Punalur Suspension Bridge: Historical Gem of Kerala - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Punalur Suspension Bridge: Historical Gem of Kerala

1877 Punalur Suspension Bridge - South India's first motorable suspension bridge

It is an engineering wonder of Kerala. It is the oldest motorable bridge in Kerala. I am talking about the 143 year old Punalur suspension bridge that stands tall amidst Punalur’s modern day traffic and continues to straddle the Kallada river as it did in its hey days. Only difference being, then it was a working bridge, while today it is a historical attraction and a protected monument under the Archaeological department of Kerala.

Constructed in 1877 during the reign of the erstwhile Travancore king Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma and under the supervision of the British engineer Albert Henry, the Punalur Suspension bridge is a 400 feet long bridge that connected the town of Punalur with the forest area of old Kattupathanapuram. The idea behind having a suspension bridge was to promote trade with outsiders while preventing the animals of the jungle from entering the village at night. The shaky nature of the bridge used to scare off the animals. Built using iron, Kambakom wood and stone masonry, the Punalur suspension bridge, looks like a micro mini version of the Brooklyn bridge of New York.

Even today, there is mystery surrounding its overall engineering. And that’s what makes it a historical gem of Kerala. If you ever happen to visit this offbeat side of Kerala, do stop by Punalur and experience this hanging bridge at close quarters. May be, you can even walk on it and teleport yourself to the late 19th century when this suspension bridge ushered in a new era of connectivity and trade.

Location: Punalur in South Kerala

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Lesser known mountain railways of Kerala: A treat for nature lovers

2) Thenmala forest and Palaruvi falls: Offbeat nature and wildlife getaway

3) Courtrallam falls: A great place to enjoy herbal baths under a waterfall

4) Tenkasi town: Famous for its 13th century Kasi Viswanathar temple with its big gopurams

4) Kollam: A coastal town known for its beaches, light houses, backwaters and riverine islands

5) Kappil beach: A great beach sandwiched between the backwaters and the Arabian Sea

6) Varkala beach: That stunning cliff beach of Kerala where you can wash away all your sins

7) Ponmudi: The offbeat hill station of Kerala with a 360 degree mountain panorama

8) Papanasanathar Temple: 1000 year old temple by the river Thamarabharani where you can wash all your sins away

9) Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve: The hidden wildlife gem

10) Meenmutty Falls inside Peppara Wldlife Sanctuary: A beautiful tropical jungle trail leading to a forest waterfall

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