Thinking of heritage structures, an old Railway Bridge (probably the oldest in the country) over Kapila river near Nanjangud comes to my mind, which pre-dates even the Wellesley bridge of Srirangapatna.
This pride of the town was supposedly constructed by the then Dalvoy Devaraja using lime and mortar. Probably in 1962 when flood waters fully swallowed the bridge and even touched the entrance of Srikanteshwara temple, this engineering marvel withstood the nature’s fury, speaking volumes about the structural skill prevalent centuries before — a standing testimony to the workmanship of the days of yore. So strong and sturdy it was that recurring floods during monsoons could do nothing to it. It was serving both road and rail traffic until 2007, when broad guage trains were introduced with a separate bridge built exclusively for rail movement.
Almost simultaneously two more road bridges were also constructed post-conversion of the stretch to NH for easing the in and out movements. From then on, this bridge is fully blocked; one can see bushes grown here and there, giving an ugly look.
I learn that Railways had a plan to erect a heritage gallery here using two metre gauge bogies and a children’s amusement park in the adjoining land, to retain its glory, but for reasons unknown, the plan seems stalled. I appeal to South Western Railway (SWR) for a re-look.
– N. Devarajan, Nanjangud, 29.8.2020
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