Bridges are a majestic example of the wonders of ancient and modern architecture and engineering. They have been around as old as the earliest human civilisation dates back. The main reason of bridges coming into existence was the obstacles in the path and thus to get over the bridges were built. Bridges have played a crucial role first in the development of earliest civilisation and then spreading the knowledge and ideas across obstacles. Bridges can also be interpreted as the crucial building stone in the Worldwide trade and Transportation.
The Hindu mythological tale of Lord Rama also tells the importance and value of bridges to cross long distances. Construction of bridges by proper means of ‘stone arched bridges’ can be dated back to 13th century BC Greek Bronze Age. Then after the developments in civilisation, the materials for the construction of bridges shifted to steel, iron, cement mixes and other stronger materials. The different types of bridges that are present today are: Arch Bridges, Beam Bridges, Suspension Bridges, Truss Bridges, Cantilever Bridges, Cabled style Bridges, Tied-Arch Bridges. These bridges can be for pedestrians, vehicles or trains and other means of transports.
Being rich in its geographical make-up with several types of terrains, rivers, gorges, bridges have a lot of importance in India. India has some of the most magnificent bridges which are not only helpful but also provide great views and a beautiful journey overall. Also, India stands tall with about 40,000 bridges in operation which help mend the issues of distance and transportation. These bridges are a major aid in the transportation system of the nation and the rail-cum-road type of bridges are of even greater value. The bridges are mainly regulated by the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The budget is given accordingly to the department on the basis of the type of bridge to be constructed. The overall maintenance is done by the Indian Bridge Management System(IBMS).
Excited to know more about these beautiful and longest bridges? Here, we have made a list of Top 10 Longest and Biggest Bridges in India for you to check out:
1. Bhupen Hazarika Setu
The longest bridge on our list of Longest and Biggest Bridges in India is the Dhola–Sadiya Bridge, popularly known as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu. This bridge connects the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It stands strong at a length of 9.15 kilometres (5.69 mi). A fun fact is that this bridge was built to aid the Indian army against the Chinese Army in case of any malicious activities.
Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bhupen Hazarika Setu on 26 May 2017. If you are ever up for a great drive near Assam, we recommend you take this route!
2. Dibang River Bridge
The second longest bridge which is standing as a spectacle of India’s progress on this list is the Dibang River Bridge. Built over the Dibang River in Arunachal Pradesh. It lays at a length of 18.950 km which makes it second to the Bhupen Hazarika Setu. It helps connect the roads between Bomjur-Meka across the National Highway -13.
The Dibang River Bridge is of high strategical importance to the Indian Army. It aids in keeping an eye out for enemy attacks. And thus a great exhibition of India’s architectural strengths.
3. Mahatma Gandhi Setu
The third longest bridge in this list and the second longest over a river is the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, well known as the Ganga Setu or Gandhi Setu. It is laid across the Ganges River this bridge helps connect the south and north ends of the state of Bihar from Patna to Hajipur. It covers a length of 5,750 metres (18,860 ft).
It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in May 1982 and was constructed over a time period of 10 years. This bridge is among the most jammed routes in India.
4. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
Bandra–Worli Sea Link is a major aid to the packed traffic jam between the suburbs of Bandra and Worli in the state of Maharashtra. It was first opened to the public on 30 June 2009. It has been very helpful ever since it was turned into 8 lane bridge. It helps to reduce the traffic time from 30 minutes to a mere 10-minute drive.
Not only is the Bandra–Worli Sea Link very helpful but also a magnificent piece of architecture. For a 5.57 kilometres drive, the views are quite worth it!
5. Vikramshila Setu
Named after the ancient city of Vikramshila, the Vikramshila Setu is one of the biggest and longest bridges in India. It does a great deal in connecting places around and near Ganga river and has aided majorly in shortening the loathing drive from Bhagalpur to other places in Bihar. It covers a length of 4.7 kilometres.
The Vikramshila Setu bridge was opened to aid in the distance problem and but now it is subject to extreme traffic jams. Another bridge near this bridge has been approved to be built for helping with the traffic.
6. Vembanad Rail Bridge
Holding strong over water and providing railway transport, Vembanad Rail Bridge is the next bridge on this list. It is the longest railway bridge in India and runs along a distance of 4.620 kilometres. It helps in connecting Edappally and Vallarpadam parts of Kochi in the state of Kerala. It was inaugurated on 11 February 2011.
It has good views and also a good help in reducing traffic on roads. If you love a good train ride and are near this railway route, do take a ride for it is a great view and a good time saver.
7. Digha–Sonpur Bridge
The Digha-Sonpur Bridge is a rail-cum-road type of bridge and is among the fewest of its type in India. This bridge helps to connect the north and the south of Bihar. It was inaugurated on 12 March 2016 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is laid over the river Ganga and has a length of about 4.556 kilometres(14,948 ft).
This bridge is the fourth bridge to be built in Bihar across the great waters of Ganga. The main aim of this bridge was to mend the issues of distance and time to move from one part of Bihar to the other.
8. Arrah–Chhapra Bridge
The next longest Indian bridge on our list is the Veer Kunwar Singh Setu, also known as the Arrah-Chhapra Bridge. The amazing fact about this bridge is that it helps to decrease the between Chapra and Arrah in Bihar from 130 km to a mere 40 km, which shows its importance! It has a length of 4.350 kilometres (14,270 ft).
The four-lane bridge was opened to the public on 11 Jun 2017 and since then a major shift of traffic has been sited. It was the next bridge to be built on the Ganges after the Digha-Sonpur Bridge.
9. Godavari Fourth Bridge
Kovvur–Rajahmundry 4th Bridge popularly known as the Godavari Fourth Bridge is ninth our the list of top 10 longest and biggest bridges in India. It is a dual lane type bridge over the Godavari Nadi. It has a length of 4.13 kilometres (2.57 mi). It helps in connecting West Godavari district and East Godavari district, that is Kovvur and Diwancheruvu.
It took four years for this bridge to complete and open for public use. The recurring delays in construction led to the building cost of the Godavari Bridge from 512 crores to 800 crores!
10. Munger Ganga Bridge
With the Sri Krishna Setu, also known as Munger Ganga Bridge is the last but not the least on our list! This bridge stands at number 10 and is among the longest Indian bridges. It has a length of 3,692 metres (12,113 ft). The bridge forms a link between the Northern and Southern parts of Ganga, connecting NH-31 to NH-80.
Though the rail-cum-road bridge is ready it has not been opened to the public because of the ill-maintained roads nearby it. It is expected to open for use soon enough.
With these 10 bridges, we conclude our list of Top 10 Longest and Biggest Bridges in India. These bridges not only show the architectural progress of India but also the beauty of its river lands!