Top 10 Longest and Most Amazing Bridges in India

Updated on June 19, 2018
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Kannan loves to create articles comprising Top 10's/20's. He has a knack for preparing listicles that help readers obtain information.

The Bandra-Worli Sealink is the third largest and the most famous among all.
The Bandra-Worli Sealink is the third largest and the most famous among all. | Source

Important for Infrastructure

It is rightly said, bridges are the roads to success. Bridges are an important factor in assessing the infrastructure health of a country. The primary purpose of a bridge is to connect unconnected places. The secondary purpose of building bridges is to decongest roads and ease traffic. Whenever a bridge is built it brings more business avenues, reduces travel time, and increases job opportunities. There is a two-way benefit of building bridges. First, they provide jobs to unskilled labor as well to skilled engineers and architects. Secondly, once the construction is completed they save a lot of fuel which in turn has a positive effect on the environment.

In this article, find the biggest bridges ever made in India.

List of Longest Bridges in India (Combined Road and Rail)

If we closely analyze the below table, you'll be amazed to find that Bihar has the most number of longest bridges. As South India is better developed compared to the North, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see this domination. There are 5 bridges out of 10 from Bihar, 2 from Assam, 1 each from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Kerala.

(click column header to sort results)
Serial no.  
Name  
Distance  
Opened  
Type  
Connecting  
Place  
1
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Bridge
9.15 KM
2017
Road
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
Lohit River, Tinsukia, Assam
2
Mahatma Gandhi Setu
5.75 KM
1982
Road
South Patna to Hajipur
Ganga, Patna, Bihar
3
Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL)
5.57 KM
2009
Road
Bandra to Worli (South Mumbai)
Mahim Bay, Mumbai
4
Bogibeel Bridge
4.94 KM
2018
Rail-cum-road
Dhemaji to Dibrugarh
Brahmaputra River, Assam
5
Vikramshila Setu
4.70 KM
2001
Road
Bhagalpur to Naugachia
Ganga, Bhagalpur, Bihar
6
Vembanad Rail Bridge
4.62 KM
2011
Rail-cum-road
Edappally to Vallarpadam
Vembanad Lake, Kochi, Kerala
7
Digha–Sonpur Bridge
4.55 KM
2016
Rail-cum-Road
Digha, Patna to Sonpur, Saran
Ganga, Patna, Bihar
8
Arrah–Chhapra Bridge
4.35 KM
2017
Road
Arrah to Chhapra
Ganga, Saran, Bihar
9
Godavari Bridge
4.13 KM
2015
Rail-cum-Road
Kovvur to Rajahmundry
Godavari river, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
10
Munger–Ganga Bridge
3.69 KM
2016
Rail-cum-Road
Munger to Jamalpur
Ganga, Munger, Bihar

1. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Bridge (9.15 KM) - Assam - 2017

Source

This is designed as a beam bridge. Beam bridges are the simplest form when it comes to designing these type of structures.

Also known as Dhola-Sadiya bridge, the recently opened bridge is the longest bridge in India. This connects the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. With much fanfare, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated this stating that a dream is fulfilled. The idea of this was first conceived by the then Chief Minister Mukut Mithi of Arunachal Pradesh in 2003. It took 14 long years to complete and the work was fast-tracked only in 2011.

Must Know Fact

The length of this is incomparable to the world's largest Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge with a distance of 164.8 KM.

2. Mahatma Gandhi Setu (5.75 KM) - Bihar - 1982

Source

Gandhi Setu or Ganga Setu is an engineering marvel. Like the first one, this was as well thrown open by the then PM Indira Gandhi. This reminds us the importance of the construction of these bridges. By the alternate name, you'd have gotten a fair idea that this is built over river Ganga. Like many infrastructure projects in India, this also saw tremendous delay and bureaucratic hurdles before completion.

The work on this started in 1972 when the initial cost was pegged at Rs. 23.50 crore and scheduled for completion by 1978. When it finally saw the day of the light in 1982 the cost to the exchequer was Rs. 87 crore which is close to 4 times of the initial estimate.

3. Bandra-Worli Sea Link (5.57 KM) - Maharashtra - 2009

Source

The most beautiful bridge in India. This connects Bandra suburb to Worli in Mumbai. After completion, the travel time reduced to 10 minutes from the earlier 60 minutes. The overall construction cost of this is Rs. 750 crore which makes this as one of the costliest bridge in India.

The ride through this amazing man-made wonder is astonishing. Apart from offering connectivity, this has become a go-to place for tourist and locals alike.

4. Bogibeel Bridge (4.94 KM) - Assam - 2018

Source

Bogibeel bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India. This connects the districts of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji. This is built over the Brahmaputra river and provides connectivity to the whole of upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The upper deck of the bridge is a 3-lane roadway and the lower deck is a 2-line broad gauge railway. The engineering design format is known as truss bridges. This type of bridge is fairly economical to construct and maintain. The Ikutsuki bridge in Nagasaki, Japan is the longest continuous truss bridge in the world.

