Oldest rly bridge Kabini to be promoted as tourist site

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Mysore, Sep 11 (UNI) The South Western Railway (SWR) is contemplating to promote Kabini Railway Bridge, the oldest railway bridge of the World, as a tourist spot, owing to its historical importance.

Speaking to newsmen after visiting the Kabini Railway Bridge near Nanjangud, SWR spokesman Praveen Kumar said it was made up of brick, sand and stone in gothic style pattern and has historical significance.

The SWR wanted this oldest bridge to be maintained as a heritage site cum tourist destination because of its historical status.

''Though, the antiquity of the bridge was not known as there was no clear record of its genesis in the past, certain references in the history pointed out that it was in existence for over 270 years,'' Mr Kumar said.

In the memoir of Rev Schwartz, who was sent by the East India Company as an emissary to negotiate with Haidar Ali, there was mention of Kabini bridge built by Dalvoy Devaraj in 1735 over the river Kabini.

Talking of its special historical status, Mr Kumar said,'' the old Kabini bridge could very well be the oldest railway bridge in the world, because the first railway lines came up after 1825 and apart from this, there are no reference of any other ancient road bridges having been used to carry railway traffic, so it is almost certain that it is the oldest railway bridge in India and the World.'' The trains were running on this bridge from 1902 to 2007. The last train ran on Kabini bridge on January 17, 2007.

The bridge and its surrounding areas would be developed as a tourist spot with the involvement of the private participation. The SWR was looking for probable private institutions for this purpose, he said.

Mr Kumar said that a detailed promotional plan could be worked out through various mediums like e-programmes, contests and festivals.

Proper illumination, sound and light show and exhibitions, festivals and various melas would be organised time to time to promote this site, he added.

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