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The magnificent and imposing 'Golden Bridge' in Bharuch - built with the scrap iron of the disaster-hit Tay Bridge - on the river Narmada in south Gujarat, 'retired' this week, after a glorious 140 years of service on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway.
"Thank You, Golden Bridge - Narmada Bridge...For enduring our load... Uninterruptedly for 140 years," said Harish Joshi, Director of a media house, Channel Narmada and a former journalist, echoing the sentiments of millions in the state on the erstwhile rail bridge-turned-road bridge built during the colonial regime.
Hampered by the Narmada, the then British rulers decided to construct a railway bridge connecting the Bombay Province's administrative headquarters, Bombay (now Mumbai), with Gujarat and beyond, besides boosting trade and commerce, as the first trains had already started in Mumbai since April 1853, with the rapid expansion of the rail network.
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Led by renowned British architect Sir John Hawkshaw, the work on the Narmada Bridge commenced in 1861, but big and small portions came crashing down owing to floods in the angry river in 1863, 1868, 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1876, killing scores of workers, raising concerns right up to the British Parliament. Undeterred, Sir Hawkshaw designed it afresh and started re-building it at the same site, from December 1877 and completed the 1.41-km bridge in May 1881 - at a total cost of Rs 45.65 lakh to the Bombay Baroda & Central India (BB&CI) Railway Company.
Led by renowned British architect Sir John Hawkshaw, the work on the Narmada Bridge commenced in 1861. IANS
"It is officially called 'Narmada Bridge', but it became more famous as 'Golden Bridge' for the cost (Rs 45.65 lakh) in that era, they could have built it in gold..!" said prominent Bharuch homeopath Saifuddin Mulla. It almost met its Waterloo during World War I and II, when the British government toyed with the dismantling and selling off the bridge's iron to finance the exorbitant war costs, but on both occasions, it bowed down to the public pressure and the bridge survives today, smiled Joshi.
After 55 years, the gleaming new Silver Jubilee Bridge 1.40 km long with a double railway line was built right next to the Golden Bridge in 1935 for the mail and express trains bound from Mumbai to north India, but soon after Independence, the Western Railway discarded it and Gujarat government converted it into a road bridge. Originally designed for a single railway line, the Golden Bridge in its new avatar became a cramped, narrow two-lane road bridge, serving around 10,000 vehicles and transporting over 100,000 people daily in both directions, till it bowed out.
Last week, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel inaugurated the swank new 'Narmada Maiya' four-lane road bridge built in 66 months for Rs 430 crore, thus officially 'retiring' Narmada Bridge. NGO Bharuch Citizens Council President Jivraj Patel, history buffs and prominent 'Bharuchis' in India and abroad, now clamor that their beloved Golden Bridge should be converted into a permanent National Heritage monument for Indian and foreign tourists to visit and marvel at the architectural masterpiece.
Originally designed for a single railway line, the Golden Bridge in its new avatar became a cramped, narrow two-lane road bridge, serving around 10,000 vehicles.IANS
"It has not rusted a bit despite such a long span of time. In its 140-year existence, it was stopped for traffic only once - for a month in March-April 2018 - to facilitate work on the 'Narmada Maiya' bridge. Experts say it can easily last another six decades or more with proper upkeep," said Jivraj Patel. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel hinted that the government may consider this suggestion and formulate a strategy for it soon - sounding sweet music for the bridge-lovers like Joshi and Mulla, who remember flinging coins out of their vehicles into the river with a silent prayer for good luck.
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The industrial hub of Bharuch - and its twin city Ankleshwar, separated from north-south by the mighty Narmada - is famed for groundnuts, the ONGC oil refinery, chemicals, and fertilizers firm GNFC, cotton and textiles, dyes, and a host of other industries. It is also known as the 'sasural' of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, whose husband Feroze Gandhi was born and spent his childhood here, and the family's ancestral home still stands in an old, quiet, middle-class Parsi locality of Bharuch.
Incidentally, Bharuch, having an estimated 2-million population, is considered the second-oldest continuously inhabited city (after Varanasi) in India, with a history dating back over 7,000 years, when its ancient port conducted maritime trade with Africa, Europe, and the Far East for several millennia. Meanwhile, as the bridge was closed for speeding traffic from June 15, thousands of pedestrians started trooping down to Golden Bridge, walking end-to-end, admiring its sheer beauty, click selfies in the stunning views of the Narmada to the east and the west as it meanders to mingle in a misty haze with the Gulf of Khambhat some 50 km westwards. (IANS/KB)
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
By- Digital Hub
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Human hair wigs on display at a store Image source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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Human hair wigs are costly
While you can find numerous styles of synthetic wigs, but there aren't all fibers produced in the same way; for example, wigs that are costume-related for Halloween are typically made of lower quality fibers, which are expensive and appear to be the hair wig. For Halloween parties, this is okay, but for everyday use, you'll need a wig that looks like it's been growing around your head. On the other hand, contemporary synthetic materials utilized in top-quality designer wigs look highly practical for those who want to look realistic.
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