Howrah Bridge

Historic sites

West Bengal

22°C / Mist

Built over the Hooghly river, Howrah Bridge in Kolkata is one of the most famous tourist spots here. It draws the attention of tourists from all across the world. And why not so? It is a magnificent structure made of shiny steel and traces its roots back in history to the time of World War II. 

Yes, Howrah Bridge Kolkata was built during those testing times, and since then it has been no less than an architectural icon. Apart from tourists, this bridge is also a favorite destination for many travel photographers who time and again visit this bridge to click some really incredible pictures of this historical bridge.

It is truly one of the most fascinating bridges in all of India, meant for travelers, wanderers, and photographers. It is also referred to as the Gateway of Kolkata. Since its construction, Howrah Bridge is known as the face of Kolkata and is also a vital part of local tourism. So, your trip to Kolkata might feel incomplete without a visit to this place.

The magnificent Howrah Bridge is the face of Kolkata that truly represents the urban glory of the city. The spectacle is breathtaking but you can preferably visit Howrah Bridge in the evening. During this time, the cool breeze will ruffle your hair while giving you the mental space to reflect on and contemplate life.

History of Howrah Bridge

The idea to build a bridge over the Hooghly River was conceived in 1862 when the Government of Bengal requested George Turnbull, the Chief Engineer of East Indian Railway Company, to study and research the possibility of bridging the Hooghly River. 

It was then on 19th March, that he came with the blueprint of bridging the river, where he described the highs and lows of investing time and money on such a project. He proposed that the Pulta Ghat will be the ideal place to build this project. 

Later, Pontoon Bridge was built which connected Howrah and Kolkata. Due to its less-impactful bearing ability, it was unable to withstand weather conditions and huge traffic. The Bengal government kept on looking for alternatives and finally got its new bridge commissioned.

This contract was given to The Braithwaite Burn and Jessop Construction Company for the reconstruction. Subsequently, the Howrah Bridge was constructed without using nuts & bolts and formed completely using steel. It was officially opened in 1942 for public use. 

It was originally named the New Howrah Bridge as it replaced the Pontoon Bridge. It was June 14, 1965, when it was renamed Rabindra Setu after India’s Great Poet, Rabindranath Tagore. There are a total of four bridges on the river, namely Vidyasagar Setu, Vivekanand Setu, Howrah Bridge, and a newly built Nivedita Setu.

Major Attractions in and Around Howrah Bridge

1. Rail Museum

Visiting here, you will get to know the history of Rail transport from the British Era in India. The museum exhibits vintage railways, historic rail cars, and so much more that it will take you for a spin to the bygone era.

2. Agni Mandir

It is one of the most famous sacred sites for Hindus in Kolkata. The fine architecture with beautiful carvings makes it one of the most interesting destinations in India.

3. River Hooghly

The river is also known as the Bhagirathi-Hoogly and Kati-Ganga River. The epic Hooghly river is a must-visit. This wide river also serves as a great picnic spot for locals and tourists. People love to spend some soul-rejuvenating time amidst the serene environment here.

4. Vidyasagar Setu

One of the four bridges constructed on Hooghly River, this is the longest and busiest cable-stayed bridge in India. Vidyasagar Setu Kolkata is a great work of architecture and is a must-visit on your trip to Kolkata.

5. Burman Market

It is a great place to shop around. Here, one can find a great variety of items ranging from classical and traditional attires to antiques. So, while on your trip to Kolkata, try and not to miss this interesting marketplace.

6. Santragachi Jheel

It is located at Santragachi at Howrah. The lake attracts various migratory birds, mostly during the winter months. It is an ideal bird-watching destination for nature and wildlife explorers.

How to Reach Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge is considered to be one of the hallmark travel destinations of Kolkata. Also considered as one of the longest cantilever bridges, it is located at a distance of about 1,532, 2,152, 1,886 km from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can travel to Howrah Bridge by the following means of public transportation. 

By Air

The city is well connected with major international & domestic airports. The Netaji Subhash Airport (Dum Dum Airport) is 20km away from the city. The ‘to and from’ Kolkata service directly serves the main cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow, and others. Once you deboard at the airport premises, you can easily take a taxi to reach here. 

By Rail

The two major railway stations are Howrah and Sealdah stations in Kolkata. The railway line is connected to major cities all over the country. Depending on your convenience, you can consider deboarding at one of these and from the station take a taxi or an auto to further travel to the bridge. From both these stations, the bridge is located within 5 km so, it won't be an issue to travel here.

By Road

Buses mostly depart from the Esplanades bus stand in Maidan near Chowringhee Road. Also, multiple private companies provide bus services. Otherwise, depending upon your location, you can also hire a taxi or self-drive.

  • From Kharagpur - 136 km via NH16
  • From Jamshedpur - 280 km via NH18
  • From Durgapur - 166 km via NH19

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

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