One of my writer friends says, “If you want to know the spirit of Andhra, you have to listen to the gentle song of ‘Krishnamma’ (River Krishna). What a profound thought!! Similarly, the people of Andhra have a special bonding with the River Godavari. It’s as though Godavari is the soul of the region. A certain subtle rendition of culture and heritage. There are so many sentiments tied to the river, and one of them is also close to the divine connect.
And when we talk about Godavari, Rajahmundry essentially becomes the core topic. Adding to that are three of their most important bridges that go back in time.
One such bridge is the Old Godavari or the Old Havelock Bridge. A well-known decommissioned bridge that spans the river in Andhra Pradesh, the old Havelock Bridge still continues to be of special significance. One, because of its timeless existence, and the other, the great historical facts that surround it.
Here are five very important historic facts about the old Havelock Bridge which would be of extreme interest to the history lovers.
Vital connecting link between Howrah and Madras in 1900
The old Havelock or Godavari Bridge was first commissioned in late 1890s, connecting the trains that ran between Howrah and the then old Madras. After serving a span of 100 years, the bridge was finally decommissioned in 1997.
Was Named after the then Governor of Madras
The old Godavari Bridge got its name ‘Havelock’ from the then governor of Madras, Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock. The Engineer in Chief behind the project was Frederick Thomas Granville Walton, a noted British Railway Engineer in India. Some of the other prestigious projects that Walton was a part of were Ramganga River Bridge and the great Dufferin Bridge of Benares.
Robust Construction in the times of Zero Technology
The main construction of the old Godavari Bridge commenced on November of 1897 and was later opened to the traffic in the August of 1900. The bridge was made strong and robust even in the days of no great technology. Made with stone masonry and steel grinders, the old Havelock Bridge has 56 spans that are 45.7 m high each and 3.480 meters long.
Presently used for Civic Water Supply Pipelines
After having successfully served 100 long years, the old Havelock Bridge now sees a happy retirement of sorts. After the new Godavari Arch Bridge has been built as its replacement, the old Havelock now does the backend job of hosting civic water supply pipelines.
A Great National and Historic Monument
The Old Godavari Bridge now counts among the priceless monuments of the nation with a splendid history behind it. The present state department also contemplates on commencing a beautification project, making the bridge open to the tourists as a pedestrian pathway.