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Monday, December 2, 2019

The Ninearch Bridge - Sri Lanka

The Ninearch Bridge
This bridge that lies on the railway  line between colombo fort and Badulla Sri Lanka is not one that boast of the  wonder of modern engineering capabilities.Instead it boasts and depicts the world about the craftmanship of a poor innocent uneducated villager by the name P.K. Appuhami who was born and bread at  a remote village called pellavinna Keppetipola Welimada Sri Lanka. This remarkable bridge which was built 103 years ago,when my country Sri Lanka was under british rule,had never used cement concrete mixture without which no any building can be a reality today. It is the wonder of the craftsmanship of the poor villager P.K.Appuhamy.The story goes as follows.
P.K.Appuhami who had never been to school was a farmer and a labourer. He had a remarkable skill in playing indigenous drums and dancing at places where exorcism rituals were performed in his village. When the British people were first building railway lines in the central hills, he had joined in the Labour force that led by a British engineer.He had shown remarkable skills in making the lines by building clamps using large granite blocks in the places where the soil was loose.While building the railway line the engineer had to join two close hillocks by means of a bridge.The pre made steel bridge brought on the orders of the engineer was found a bit short to bridge the gap.The engineer because of his fault said to have tried to suiside.It is at that time Appuhami came to his rescue. When asked by engineer whether there were any possible solutions to this, Appuhami had told ,if labourers were supplied, he would be able to make a bridge. But as the engineer was not sure of the good results of assigning such a big project to a small man like Appuhami,he had stopped paying wadges till the project was completed. With the help of the labourers supplied to him,he climbed up the hills and fell colossal granite rocks down into the bottom of the muddy mire between the two hillocks thus making a very strong foundation for the bridge to be built on.He made nine arches using cut granite blocks and built the railway line on it.But the afore said engineer was skeptical of the strength of the bridge, he had assured that it was strong enough to run the train and to prove that he had laid him on the foundation while the first train was running over it.
It's said that thenover joyed engineer embraced Appuhami and expressed his gratitude to him. Then he reported the success story of Appuhami to the railway department and the railway department reworded him with eight sacks of silver coins.The poor villager had inturn bought a car from the money he received and had presented it to the engineer.And then he nad visited his village and given a dinner to each villager and a silver coin to each. Trains run over this ninearch bridge even today.

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