The bridge is one of four on the Hooghly River and is a famous symbol of Kolkata and West Bengal. The other bridges are the Vidyasagar Setu (popularly called the Second Hooghly Bridge), the Vivekananda Setu, and the newly built Nivedita Setu. It weathers the storms of the Bay of Bengal region, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians, easily making it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. The third-longest cantilever bridge at the time of its construction, the Howrah Bridge is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world..
In the view of the increasing traffic across the Hooghly river, a committee was appointed in 1855-56 to review alternatives for constructing a bridge across it. The plan was shelved in 1859-60, to be revived in 1868, when it was decided that a bridge should be constructed and a newly appointed trust vested to manage it. The Calcutta Port Trust was founded in 1870, and the Legislative department of the then Government of Bengal passed the Howrah Bridge Act in the year 1871 under the Bengal Act IX of 1871, empowering the Lieutenant-Governor to have the bridge constructed with Government capital under the aegis of the Port Commissioners.
The bridge has become an iconic landmark and symbol of Kolkata. Rudyard Kipling mentioned the bridge in City of Dreadful Night: "Why, this is London! This is the docks. This is Imperial. This is worth coming across India to see!"
The bridge has been shown in numerous films, such as Ritwik Ghatak's Bari Theke Paliye in 1958, Satyajit Ray's Parash Pathar in the same year, Mrinal Sen'sNeel Akasher Neechey in 1959, Shakti Samanta's Howrah Bridge (1958), that featured the famous song Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu and China Town (1962) and Amar Prem (1971), Amar Jeet's 1965 Teen Devian in 1965, Mrinal Sen's 1972 National Award winning Bengali film Calcutta 71, Richard Attenborough's 1982 Academy Award winning film Gandhi, Goutam Ghose's 1984 Hindi film Paar, Raj Kapoor's Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985, Nicolas Klotz's The Bengali Night in 1988, Roland Joffé's English language film City of Joy in 1992, Florian Gallenberger's Bengali film Shadows of Time in 2004, Mani Ratnam's Bollywood film Yuva in 2004, Pradeep Sarkar's 2005 Bollywood film Parineeta, Subhrajit Mitra's 2008 Bengali film Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited,Mira Nair's 2006 film The Namesake, Blessy's 2008 Malayalam Film Calcutta News, Surya Sivakumar's 2009 Tamil film Aadhavan, Imtiaz Ali's 2009 Hindi film Love Aaj Kal, Abhik Mukhopadhyay's 2010 Bengali film Ekti Tarar Khonje, Sujoy Ghosh's 2012 Bollywood film Kahaani, Anurag Basu's 2012 Hindi filmBarfi!, Riingo Banerjee's 2012 Bengali film Na Hannyate, Rana Basu's 2013 Bengali film Namte Namte, and Ali Abbas Zafar's 2014 Hindi film Gunday.
Text Source : Wikipedia
Photography : Ananya Das