The Elphinstone Bridge (along the Adyar Bridge) @ Chennai


Imagine yourself sitting in a Coffee shop and the above scenery is the view on one of your sides. And the view on the other side is this –


Don’t you think it would be a wonderful experience? You don’t have to go to Europe or Africa to experience this view, as it is available right at home in Chennai!

The Thiru-vi-ka bridge (Adyar bridge) that connects Mandaveli and Adyar (in Chennai) is a relatively newer construction (constructed during ’73). In its place, we had (have) the Elphinstone bridge that was constructed way back in 1840, when Mr. Elphinstone was the Governor of Madras. (I have a policy of not having any Lord’s in my blog)

This bridge now houses some water/sewer pipelines and a solid slab covers almost the entire stretch (on its top). Here is how it looks –

The actual bridge is under this slab/pipelines. Here is a partial view –


Since the Elphinstone bridge is a 173-year old bridge (and still standing), the Government/ASI could look at declaring it as a heritage structure. Secondly, since it is located over the Adyar river (which is polluted, but it’s restoration is underway), the view on both the sides is simply amazing. So, why not develop it as a tourist spot, with details about the Adyar river, the bridge and other surrounding areas put up on the bridge? If the bridge is strong enough, maybe we can also have a small coffee shop above it?

That’s not all about the bridge. The river that flows under it is home to a lot of birds (maybe some of them are migratory). It also has thick vegetation all around it. Have a look –



It seems the Govt. has plans to set-up a bird observatory with a small bird-watching scope from here. It is a good idea and should be implemented immediately. Such observatories are very much required in other places in the city also, like PallikaranaiΒ and OMR/ECR, etc.

The smell from the river, though polluted, is not as bad as it used to be. At least, I didn’t fell it. Some land-areas around the bridge had some waste, but that could be easily cleaned up.

For the view this place offers and for the amount of birds/vegetation it has, the Elphinstone bridge seems to be a good place to develop as a prospective tourist destination. What do you think?

Destination Infinity

PS-1: For more information about the bridge and what is being done, read thisΒ Hindu article.

PS-2: This is a part of our social initiatives at Chennai Bloggers Club (CBC), a Facebook group, where we Bloggers want to contribute in some way to improve our city.

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23 thoughts on “The Elphinstone Bridge (along the Adyar Bridge) @ Chennai

  1. Spot on post, Rajesh. I wish . . . just wish with fingers crossed that this space is put to good use. That day is not far away.

    Let’s keep on pressing towards that day.

    Joy always,

    1. Yes, I guess it will happen soon. It’s good that CBC is helping us identify such localities. Once a few people start writing about these things, the press might pick-up and create a buzz. Eventually the Govt. officials will do something about it. Let’s hope it happens soon enough…

      Destination Infinity

  2. I never know there are pipes covered by slabs (on the old bridge) which I was thinking to be just road. I too had the thought of why not they convert the bridge into a bird watching platform or make available for walker to take stroll along the enrich estuary.

    A coffee shop with few benches her and there will sure do wonder esp. in evening time. Well captured rajesh πŸ™‚

    1. If the bridge can handle loads like a shop, etc. then it’s ok. Otherwise, just a birding-scope with information plaques should be sufficient to make it a tourist spot.

      Destination Infinity

    1. Let’s hope that the Govt. takes up the initiative of converting this place into a tourist spot! πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yes, it’s quite difficult to find rivers inside a city. The govt. here is taking up some steps to de-pollute the adyar river… Let’s hope they are successful. One day, it will be good if boating or water-sports can be introduced in this river…

      Destination Infinity

    1. Well, good locations make a good photographer. At least in my case, it is that way πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  3. oh many such places in many cities can be developed as tourist places..atleast the rivers should be cleaned up and the stench removed…but who is listening?

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