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Panval Viaduct, India's Highest and Asia's Third Highest Viaduct on the Konkan Rail Route

Updated on July 20, 2017
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A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making long train journeys with a mind to observe things around.

A Train crossing the Panval Viaduct
A Train crossing the Panval Viaduct

Certain words are poetical to our ears. Hill, mountain, stream, rivulet, valley, monsoon and so on are to cite a few example. Plus, they are the beautiful creatures of nature. We feel romantic on landing such beautiful spots, where time stands still. We long to stay there and feel the fresh air. It is rejuvenating and relaxing.


If you agree with this observation, you can join me for a stroll to a scenic spot on the picturesque Konkan coast. Our delightful destination is Panval Viaduct in Ratnagiri. The viaduct is an added attraction to the already charming Konkan rail route.


Panval Viaduct


What is viaduct? Dictionaries define thus: long bridge carrying railway or road over the valley; a long arch-like structure; a bridge connecting two hills or mountains over the valley.


The definition is as beautiful as the design or structure. Bridge or for that matter a viaduct is a symbol of love. It unites two shores. It is a path made out of love and compassion for the sole purpose of connecting people together.


Panval is a river in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. People often confused with Panval and Panvel. Then, please know both are different. While Panval is the name of a river, Panvel is a major town in Maharashtra, you may find on the way to Mumbai. There is a railway junction on the Konkan route at Panvel. Trains to Delhi and other parts of India deviate from here. There is approximately 500 km distance from Panval to Panvel though both places are in Maharashtra.


The Display Board of Panval Viaduct
The Display Board of Panval Viaduct | Source
Watch the tunnel at the extreme end. Konkan Rail route has many such tunnels, some are very long.
Watch the tunnel at the extreme end. Konkan Rail route has many such tunnels, some are very long.
View of Panval Viaduct
View of Panval Viaduct
Madgao-Mumbai CST Express crossing the Panval Viaduct.
Madgao-Mumbai CST Express crossing the Panval Viaduct.
The Viaduct is Taller than Qutb Minar, Delhi
The Viaduct is Taller than Qutb Minar, Delhi | Source


Features of the Panval Viaduct

Taller than Qutb Minar, Delhi

Describing or sharing the beauty of the viaduct is a challenge as it offers such fabulous and varietal features. It has to be visited. It has to be experienced making an on the spot visit. To give you some rough idea, I have uploaded some fine videos and posted a few photos here. They are so stunning and sure to capture your heart. Hope you will watch them and experience the excitement.


Anyhow, for a quick comprehension, some of the fabulous features of the viaduct are given below in bulletin format.


  • Panval Viaduct is India’s first and Asia’s third highest viaduct.
  • It is made by SLIP technology, used for the first time in India.
  • It is 64 m tall and 424 m long.
  • It is the most formidable viaduct since there are two tunnels on both ends of the viaduct.
  • On the northern side (towards Mumbai side) is ‘Benewadi’ tunnel, 1100 m long and ‘Tike’ tunnel on its southern approach (towards Goa side) is 4017 m long (yes, 4 km!).
  • The valley is 500 m wide and the deepest point is approx. 64 m
  • The Konkan Railway authority claim it is taller than Qutb Minar of Delhi
  • Qutb Minar is in a slanting position, whereas this pillar is erect.
  • It was constructed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) ECC Division.
  • Each pillar is as thick as 36 cm and hollow inside.
  • You can hear the echo effects in the diminishing waves.
  • In 1995, this bridge received the “Most Outstanding concrete Structure” in India Award from the American Concrete Institute (Maharashtra-India Chapter)
  • Also, received an award from the Indian Institute of Bridge Engineers.
  • There is a Memorial here paying homage to the 76 workers, who lost their lives during 1991-97 while the construction was progressing.



Safety & Security


This is a 424 m railway bridge for a single line of broad gauge track. The Konkan Railway is keeping a strict vigil and round the clock check on the bridge. They have taken all safety measures and security arrangements. To cite an example, there is an Anemometer, which is fixed exactly in the center of this bridge, next to train track on the right side. The meter automatically changes its color to red the velocity exceeds the prescribed speed limit of 75 kmph. (Trains on the Konkan route usually run at high speed).

Google Map of Panval Viaduct, Maharashtra

How to Reach


You can enjoy the beautiful surrounding and the viaduct sitting inside the train coach provided you are traveling towards the Mumbai side. If you wish to have an on the spot study or observation, then reach the location.


Location


Thembepul-Banewadi Road, Tike (Maharashtra)

Konkan Railway bridges across Panval River in Ratnagiri

More information can be obtained from the official site of Konkan Railway: www.konkanrailway.com


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Reference: Official website of the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.,

Wikimapia, Mathrubhumi Yathra-The Complete Travel Magazine and

The Times of India.

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© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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      Ramesh 21 months ago

      A great experience!.

      Been to this awesome bridge only a week ago. You must experience the train going past you (and the bridge literally shaking up).

      People afraid of heights (or may i say depths) should stay away !

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you Sir for stopping by and leaving some comments. Glad to know it is useful.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 3 years ago from Jaipur

      You brought forward Indian engineering magic to the world. Thanks, rated up and useful.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Your visit and comments are appreciated. Glad to know that you loved my hub and felt it as an educative one.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      It is always good to learn about other areas of our world. Your sharing of this route was a good education.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Devika

      So happy to note your comments. Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great view and so interesting about Panval Viaduct. I like the photo and you informed us about a beautiful place.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving some comments. Glad to know you loved it. Please read my other hub on Konkan railway titled Konkan Raiway, India's Most Amazing and Spectacular Rail route, link of the same is given in the above hub.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Most informative, I'd love to see this. The accompanying pictures and video all combine to make the 'Panval Viaduct most interesting Thank you.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      swililliams, Thank you so much for your visit and comments, which is very much motivating. May I request you to read my other hub on Konkan railway titled Konkan Railway, India's Amazing and Spectacular Rail Route. I hope you will love it more. On the viaduct, you have opined that it looks dangerous. Let me clarify that though it may look dangerous, there is nothing to worry as it has never caught with an accident and moreover all safety measures have well been taken, as I mentioned in the article. I invite you to visit India and make a trip through this spectacular rail route. Thank you once again for your helpful words.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving some encouraging comments. I request you read my other hub on Konkan Railway, link for the same is given there in the article you read.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting article. It is nice to learn about other areas outside the USA.. Well presented..

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      This is a very unique and interesting article that gives plenty of detail. 'Panval Viaduct is India’s first and Asia’s third highest viaduct.' It looks dangerous though! Nonetheless very unique article! Thanks for sharing!

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