Local Tourism

Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge, Kolkata

The Howrah Bridge is an iconic landmark located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is one of the most recognized symbols of the city and a significant engineering marvel. Here’s some information about the Howrah Bridge:


The Howrah Bridge spans the Hooghly River, connecting the city of Kolkata (specifically the area of Howrah) to its twin city, Kolkata. It serves as a vital transportation link between the two banks of the river.


The construction of the Howrah Bridge began in 1936, and it was completed in 1943. It was designed by the renowned engineer R.C. Mullick and was constructed by the famous Indian construction firm, Braithwaite, Burn & Jessop Construction Company. The bridge was originally named the New Howrah Bridge but was later renamed as the Rabindra Setu in honor of the Nobel laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore.


The Howrah Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge, which means it is constructed using a series of triangular trusses. It is made of steel and does not have any nuts or bolts in its structure. The bridge has a length of approximately 705 meters (2,313 feet) and a width of 71 feet. It stands without any piers in the water, relying on balanced cantilevers on each side of the river.


The Howrah Bridge carries a significant volume of vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. It is estimated that over 150,000 vehicles and thousands of pedestrians and cyclists cross the bridge daily, making it one of the busiest bridges in the world.

Nighttime Illumination

The Howrah Bridge is known for its beautiful illumination at night. The bridge is adorned with thousands of lights that create a mesmerizing view, especially when seen from a distance.

Heritage Status

The Howrah Bridge has been recognized as a heritage structure by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Kolkata Improvement Trust. It is also a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors who are fascinated by its architectural beauty and historical significance.

Sister Bridge

The Vidyasagar Setu, also known as the Second Hooghly Bridge, was constructed downstream from the Howrah Bridge and serves as an additional link between Kolkata and Howrah. It was opened to the public in 1992 and provides a modern alternative to the Howrah Bridge.

The Howrah Bridge stands as a symbol of Kolkata’s rich history, architectural brilliance, and cultural significance. It continues to be a vital transportation artery and an iconic landmark that represents the spirit of the city.

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Information about Howrah Bridge

Location: Nearby Howrah Junction, Kolkata 700001

Price: Free for all

Things to do at Howrah Bridge

Here are some things you can do when visiting the Howrah Bridge:

  • Enjoy the architectural marvel: Start by appreciating the stunning design and structure of the Howrah Bridge. It is a cantilever bridge that spans over the Hooghly River, connecting the city of Kolkata with its twin city, Howrah. Take in the intricate details and the grandeur of this engineering masterpiece.

  • Take a walk along the bridge: Pedestrians are allowed to walk on a dedicated footpath on the Howrah Bridge. Take a leisurely stroll and experience the vibrant atmosphere around you. You can witness the bustling traffic, the river below, and enjoy the panoramic views of the city skyline.

  • Capture photographs: The Howrah Bridge offers fantastic opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture stunning shots of the bridge from different angles, especially during sunrise or sunset when the lighting is beautiful. You can also photograph the bustling activities on the bridge or capture the cityscape from the vantage point of the bridge.

  • Visit Prinsep Ghat: Located near the Howrah Bridge, Prinsep Ghat is a riverside promenade offering a peaceful and scenic ambiance. Take a short walk to Prinsep Ghat and enjoy the riverside views, go for a boat ride, or simply relax in the serene surroundings.

  • Explore the nearby markets: Near the Howrah Bridge, there are several bustling markets that you can explore. Head to the nearby Mullik Ghat Flower Market, one of the largest flower markets in Asia, and witness the vibrant colors and aromas. You can also visit the nearby Howrah Wholesale Flower Market or the Howrah Station Market for a unique shopping experience.

  • Visit the Indian Botanical Garden: Located a short distance away from Howrah Bridge, the Indian Botanical Garden is a serene oasis of greenery and offers a diverse collection of plant species. Take a refreshing break and explore the garden, admire the famous Great Banyan Tree, and enjoy a picnic amidst nature.

  • Explore the Hooghly River: Since the Howrah Bridge spans over the Hooghly River, you can also consider taking a boat ride along the river. Several boat services offer scenic rides, allowing you to enjoy the city’s skyline, the bridge from a different perspective, and the tranquility of the river.

Remember to check the latest guidelines and restrictions when visiting Howrah Bridge or any other attractions in Kolkata to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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FAQs on Howrah Bridge

What is the Howrah Bridge?

The Howrah Bridge is a famous suspension bridge that spans the Hooghly River in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), West Bengal, India. It connects the city of Kolkata with its twin city, Howrah.

When was the Howrah Bridge constructed?

The construction of the Howrah Bridge began in 1936, and it was completed in 1942 during the British colonial period in India. It was initially named the New Howrah Bridge but was later renamed as the Rabindra Setu in 1965, in honor of the renowned Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.

What is the significance of the Howrah Bridge?

The Howrah Bridge is an iconic symbol of Kolkata and a major landmark of the city. It serves as a vital transportation link, carrying a heavy load of vehicular, pedestrian, and train traffic every day. It is one of the busiest bridges in the world and an essential lifeline for the people commuting between Kolkata and Howrah.

How long is the Howrah Bridge?

The total length of the Howrah Bridge is approximately 705 meters (2,313 feet). It has a roadway of about 71 feet (22 meters) wide, which accommodates both motor vehicles and pedestrians.

What is the architectural style of the Howrah Bridge?

The Howrah Bridge is an example of a cantilever truss bridge. It does not have any pillars or support beneath it, relying on the cantilever principle to balance the weight of the bridge. The design of the bridge allows ships to pass beneath it without any hindrance.

Is the Howrah Bridge open to pedestrians?

Yes, the Howrah Bridge has dedicated footpaths on both sides, allowing pedestrians to cross the bridge safely. Pedestrians can enjoy panoramic views of the Hooghly River and the Kolkata skyline while walking across the bridge.

Can vehicles pass over the Howrah Bridge?

Yes, the Howrah Bridge is open to motorized vehicles. It carries a significant volume of traffic, including cars, buses, and motorcycles, facilitating the movement of people between Kolkata and Howrah.

Are there any other bridges in Kolkata?

Yes, apart from the Howrah Bridge, there are several other bridges in Kolkata that connect different parts of the city. Some notable bridges include the Vidyasagar Setu (also known as the Second Hooghly Bridge), the Vivekananda Setu (Bally Bridge), and the Nivedita Setu (Second Vivekananda Bridge), among others.

Can I take photographs on the Howrah Bridge?

Photography is allowed on the Howrah Bridge. Visitors often capture the iconic structure and the scenic views of the river and the city. However, it’s important to follow local regulations and guidelines related to photography and ensure you do not cause any disturbance to traffic or pedestrians while taking pictures.

Is the Howrah Bridge illuminated at night?

Yes, the Howrah Bridge is beautifully illuminated with colorful lights during the night, adding to its aesthetic appeal. The illumination enhances the visual charm of the bridge and creates a captivating sight for visitors.