Kaisar-i-Hind Bridge

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The Kaisar-i-Hind Bridge near Ferozepore opened in 1887 and carried the broad gauge(BG) North Western Railway(NWR) over the River Sutlej between Ferozepore (see note) to connect to the NWR line mainline at Raiwind and on to Lahore.

Some records refer to this bridge as the Ferozepur Bridge and also the Firozpur Bridge using the later spelling of the town name.


Notes

  1. Kaisar-i-Hind Bridge Some records refer incorrectly to this bridge as the‘Empress Bridge’ this is misleading and causes confusion. The actual ‘Empress Bridge’ linking Bahawalpur and Adamwahan over the Sutlej River is some 110 miles downstream and opened in 1878.
  2. Kaisar-i-Hind (sometimes misspelt as ‘Kaiser-i-Hind’ and as ‘Kaiser-e-Hind’), meaning "Emperor of India". Originally derived from Roman title Caesar, or Qaisar in some other oriental languages (e.g. in Hindi), or Kaisar in Urdu. Based upon this, the title ‘Kaisar-i-Hind’ was coined in 1876 by the orientalist G.W. Leitner as the official imperial title for the British monarch in India. The last ruler to bear it was George VI, ‘Qaiser e Hind’, "Emperor of India" (in Hindi and Urdu) [1]. We take the spelling ‘Kaisar-i-Hind’ given in the Imperial Gazetteer of India as the definite form [2].
  3. Ferozepore is the spelling given in the Imperial Gazetteer of India [3] which we take to be the definitive form. Ferozpore and Ferozepur are used in some documents and references; Firozpur is the modern spelling used on maps and in Wikipedia [4]

History

The Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway(SP&DR) had in April 1883 opened the BG line branch from Raiwind where it connected to the SP&DR mainline to Lahore. The line was extended to the village of Ganda Singh Bandar and on to Hussainiwala (on the northern bank of the River Sutlej) by Dec 1883 [5]

The Ferozepore Steam Tramway was a temporary steam tramway that opened in 1885 and crossed the River Sutlej by using a bridge of boats connecting the Ferozepore station of the North Western Railway(NWR) to the village of Ganda Singh Bandar to connect to the NWR line from Lahore [6].

In 1886 the North Western Railway (NWR) was formed by the merger of a number of railways including the SP&DR.

The opening of the bridge in May 1887 linked to the NWR network. The Steam Tramway was closed and the BG line extended to Ferozepore Cantonment and on reach Bhatinda in 1890 forming the NWR ‘Raewind-Bhatinda Branch’

Bridge Construction

The bridge over the River Sutlej was built on twenty-seven brick piers, carried a railway line fifteen feet broad and a cart road of eighteen feet, flanked by footpaths[7].

The Engineer-in-Chief of the Firozpur Bridge in 1885-86 was Robert Trefusis Mallet from the PWD [8].

The bridge was later re-named the Kaisar-i-Hind Bridge (Empress of India in Hindi) and was the subject of a report “The Protection-Works of the Kaisar-i-Hind Bridge over the River Sutlej, near Ferozepore” delivered to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1903. [7]

The elaborate brick facade to the bridge entry bridge can be seen clearly in the photograph taken during the 1947 fighting for independence. A report indicates that the bridge ‘was dismantled during 1971 to prevent Pakistan from advancing to Ferozepur’ [9]. A modern photograph shows the brick ‘Abandoned Eastern Tower of Kaiser-i-Hind Railway Bridge (opened in 1887) over Sutlej river near Ferozepur’ [10]

References

  1. Wikipedia “Kaiser-i-Hind"; Retrieved 23 Jan 2018
  2. “Imperial Gazetteer of India”, v. 1, p. 5; Retrieved 23 Jan 2018
  3. Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 12, p. 95; Retrieved 4 Sept 2016
  4. Wikipedia "Firozpur"; Retrieved 25 Jan 2018
  5. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 107 (pdf116) ; Retrieved 26 Jan 2018
  6. Tramways and Light Rails by Simon Darvill, August 2004; Retrieved 4 Sept 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 Institution of Civil Engineers “The Protection-Works of the Kaisir-i-Hind Bridge over the River Sutlej, near Ferozepore”, March 1903 ; Retrieved 25 Jan 2018
  8. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 560 (pdf page 523); Retrieved 25 Jan 2018
  9. ‘The Sikh Foundation’ “Forlorn Fortifications” by Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, June 24, 2014 Final Paragraph “Railway Station as Fort” ); Retrieved on 25 Jan 2018
  10. ‘Speaking Stones’ ”Kaiser-i-Hind Bridge’ – the sixth photograph; Retrieved 25 Jan 2018