Sunday, 16 June 2013

Gotuwala Nine Arch Viaduct, Sri Lanka

This viaduct was built at Gotuwala between the two railway stations - Ella and Demodara on the Colombo to Badulla Main Railroad during  the British Colonial period is the largest in Sri Lanka. Located almost 3100 feet above the sea level, this 99.6ft high bridge is called "Ahas namaye palama" (Nine skies bridge) in Sinhala. When one stands underneath it and looks up there is a beautiful sight of 'nine skies' through the nine arches, hence the Sinhala name. This bridge is also called 'The Bridge in the sky' due to the sheer hight. This massive bridge is built entirely of solid rocks, bricks and cement without using a single piece of steel. The bridge was finally commissioned in 1921. One end of this curved 9 arch bridge is a tunnel, in one of my pictures the tunnel is visible (click here). There is a popular story to say that when construction work was commenced on the bridge, the World War 1 broke-out and the steel consignment assigned for this site was seized and was used for war related projects. When the work came to a standstill the locals came forward and build the bridge with solid stone bricks and cement without steel.

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