The lifeline across Mahakali

posted in: Photo Stories | 4

The Dodhara-Chandani suspension bridge connects the two Nepalese VDCs, Dodhara and Chandani of Kanchanpur district across the Mahakali River, which otherwise serves as a natural frontier between Nepal and India, with the rest of the country. Recently these two VDCs have been converted into a municipality. The locals say that the governments of Nepal and India swapped the landmass of Dodhara Chandani with a stretch of land between the present Gaddachouki border and Sarada Barrage, a centenary bridge upstream along the same river.

For the local residents of Dodhara-Chandani, 1.60 m wide and 1452.96 m long pedestrian bridge is the only link to the remaining landmass of their district across the Mahakali. Before construction of the bridge, the folks of Dodhara and Chandani had to travel all the way to Khatima in India and cross the Sarada Barrage to reach Mahendranagar, the district headquarter.

The bridge has eight steel pylons end to end. Though purposefully a pedestrian bridge, locals extensively use motorbikes and cycles. In fact motorcycle taxis (mostly with Indian registration numbers) transporting passengers and groceries across the river are a common sight. During the dry season, the river is shallow enough to be walked across, thanks to a big canal diverted towards India few kilometers upstream from the Sarada Barrage.

View towards Chandani Dodhara

Specs of the bridge
Specs of the bridge
View upstream from the bridge
View downstream from the bridge
Crossing the river during dry season
Crossing the river during dry season
The clear waters of Mahakali
The clear waters of Mahakali
Dodhara Bazaar across the bridge
Dodhara Bazaar across the bridge
A panorama of the bridge, end to end
A panorama of the bridge
A wider stream of the river
Sand dunes formed by the waterflow
Sand dunes formed by the river
Near the middle of the river
Another view looking towards Dodhara
View from under the bridge
Silhouette of a pylon
View from underneath a pylon

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