The Uttarakhand government will now construct a new bridge across the Ganga in Rishikesh as the iconic Lakshman Jhula suspension bridge has been closed owing to its dilapidated condition, reports India Today.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that keeping the weakened bridge would be risky as thousands of devotees will start crossing the river during the upcoming Kanwar mela.
The government is now seeking expert recommendations to preserve Lakshman Jhula as a cultural heritage site. The bridge was closed on Friday on the recommendation of a team of experts from IIT Roorkee. They had recommended immediate closure of the bridge to all traffic and pedestrian movement.
The 1923-built Lakshman Jhula connects the two villages of Tapovan in Tehri district on the western bank of the river and Jonk in Pauri district. The bridge was the main link for the pilgrims to visit Tapovan and Neelkanth Mandir.
The Legend of Ramayana says that Lakshman, younger brother of Sri Ram, had crossed the river with the help of jute ropes in the very place and hence its name.
The structure is further immortalised in many Hindi movies and serials like Ganga Ki Saugandh, Sanyasi and popular detective serial CID.