Oldest Heritage railway bridge (288 year old) across Kabini river Nanjangud, KA needs periodic maintenance!!

In India despite protects from historians and heritage lovers so many listed monuments lie uncared for and the primary reason is official laziness  coupled with politics.  Monuments highlight the cultural diversity and its continuity, so  their ethos and relevance to the present  should not be  either  overlooked  or treated with contempt.  

Oldest bridge, Nanjangud, KA tripifyapp.com/

From the beginning of  mid 2016s the railways  began to give importance to historical old railway bridges and their heritage values.  The most prominent and the oldest railway bridge in the world near Nanjangud town, Karnataka  across the Kabini river . got the attention of the  SWR Mysore Divisional Railway. There are many  rich  monumental structures within their jurisdiction and  the oldest railway bridge  near Nanjangud town is a classic example. 

Oldest bridge, Nanjangud, KA tripifyapp.com

This 280 plus year old masonry bridge stood the test of time even before the advent of the railway. The bridge had been in a functional mode before the railways in the kingdom of Mysore. The builder was  one  Dalvoy Devaraj,  local chieftain and a visionary and in  1735  he had the bridge built at the entrance of Nanjangud Town following the Gothic style with many arches made of  brick, sand and stone. Initially, it was a road bridge, but is  commonly tagged  as a Railway bridge.

281 oldest Kapini river bridge,Nanjangud, KA,en.wikipedia.org.

Old bridge across the Kabini, Nanjangud, KA. tripifyapp.com

2016 281 oldest Kapini river bridge, KA indiatimes.com

Above image: World's oldest bridge across the river Kabini near Nanjangud, Karnataka.  Since 2007 the bridge has been in a state of ruins due to continuous sluggish attitude  on the part of govt. officials. Lots of vegetation and growth of wild grass on the walls  and piers caused damages to the structure,  outer plastering and brickwork; cracks developed in some places due to roots growth.....................

Oldest railway bridge, Nanjangud, KA indiastatestimes.in

 Gothic arches of 10 ft span and 8 ft wide intervening  piers. support  a thick layer earth cushion of 5 feet atop  to lessen the down stress. A meter gauge track covering 300 m linking  Mysuru to Nanjangud was laid and commissioned in 1899. The railway like ran parallel to road traffic over the entire length from 1902 till 2007.  

In 2021 October Mysuru division of the South Western Railway (SWR)  took a decision to  save  the 285-year-old Kabini Rail-cum-Road bridge and convert it into a tourist spot  as it was the oldest railway bridge in the world. The bridge  with 56 piers was closed in 2007 and decommissioned for traffic with the removal of meter gauge track. After long deliberations and studies the  South Western Railways, Mysuru  and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)  came together  to conserve the old railway bridge across the Kabini by constructing the BG line without compromising on its old heritage values. Precautions were taken to tackle the surge in the river during the monsoon season and to strength the arch structures to improve the load-bearing capacity. The authorities had a plan to  have a restaurant there  for the visitors.