which is also called a ‘Queen of the Bridges’

Do you know that the Pamban Bridge earns the credit of being India’s First Sea Bridge which celebrated its 100 years in 2014. Connecting the Mandapam and Pamban stations in India, this bridge is also called as the Queen of Bridges due to its exceptional beauty.

Standing over the blue waters over a century’s time, the Pamban bridge extends a visual treat to eyes and has been luring people from all across. If you too want to take a sojourn somewhere in the middle of blue waters, you should take a train journey over this Pamban bridge which has many surprising stories hidden in its core. Let’s find out six surprising facts about this bridge:

The Pamban Bridge makes the second longest sea bridge in India ( It was first the longest one till the Bandra Worli – Sea Link Mumbai was opened) which is located in the world’s second highly corrosive environment,  just next to Miami, US.

Pamban Bridge: Surprising Facts of India’s First Sea Bridge

In late 1870s, the need for the bridge was felt when East India Company wanted to expand its trade and decided to make a rail link between Dhanushkodi and Colombo. Soon, a thorough research was made on the subject and a proposal on ‘Indo-Ceylon’ project’ was sent to British Parliament.

The proposal mooted an idea of building a rail bridge starting from Mandapam to the terminal point of Pamban. It also proposed to connect Danuskodi to Thalaimannar. The project estimated a cost of Rs. 299 lakh.

However, it was rejected by the British Parliament owing to its huge cost but the Pamban rail bridge proposal was sanctioned for Rs 70 lakh in 1880.

After starting the excavation work began, the South Indian Railway got engaged in the bridge construction work in 1902.

The ‘Khurai” families who belonged to Kutch region were brought to Pamban for excavation work as they had earlier worked for Himalayan Railways as well. Also, the fabricated structures were brought from Britain.

The entire work progressed smoothly till the construction of 112th pier when the first hurdle came in the form of movement of ferry service in Pamban.

The engineers didn’t want to disturb the ferry service and therefore, the Railways brought Scherzer, a German Engineer, into picture who designed and built the long rolling-type lift span of 65.23 metre.

It’s USP was that it opened up like scissor, paving way for the vessels to pass through.

Following the successful construction of rolling lift centre in 1913, the bridge opened to traffic on February 24, 1914.

The location of the bridge is Cyclone prone and falls in the high velocity wind zone.When the super cyclone damaged some parts of the Rail bridge in 1964, it was decided to repair the bridge in 6 months time. However, the bridge was opened to serve in just 46 days.

In the year 2014, it celebrated its 100th year.

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