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Time Required : Less than 1 hr

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Sevoke Bridge, Baghpool, Lohapul

Coronation Bridge, Siliguri Overview

Coronation Bridge is located in the beautiful city of Siliguri, that is a part of Darjeeling as well as Jalpaiguri Districts, in the marvellous north-eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The Coronation Bridge, located at a distance of about 20 kilometres from the city, offers a breathtaking view of the lush greenery and was constructed mainly to connect Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. This bridge is an incredible specimen of architecture inspired by the Roman architecture and is frequented by visitors who want to experience its grandeur and capture the panoramic view of the sparkling blue waters of River Teesta flowing underneath. Locals prefer visiting it to get some respite from the buzz of the city life, while adventure junkies can go rafting in the river to enjoy a different view of this engineering marvel.  

The Coronation Bridge is named as National Highway 31 and is also considered to be the lifeline between Kalimpong, Nathula and Gangtok, because of the accessibility it provides. It is located close to the Sevokeswari Kali Mandir in Siliguri and visitors en-route to Sikkim or Darjeeling often take a few minutes to admire the scenic beauty around the bridge.  The architecture and engineering of the bridge are one of the very few remaining in India. It is also known as "Bagh Pul" Or "Tiger Bridge" because of the two lion statues at one of the entrances.

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History of Coronation Bridge

The Coronation Bridge was constructed during the British rule in India to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. The foundation was laid down by the then Governor of West Bengal, John Anderson. Further planning, design and engineering of the Coronation Bridge were carried out by John Chambers who was an Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD) of Darjeeling Division. John Chambers was also the last British Executive Engineer in Darjeeling. The contractor who worked with John Chambers was J.C.Gammon from Bombay (now known as Mumbai).

The entire construction of the bridge was completed in 1941 with an actual cost of INR 400,000. The engineering of the bridge required reinforced concrete system and is considered a specimen of excellent engineering and craftsmanship. It still stands strong more than half a century later and is under consideration for being regarded as a heritage site due to its architectural and historical significance.

Engineering and Architecture of Coronation Bridge

The Coronation Bridge is a Spandrel or Arch Bridge with Roman Empire style of architecture. Spandrel means the space between two arches with a rectangular boundary. The Teesta river bed and the water current do not support any other type of bridge. Hence, the engineers decided to build an Arch Bridge. The abutment is shaped like an arch, and its horizontal thrust helps transfer the weight of the bridge evenly, hence allowing the colossal structure to stand tall in the erratic water currents.

Roman Bridges were primarily semi-circular and segmental arch bridges that allowed gallons of floodwater to flow underneath without causing any destruction to the bridge. The Coronation Bridge has sturdy layers of rock on either side of the river that supports the fixed arch of the bridge with spans of 1 x 250, 2 x 250 and 5 x 150 feet. The bridge also has a guide bond on the east bank of the river that guides the river water under the bridge.

Some locals also refer to it as "Loha Pul" because it is made of steel. The bridge, its engineering, architecture and the location is a visual treat to the exhausted eyes of the travellers en-route and must be included in the list of attractions to visit in Siliguri this year by one and all.

Best Time To Visit Coronation Bridge

The best time to visit Coronation Bridge is between October and February as the weather is quite pleasant during winters.

Tips For Visiting Coronation Bridge

1. The bridge could get crowded at times.
2. Be careful while visiting on days of heavy rainfall.
3. Watch your step while clicking photographs and exploring the site.
4. One can find local vendors selling snacks on the bridge. Do try the bhutta (corn), momos and spiced cucumber.

How To Reach Coronation Bridge

The Coronation Bridge is located in proximity to Sevokeswari Kali Mandir in Siliguri, connecting Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. Visitors can reach the mesmerizingly beautiful location by public or private transport via National Highway 31 (NH31). The bridge is about 20 kilometres from the bustling city of Siliguri.

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