Ever since I was a child, bridges have always intrigued me. The way they are constructed, the way they enhance the beauty of the water underneath, and the mere idea behind their existence; to join the two sides of a body which would have otherwise never met, have always fascinated me. Being a civil engineering student myself, I've had the chance to visit and study about some really beautiful and interesting bridges.
I recently went on a foreign exchange program to Singapore and Malaysia where I saw two of the world's most beautiful bridges - The Helix Bridge in Singapore which is shaped like a DNA and the Langkawi Sky Bridge which is one of the biggest cable-stayed bridges, constructed by bringing each element of the bridge to the mountain and putting it all together. And how can I write about bridges without mentioning the ones back home: the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata which a suspension bridge constructed entirely of steel and bears the weight of all kinds of vehicles and the Root Bridge in Meghalaya which is nothing but a natural boon.
I'm sharing my account of the four most beautiful bridges that I've come across in Asia. Hope this inspires you to go see them
Langkawi sky bridge in Malaysia is one of the most scenic places in the continent. Not only is it aesthetically wonderful, but it has its name among the world’s strangest cable stayed suspension bridges. The entire bridge, in its elementary form had to be lifted to the top of the mountain and was later assembled to its current position. The magnanimous structure that it is, its view is bound to mesmerize. The bridge hangs at about 100 meter above ground. Acrophobic people, beware!!
Being a big fan of movies like Barfi and Kahaani, this one has always fascinated me. Built on the banks of river Hoogly, the view of this bridge at night can leave anybody spellbound. What makes me even more proud is the fact that the bridge is made of Tata steel and hence is totally 'desi'. It weathers the storms of the Bay of Bengal region, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians. Way to go Tata steel!
The Helix Bridge is a pedestrian bridge linking Marina Centre with Marina South in the Marina Bay area in Singapore. What I found the most interesting about this bridge was that it couldn't really be placed into any of the categories of bridges I had studied about. Pairs of coloured letters c and g, as well as a and t on the bridge represent cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine, the four bases of DNA. A walk across this bridge is surely a walk to remember!
Roots of the rubber tree — Ficus Elastica form these natural bridges in the forests of the Khasi Hills. The construction of modern bridges takes three or four years. On the other hand, these types of bridges take very long to develop into firm ones and can carry around 50 people at a time. The life-time of such bridges is around 500 years. The adventure freak that I am, I made it a point to visit the place amidst the woods and the wildlife. Although one should jump on such bridges at theirs own risk. But then, totally worth it!