Exploring the Iconic Howrah Bridge in Kolkata

Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, is a city rich in heritage and history. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Howrah Bridge, a symbol of the city’s architectural brilliance and engineering marvel. Built over the Hooghly River, the Howrah Bridge connects the city of Kolkata with its neighboring city of Howrah. Let’s delve into the fascinating history, architecture, and significance of this iconic structure.

History of Howrah Bridge

Construction of the Howrah Bridge began in 1936 and was completed in 1942. The bridge was originally named the New Howrah Bridge to distinguish it from the Howrah Bridge. The bridge was later renamed Rabindra Setu in 1965, in honor of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Architecture and Design

The Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly River. It is one of the busiest bridges in the world, with over a hundred thousand vehicles and countless pedestrians crossing it daily. The bridge does not have any piers supporting it in the river, giving it a unique and awe-inspiring appearance.


The Howrah Bridge is not just a means of transportation; it is a symbol of Kolkata’s identity and history. The bridge has been featured in numerous films, documentaries, and works of art, solidifying its place in popular culture. It also serves as a crucial link between Kolkata and Howrah, two major cities in the state of West Bengal.

Nighttime Splendor

One of the best times to experience the beauty of the Howrah Bridge is at night when the bridge is illuminated with thousands of lights, creating a spectacle that can be seen from miles away. The twinkling lights reflecting off the waters of the Hooghly River create a mesmerizing sight that attracts tourists and locals alike.

Maintenance and Preservation

Despite being over seven decades old, the Howrah Bridge stands strong as a testament to the craftsmanship of its builders. Regular maintenance and preservation efforts have been undertaken to ensure the bridge remains safe and structurally sound for years to come.

Nearby Attractions

When visiting the Howrah Bridge, be sure to explore the surrounding areas, such as the Howrah Railway Station, one of the oldest and busiest train stations in India. You can also visit the Mullick Ghat Flower Market, a vibrant and bustling market located under the bridge, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals.

Best Time to Visit

The Howrah Bridge can be visited at any time of the year, but the months of October to March offer pleasant weather, making it ideal for sightseeing and exploring the bridge and its surroundings.


Q: Can pedestrians walk on the Howrah Bridge?

A: No, pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the Howrah Bridge due to safety reasons. There is a separate footbridge for pedestrians adjacent to the main bridge.

Q: Is photography allowed on the Howrah Bridge?

A: Yes, photography is allowed on the Howrah Bridge. Visitors can capture the beauty of the bridge and the surrounding area to preserve their memories.

Q: Are there any guided tours of the Howrah Bridge available?

A: While there are no official guided tours of the Howrah Bridge, you can explore the bridge and its surroundings on your own or opt for a local guide who can provide insights and information.

Q: What is the best time of day to visit the Howrah Bridge?

A: Evening is an ideal time to visit the Howrah Bridge when the bridge is illuminated, creating a magical ambiance that is truly captivating.

Q: Are there any restrictions on vehicles crossing the Howrah Bridge?

A: Yes, certain restrictions are in place for heavy vehicles and goods carriers crossing the Howrah Bridge to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the bridge.


The Howrah Bridge is not just a bridge; it is a symbol of Kolkata’s past, present, and future. Its timeless beauty, impressive architecture, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city of Kolkata. Whether you admire it from afar or walk along its length, the Howrah Bridge leaves a lasting impression on all who encounter it.

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