After visiting the Ishwardi train station, we have hired a cng auto rickshaw to visit the Hardinge bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ) from Pakshey(পাকশী). After a bargain, we have fixed the auto fare at 100 taka. It took only 25 minutes to reach near to the Pakshey(পাকশী) station, at the Pabna(পাবনা) side of the bridge.
It was very early of the morning. We have started walking, and reached at the mouth of the bridge. Two train lines were through the entire bridge. Its strictly forbidden for any traveler to go such near to the bridge. But it was very early at the morning, and the guards were nowhere around there. So we didn't face any hindrance initially.
But very soon, a civil dressed police guard spotted us near that place and started scolding us. To calm him down, we have climbed down from the bridge. Later we convinced him about our purpose. So he didn't mind about our trespassing. He was talking about a permission for higher authority. If anyone can manage such a thing, s/he will be given a full access for exploring the bridge.
Anyway, the river had some water due to the previous rainy season. But still very poor in condition. Vast area of land was still visible over the river. Also, first few miles near the bank had a nothing depth of water. But after that shallow portion, it was ferocious like old time.
There were very few boats available near the bridge for sight seeing. Also, for the early morning, only one boatman was available. But alas! that boat was taken by another group who have reached there just few minutes before us. So we four were waiting around the empty boats, and cursing the other group. During that half an hour of waiting, I have collected photos of several new flowers from the proximity.
I was expecting a very high rate for the boat fare. Its near to the town very easy to come. In fact, its a popular travel destination for local people. One of my team member was interested to hire the boat as hourly. But I have previous experience on that. Instead of hourly rate, we have hired him for 120 taka. He was agreed to ride his boat through few several areas which we have pointed him.
The name of the boatman was Nayeb Majhi(নায়েব মাঝি). He was a mid aged good guy. Though he was a boatman, but he is nonetheless of a guide. He was informative, and accompanied us with his best. According to him, lot of tourists use to visit here every weekends. During the Eid festival, or anything similar to that, millions of people use to gather near the river bank.
Anyway, It was an excellent feeling while the boat was slowly wandering around two massive bridges. One is the rail bridge, and the other one is the newly built road bridge. Also the lands amid of the river were covered with Kash full. Only the white carpet were visible from the far. During our boat stay, we have seen three trains just passed through the bridge. It is such a huge bridge that it made the train a tinny one inside of it.
We had a plan to take a bath at the river Padma. But the water was too much buddy. It wouldn't be a wise idea to have a bath. So after more than an hour, the boatman returned us to the bank of the river. Paying his amount, we have started for Pabna(পাবনা) town, leaving the mammoth bridge behind.
About the Hardinge Bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ):
Hardinge bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ), its a rail bridge over the massive river Padma(পদ্মা) that was entirely built from the steel. This bridge is now around a hundred years of old. Possibly around at 1890, a plan was proposed for the bridge, and twenty years later the construction had begun, and finished it within only two years. Finally the transportation started during 1915. The bridge is named after the Hardinge(হার্ডিন্জ, known as Lord Hardinge(হার্ডিন্জ) to English people), a governor of East India during 1910-1916. Length of the bridge is around two kilometer.
Though the river is right now in a moribund situation, but a century back it was vehemently powerful. And construction of something over that river was not easy. Such an old bridge over the river is still standing firm and serving like a charm. Though during the war of 1971, the bridge was damaged by the allied force for tactical purpose. Later with the help of Japanese government it was repaired.