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Sunday, May 15, 2011

11. CHURCHILL BRIDGE

      Churchill Bridge ,Munnar constructed by the British in 1944. Catholic church, complete with portrait of Pope Benedict XVI, peers over the activities of the town, opposite a faded and torn communist hammer and sickle. A cast-iron bridge extends over the river, with the parallel pedestrian Churchill Bridge stretching alongside, built in 1944.
CHURCHILL BRIDGE, MUNNAR

      There are hardly any left today. But till the late 1960s suspension bridges were part of Munnar’s charming landscape. Two, in fact, were right in the town, spanning the river that snakes through it. The British tea company that administered Munnar then had fondly named one Churchill, after their famous premier, and the other Margaret, after Queen Elizabeth’s sister. 
CHURCHILL BRIDGE

      For beginners like us, crossing a suspension bridge was a lesson in balancing oneself. No wonder we children called them ‘swing bridges’; they actually swung from side to side when one crossed over, sometimes throwing one off balance. Initially, we were quite scared of them. Clutching the supporting cables and the protective wire-netting on the sides, we would slowly inch forward, nervously eyeing the swirling water below. Watching others, we gradually learnt the trick: just stride across with your feet wide apart. It took some practice but soon we were nipping to and fro, fearlessly and effortlessly. 
CHURCHILL FOOTBRIDGE IN MUNNAR

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