5. Vikramshila Setu (4.7 KM) - Bihar - 2001

Source

Another one from Bihar named after the ancient learning center of Pala Empire. Nalanda, the more famous ancient educational institute is Vikramshila's contemporary. In the modern day context, this bridge connects NH80 and NH31. This provides connectivity to many districts of Bihar namely Naugachia, Purnia, and Kathiar.

Demands for building another parallel bridge alongside this is on the rise. The bridge experiences severe traffic congestion at times. Considering this, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar gave his go-ahead to prepare a feasibility report in 2016.

6. Vembanad Rail Bridge (4.62 KM) - Kerala - 2011

Source

This is built on the picturesque Vembanad Lake. Also called Edappally - Vallarpadam bridge as it connects both these places. The bridge was opened for public in 2011 and is the biggest one in Kerala. The bridge was constructed by Shapoorji Pallonji Group which is one of the major infrastructure companies based in India.

Strategically built and is immensely important as Vallarpadam is a Catholic pilgrim center. Vallarpadam also has an international transshipment container terminal which helps in facilitating trade from this region.

7. Digha–Sonpur Bridge (4.55 KM) - Bihar - 2016

Source

The geography of Bihar is such that river Ganga divides it into two parts. That brings forward a major hurdle for transportation. Hence building these types of bridges is a long-term solution.

This is the fourth largest in Bihar and seventh largest in India. The rail-cum-road bridge provides connectivity to north and south of this eastern state. To make full use of this bridge, railway station of Patliputra and Bharpura have been built on either side of it.

8. Arrah–Chhapra Bridge (4.65 KM) - Bihar - 2017

Source

This is a four-way road bridge connecting two major cities of Bihar. The cities of Arrah and Chapra are connected via this link. Arrah is a historically important place whereas Chapra has a frequently visited Ambika temple. According to estimates, this bridge reduced the distance of traveling from 120 km to 21 km. Now people have the option of the direct route rather than taking a detour towards Patna.

Officially named as Veer Kunwar Singh bridge and cost more than 800 crores.

9. Godavari Bridge (4.13 KM) - Andhra Pradesh - 2015

Source

This is one of the three bridges built here above Godavari river. The oldest one was decommissioned in 1997 to replace the Godavari arch bridge which is a single line rail bridge. With most of the surrounding area developed the construction of a roadway was inevitable. So, to supplement the growth a new rail-cum-road link was built.

This bridge's image is often shown to represent Rajahmundry which is the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh.

10. Munger Ganga Bridge (3.69 KM) - Bihar - 2016

Source

The tenth largest bridge is also built above the mythologically important river of India, the Ganga. The construction of this took a whole circle when it was opened by PM Modi in 2016. I say that because it was Mr. A.B. Vajpayee who inaugurated the construction in 2002 when he was the prime minister.

As with many others on this list, there were several delays resulting in cost overruns. Even after many days of the completion, the road bridge is not opened as the government is still in talks to acquire land on both sides of the bridge.

Most Common Types of Bridges in India

My analysis of all the major bridges in India brings forward the findings that beam, truss, cable-stayed, and girder bridges are the most common designs. The stream of architectural studies also mentions these and suspension bridges as the basic types. The Dhola-Sadiya is an awesome example of beam bridge whereas the Bandra-Worli sea link is designed as a cable-stayed bridge.

Longest Road Bridges in India

(click column header to sort results)
Serial no.  
Name  
Distance  
Opened  
Connecting  
Place  
1
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Bridge
9.15 KM
2017
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
Lohit River, Tinsukia, Assam
2
Mahatma Gandhi Setu
5.75 KM
1982
South Patna to Hajipur
Ganga, Patna, Bihar
3
Bandra-Worli Sea Link
5.57 KM
2009
Bandra to Worli (South Mumbai)
Mahim Bay, Mumbai
4
Vikramshila Setu
4.7 KM
2001
Bhagalpur to Naugachia
Ganga, Bhagalpur, Bihar
5
Arrah–Chhapra Bridge
4.35 KM
2017
Arrah to Chhapra
Ganga, Saran, Bihar
6
Godavari Bridge
4.13 KM
2015
Kovvur to Rajahmundry
Godavari river, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
7
Chahlari Ghat Bridge
3.26 KM
2017
Bahraich to Sitapur
Ghaghra River, Uttar Pradesh
8
Jawahar Setu
3.06 KM
1965
Dehri to Son Nagar
Son River, Bihar
9
Kolia Bhomora Setu
3.01 KM
1987
Tezpur to Kaliabor
Brahmaputra River, Assam
10
Korthi-Kolhar Bridge
3.00 KM
2006
Bijapur to Hubli
Krishna River, Bijapur, Karnataka

Indian States With Most Number of Bridges

Here I am counting only the ones which are above 1 km. And the Indian state which tops the list is Bihar with 11 followed by Uttar Pradesh and Assam with 9 each. The state of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh come a close third with 7, and West Bengal fourth with the count of 5. Karnataka and Odisha also have 4 each of which falls into this category.

The most number of bridges are built on river Ganga with 11 major ones and Brahmaputra comes a distant second with 5 above its waters.

Reference: The government of India (india.gov.in), "Infrastructure/Bridges", retrieved from the web on 14th March 2018.

Longest Rail Bridges in India

(click column header to sort results)
Serial no.  
Name  
Distance  
Opened  
Connecting  
Place  
1
Vembanad Rail Bridge
4.60 KM
2011
Edappally to Vallarpadam
Vembanad Lake, Kochi, Kerala
2
Nehru Setu
3.05 KM
1900
Dehri to Son Nagar
Dehri, Bihar
3
Godavari Arch Bridge
2.74 KM
1997
Kovvur to Rajahmundry
Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
4
Second Mahanadi Rail Bridge
2.10 KM
2008
Mahanadi towards Cuttack
Cuttack, Odisha
5
Pamban Bridge
2.06 KM
1913
Pamban to Rameshwaram
Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
6
Sharavathi Bridge
2.06 KM
1994
Sharavathi towards Honnavar
Honnavar, Karnataka
7
Mahanadi Bridge, Boudh
1.95 KM
2002
Kiakata to Boudh
Boudh, Odisha
8
Silver Jubilee Railway Bridge Bharuch
1.40 KM
1935
Ankleshwar to Bharuch
Narmada River, Gujarat
9
Elgin Bridge
1.12 KM
1896
Barabanki to Gonda
Ghaghra River, Barabanki, Gujarat
10
Subansiri Railway Bridge
0.80 KM
1966
Gogamukh to North Lakhimpur
Subansiri River, Assam

Major Companies Building Bridges in India

Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) is one of the major companies in this sector. Larsen and Toubro, Gammon India, Simplex Infrastructures, and Ramky Infrastructure are some other major companies which actively bid on these type of projects.

Longest Rail-Cum-Road Bridges in India

(click column header to sort results)
Serial no.  
Name  
Distance  
Opened  
Connecting  
Place  
1
Bogibeel Bridge
4.94 KM
2018
Dhemaji to Dibrugarh
Brahmaputra River, Assam
2
Digha–Sonpur Bridge
4.55 KM
2016
Digha, Patna to Sonpur, Saran
Ganga, Patna, Bihar
3
Munger Ganga Bridge
3.69 KM
2016
Munger to Jamalpur
Ganga, Munger, Bihar
4
Godavari Arch Bridge
2.79 KM
1974
Kovvur to Rajahmundry
Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
5
Naranarayan Setu
2.79 KM
1998
Jogighopa to Panchratna
Jogighopa, Assam
6
Rajendra Setu
2.0 KM
1959
Barauni to Hathidah
Ganga, Mokama, Bihar
7
Abdul Bari Bridge
1.44 KM
1862
Koilwar to Kulharia
River Sone, Koilwar, Bihar
8
Saraighat Bridge
1.3 KM
1962
Saraighat to Kamakhya Railway Station
Brahmaputra River, Saraighat, Assam
9
Malviya Bridge
1.04 KM
1887
Kashi to Mughalsarai
Ganga, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
10
Old Naini Bridge
1.0 KM
1865
Naini to Allahabad
Yamuna River, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Where Is the Oldest Bridge in India?

I put in more than 100 hours of research in getting this article on paper. All this while, a question which always came to mind was about India's oldest surviving bridge.

The answer to this is Abdul Bari bridge also known as Koilwar bridge built in 1862. It is impressive that the bridge is still in usable condition even after 150 years.

Below are the 6 oldest bridges in India:

  1. Abdul Bari Bridge - Bihar - Opened in 1862
  2. Old Naini Bridge - Uttar Pradesh - Opened in 1865
  3. Malviya Bridge - Uttar Pradesh - Opened in 1887
  4. Elgin Bridge - Uttar Pradesh - Opened in 1896
  5. Nehru Setu - Bihar - Opened in 1900
  6. Pamban Bridge - Tamil Nadu - Opened in 1913

Abdul Bari Bridge on Sone River

References

  • Indian Railway Year Book, "Track and Bridges," retrieved from the web on 8th March 2018.
  • Wikipedia, "longest bridges above water in India", retrieved from the web on 10th March 2018.
  • Construction Week India, "Top 30 Infrastructure Companies", retrieved from the web on 18th March 2018.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Kannan Reddy

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