My taxi then took me to Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Patna and I asked my taxi driver to come back for me in half an hour in the same spot where I left him. In front of me was the setu, imposing and lively. I chose to take the pedestrian’s way to see it closely.
There are lanes for vehicular traffic both ways, which look forever busy. I noticed a toll-tax booth levying taxes on the cars cruising along each way in relatively high speed. The bridge is the longest bridge in Asia over river Ganges connecting Patna and Hajipur, that is, it serves a link between the south and north of Bihar. I took in all the sights and sounds and lived my moment in this important landmark. It was a unique combination of the noise of the speeding cars on the bridge in stark contrast with the silence of the river beneath. Even on the pedestrians’ track there was no dearth of people passing by hurriedly, all purposeful while I stood thoughtful looking out towards the river, which was dotted by several boats cruising but appearing as minor specs on the vast river.
I do have prior knowledge that the construction of the setu began in 1972 and took about ten years to complete and was inaugurated by the late Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1982. The materials used in the construction of this setu might be concrete and steel. I know little about bridge constructions but the bridge here appeared to me as rock solid and most effective in providing the public the link between parts of Bihar because before its construction Rajendra Setu was the only bridge connecting these parts. It is about 5575 kilometers in length. I had once come across a rare postage stamp on Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Patna, being hailed as an important landmark bridge of India. I made my way back now because it was time for my taxi to return and I had to go back to the hotel for an early dinner and relax and the next day I had planned to visit the Sonepur Mela, Patna.