Interesting facts about Kolkata’s iconic Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans over the Hooghly River in Kolkata. A cantilever bridge is the one built using cantilevers, structures that project horizontally into space, supported on only one end.

The bridge does not have nuts and bolts and was built by riveting the whole structure.

On June 14, 1965, the bridge was renamed Rabindra Setu after the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. However, it is still popularly known as Howrah Bridge.

It carries a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians, making it one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world.

At the time of its construction, it was the 3rd longest cantilever bridge. Now, it is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world!

The first vehicle to use the bridge was a solitary tram.

Bird droppings and human spitting cause corrosion to the bridge. The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT ) engaged contractors to regularly clean the bird droppings, at an annual expense of Rs. 500000.

The construction of Howrah Bridge consumed 26,500 tons of steel, out of which 23,000 tons of high-tensile alloy steel, known as Tiscrom, was supplied by Tata Steel.

It has featured in numerous movies, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, etc. Few movies shot here are Gunday, Barfi!, Love Aaj Kal, Tamil film Aadhavan, Malayalam Film Calcutta News, Roland Joffé’s English language film City of Joy and the list goes on.

In the 1960s a film was made entitled ‘Howrah Bridge’ starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala.