All You Need to Know About Howrah Bridge

Sujan Afi S

The iconic Howrah Bridge is the pride of West Bengal. The bridge is renamed the Rabindra Setu (after the great Bengali poet the Rabindranath Tagore) in 1965 and it is considered one of the most important and renowned locations in the capital city of Kolkata, West Bengal. Although the bridge is renamed Rabindra Setu but still the bridge is popularly known as the Howrah bridge. The bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge and was originally named as New Howrah bridge because it replaced an old pontoon bridge (at the same location). The Howrah bridge connects two leading cities of the state of West Bengal – Kolkata and Howrah.

Can you understand its importance? The bridge is constructed over the Hooghly River and was opened on 3rd February 1943. The bridge is considered one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and more than 150,000 pedestrians!

When the bridge was constructed then it was the third-longest cantilever bridge but now it is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world. In this blog, we will discuss some important facts about the Howrah bridge. So, let’s get started! 

Interesting facts about Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu)

There are several interesting facts about Howrah Bridge, such as

  1. Pontoon bridge: Before the construction of Howrah bridge there was a pontoon bridge in the place of the bridge.
  2. Renamed ‘Rabindra Setu’: The Howrah bridge was renamed ‘Rabindra Setu’ in the year 1965.
  3. Starting of Construction and end of construction: The construction of the bridge was started in the year 1936 and it ended in the year 1943.
  4. Height and length: The height of the bridge is 82 m (269 ft) whereas the length of the bridge is around 457.2 m or 1500 ft. During the time of construction, the bridge was considered as third-longest cantilever bridge and now it has become the sixth-longest.
  5. The busiest cantilever bridge in the world: The Howrah bridge is the busiest cantilever bridge in the world! It carries around 100,000 vehicles and more than 150,000 pedestrians each day. 
  6. New Howrah Bridge: The original name of Howrah Bridge during the time of construction was New Howrah Bridge because it replaced an old pontoon bridge.
  7. No nut and screw: Not a single nut or screw has been used for the construction of the bridge. The bridge is formed by riveting the whole structure.
  8. Hanging bridge: The Howrah bridge is one of the oldest hanging bridges in the world where no supporting pillar has been used over the Hooghly River.
  9. First vehicle: The first vehicle run over the bridge was a solitary tram!
  10. Cultural significance: The Bridge has huge cultural significance and it is been shown in several films.
  11. Maintenance:  The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is the legal body that is associated with the maintenance of the iconic bridge.
  12. Main towers: There are two main towers of the bridge (One tower on each side of the bridge). The height of the towers is 85m.
  13. Lightening: The Howrah Bridge has a lightening facility and it gives additional beauty to it during the night hours. On occasions like Durga puja, Diwali, etc. the lightning gives the bridge an additional beauty during the night.
  14. Width: The width of the Howrah Bridge is 71 ft (21.6 m). The bridge also has a footpath on either side with a width of 15 feet.
  15. Amount of steel required: For the construction of the Howrah bridge, a total of 26,000 tons of steel has been used, out of which 23,000 tons is high-tensile alloy steel, known as Tiscrom. They were supplied by Tata Steel and the rest of 3000 tons were supplied by England.
  16. Influence of the world wars: Both world wars have affected the construction of the bridge. The first world war delayed the starting of construction of the bridge and the second world war affected the supply of construction materials from England.

In the End

I have discussed several facts about the Howrah bridge, an essential part of Kolkata as well as the life of Bengali people. Besides the economic importance, the bridge has cultural importance too. Considering the overall importance of the Howrah bridge the government has taken many initiatives to save the bridge from various unwanted disrupt, such as – spitting of gutkha, rust formation, etc. 

So, do you want to see our Howrah bridge? Come to Kolkata and visit the majestic bridge! The sweet wind of the Hooghly River (that you will face while standing on the bridge) will give you peace of mind and you will be bound to say “Wah Kolkata!”
Well, this is all for today! We will meet soon in our next blog. Till then keep sharing this blog. Let others too know about the majesty of the Howrah bridge! Do mail us your concerns at We promise you to reply at the earliest! 


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