April 11th History is marked by significant events that have changed the course of history. This date has marked numerous occasions worth remembering. Let’s take a glimpse into the past and explore some of the noteworthy events that have taken place on this day in history.
“Study the past and you define the future.” This quote by Confucius, speaks so little yet defines so much. Civilizations have evolved across time marking significant events along their path. Each day has its own stories and today, I share 11th April History with my readers.
A Bridge on the River Ganga
Chaitra Navratri Ram Navami was celebrated recently on the 30th of March. It is believed that Ram was born on this day. However, this story is not about Ram. It is about another popular belief about Lakshman his younger brother, which resulted in the construction of a bridge named Lakshman Jhukla. So I share with you the history of 11th April with the story of Lakshman Jhula.
The iconic Lakshman Jhula, a suspension bridge over the Ganges River in Rishikesh, was opened to the public on the 11th of April 1930. The bridge spans 450 feet across the river and is 70 feet above the water level.
Lakshman Jhula is named after Ram’s brother, Lakshmana, who is believed to have crossed the Ganges on jute ropes. The bridge connects the two villages of Tapovan in Tehri Garhwal district and Jonk in Pauri Garhwal district.
The bridge was designed and constructed by Chief Engineer – P. H. Tillard, Superintending Engineer – E. H. Cornelius, Executive Engineer – C. F. Hunter, Assistant Engineers – Jagdish Prasad, Avadh Narain, and Overseer – Bala Ram. The bridge was constructed as a replacement for the old jute rope bridge, which was used by the locals for centuries.
There are many myths associated with Lakshman Jhula. Besides the one that Lakshman constructed it, another myth is that the bridge was built overnight by Ram’s Vanar army during their quest to find Sita, the wife of Ram. Despite the myths, the bridge is a symbol of engineering marvel and has become a major tourist attraction, and remains an iconic landmark in Rishikesh where travelers come to visit.
The unfinished Moon Walk
Now let me tell you about another travel from pages of 11th April History. It was in the year 1970 when NASA launched Apollo 13, the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The spacecraft was commanded by veteran astronaut James A. Lovell, with John L. “Jack” Swigert serving as command module pilot and Fred W. Haise Jr. as lunar module pilot.
However, just two days into the mission, on April 13, an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks caused a serious malfunction that jeopardized the lives of the crew and threatened the entire mission. The crew was forced to abort their landing on the Moon and focus on getting back to Earth safely.
The incident became known as the Apollo 13 “Houston, we’ve had a problem” crisis, as those words were spoken by Commander Lovell to Mission Control in Houston to alert them of the situation. The NASA team on the ground worked around the clock to develop a plan to get the crew safely back to Earth.
After a tense six-day journey, the crew successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970, with the world watching and celebrating their safe return. The Apollo 13 mission may not have achieved its initial objective, but it remains a remarkable testament to human ingenuity, bravery, and resilience in the face of adversity.
So that is all I have for you from the pages of the history of 11th April. But before bidding goodbye, do join me in wishing a very happy birthday to…
Rohini Hattangadi (1951) is an Indian actress who has worked in Hindi, Marathi, and English films and is best known for her role of Kasturba Gandhi in the film ‘Gandhi’.
Nidhi Razdan (1978) is an Indian journalist and television personality who was formerly associated with NDTV.
Jamini Roy (1887-1972) was a renowned Indian artist known for his unique style of art that combined traditional folk art with modernist styles.
Banira Giri (1946-2021) was a Nepalese poet and novelist, best known for her novels such as Karagar, Nirbandha and her poetry collections such as Jiwan: Thayamaru, Euta Jiundo Jung Bahadur
Lal Singh Dil (1943-2007) was a prominent Punjabi poet and writer known for his works on the themes of oppression, discrimination, and social inequality.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.