Rishikesh’s iconic Laxman Jhula closed for tourists, general public

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Updated: July 13, 2019 12:25:52 AM

Laxman Jhula has been one of the iconic images for the Indian tourism industry. Many films have been shot on Laxman Jhula including Ayushmann Khurranna's Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

Laxman Jhula rishikesh, Laxman jhula closed, lakshman jhula, rishikesh, ram jhula, ganga river, kanwad yatra 2019, neelkanth temple rishikeshHeavy rush at Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh. (Image: Tarun Bhardwaj/ Financial Express Online)

Rishikesh’s iconic Laxman Jhula is has been closed for tourists and the general public. Rishikesh administration took this decision after experts warned of the risk to the safety and security of people. There is no alternative yet to the 90-year-old bridge and its closure is expected to cause huge inconvenience to people trying to cross Ganga river from Tapovan area of Rishikesh to Swargashram on the other side.

Constructed in 1929, Laxman Jhula has been an engineering marvel of its time. The view of Laxman Jhula became the symbol of Rishikesh region. Now the Jhula has completed its time. In a letter sent to the administration, Public Works Division referred to Track Structural Design Consultancy’s report that pointed to the fact that Laxman Jhula is no longer safe for public use. Many portions and components of the bridge are degrading and if operations continue as usual, it may trigger a tragedy. According to a report in the Hindi Daily Dainik Jagran, Senior Cheif Secretary Omprakash took cognisance of the report and ordered the closure of Laxman Jhula but since the local police did not receive that order, traffic continued to run on Friday.

Laxman Jhula rishikesh, Laxman jhula closed, lakshman jhula, rishikesh, ram jhula, ganga river, kanwad yatra 2019, neelkanth temple rishikeshLaxman Jhula at night. (Image: Tarun Bhardwaj/Financial Express Online)

Closing of Laxman Jhula without any alternative has come as a shock to the local tourism industry. The general public is also facing huge inconvenience. Tourists who came to Rishikesh to visit Laxman Jhula are disappointed as well.

Closing of Laxman Jhula has created another challenge for Rishikesh administration as Kanwad Yatra is set to start from July 17. Laxman Jhula was the main point to cross Ganga River for Kanwad yatris towards Neelkanth Temple. As per the earlier plan, Kanwad yatris were to go towards Neelkanth temple via Laxman Jhula and return via Ram Jhula. Now, this requires an immediate change and the pilgrimage might take place via Garudchatti route.

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Earlier, the report on the safety of Laxman Jhula observed that due to the massive increase in footfall on almost a century-old bridge, its condition has deteriorated further. Laxman Jhula’s towers have also started to lean as per the news report. These pointers indicated extreme danger to those using the bridge.

Laxman Jhula has been one of the iconic images for the Indian tourism industry. Many films have been shot on Laxman Jhula including Ayushmann Khurranna’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

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