Fear of collapse looms over Rishikesh’s famous Laxman Jhula bridge as it temporarily closes on the recommendations of a team of experts. By Bayar Jain

It’s been close to 96 years since Rishikesh’s Laxman Jhula was built to connect Tehri’s Tapovan village with Pauri’s Jonk village, and it’s been standing tall since. However, incessant heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic forced officials to temporarily shut it down, fearing ‘fail’ or ‘collapse’. A team of experts further added that the excessive load has resulted in the bridge’s tower appearing to lean on one side. Keeping the bridge operational could have been risky, they added.  However, pedestrians would be allowed to use the bridge, in limited numbers.

Built in 1923, the iconic Lakshman Jhula is a 450-feet long iron suspension bridge over the Ganga river. The etymology of the bridge comes with its own share of history. According to mythology, Ramayana’s Lakshmana crossed the river using jute ropes in the exact place where the bridge now stands, thus giving the bridges its name. As a result, Hindu pilgrims flock to the bridge in large numbers. Moreover, since Uttrakhand is renowned as a centre for studying yoga and meditation (with Rishikesh being the hub), tourists from all over the world also visit this holy river. Temples, markets, hotels, and ashrams have sprung up in the vicinity of the Jhula and the entire area is a renowned attraction in Rishikesh.

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Lakshman Jhula is going to get shut, It replaces the old bridge of 284 feet span which was washed away by great floods of October in 1924. This bridge was constructed by U.P.P.W.D. during 1927-1929. It was opened to public in 1930. Since than it is serving every people visiting Rishikesh playing a crucial role. It is a suspension bridge meant for crossing over by foot and foot only but, people using motorised vehicles to cross over led to the shut down of this 89 year old bridge. In our Indian mythology Ramayan, Laxman crossed the river using a Jute roped bridge, it is said that Laxman Jhula was built upon that very place. Beautiful things will either get destroyed or shut down if WE the people refuses to maintain rules and discipline, We must accept the rules with joy which is meant for our and our societies betterment. NO EDIT #instagood #instapicture #instapic #insta #instapeople #incredibleindia #instagram #laxmanjhula #india

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While the decision to temporarily shut down the bridge will prevent impending doom, it could pose a challenge to the pilgrims during the upcoming Kanwar Yatra on July 17. Meanwhile, the pilgrims and residents will now have to walk an additional two kilometres to cross the river.

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#laxmanjhula #rishikesh

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Having served as a backdrop for various Hindi movies like Ganga Ki Saugandh, and Sanyasi, we’re hoping it’s only a matter of time till the bridge is restored to its former glory.

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