Engineer's Day special: Saluting a few marvelous constructions of India
September 15 is celebrated annually as Engineer's Day in India. The date was chosen in 1968 to mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, one of the finest Indian civil engineers. To celebrate this occasion, we've picked out some astounding engineering marvels in India. Please note this list isn't exhaustive and may not include many other creations, but we salute them nonetheless.
Ranganathaswamy temple: 'Largest functioning temple in the world'
Ranganathaswamy temple, situated in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, boasts of a Dravidian style of architecture. Spanning across 155-156 acres, it is apparently "the largest functioning temple in the world." This illustrious Vaishnav temple has 21 sculpted gopurams (meaning gateways with towers), nine sacred pools, 50 sub-shrines, and a gilded Vimana (dome). With more than 600 inscriptions, the temple was first constructed by Chola king Dharmavarma.
These two bridges in India have stunned the entire world
Chenab Bridge, touted as the world's highest railway bridge, is taller even than the Eiffel Tower! Built on the Chenab River, Jammu and Kashmir, it has a height of 359m and is 1,315m long. Pamban Bridge, the second-longest sea bridge in India, is another awe-evoking structure. It connects the Rameswaram island to the mainland, spanning 2km. It stands on a stunning 143 piers!
Honorable mention: Banihal-Qazigund railway line in Jammu and Kashmir
A special mention must be made about the 11km-long tunnel going through the rough Pir Panjal mountain range on the Banihal-Qazigund railway line in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the second-longest tunnel in Asia. Roughly 1,300 workers and 150 engineers are behind this waterproof structure.
The Cybertecture Egg, Mumbai, is an iconic creation
The Cybertecture Egg, Mumbai, is a 13-storied building in the shape of an egg! The man behind this astonishing commercial building is architect James Law. This structure has an office area space spread across 33,000sqm and there are 400 parking spaces in three basement levels. There's also an elevated garden. All of these consume much less space (approximately 15%) than a conventional office building.
All hail the world's tallest statue, Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is a humongous replica of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's Iron Man. Situated on the banks of the Narmada River, it is the tallest statue in the world at 597 feet. Larsen & Toubro took 57 months to complete this structure, planning and everything included. Built under a Public-Private Partnership model, the project's total cost is a stunning Rs. 2,700 crore!