Zero Bridge is an old wooden arch bridge built in the city of Srinagar. It is the first bridge downstream of the Jhelum that leads to Srinagar and the next bridge upstream is in Pantha Chowk on the outskirts of the city.
Since its collapse in wooden planks and piers could no longer support vehicular traffic, the Zero Bridge, located two kilometers from the center of the city of Lal Chowk, was closed to vehicular traffic two decades ago. Pedestrian movement was only allowed on this historic bridge after its closure, as paramilitary bunkers were built on both sides of the bridge.
The bridge is close to the high-security area of Church Lane, which houses the prime minister’s private office, state boarding houses where VVIPs stay during their visits, and the official residences of dozens of ministers, senior civil and law enforcement officials.
The bridge after dismantling is wholly made of Deodar & Wall Nut wood. It is a piece of mind blowing wood work and fantastic architecture by Kashmiri people.
History of Zero bridge
The bridge was built by a local contractor who was deaf. ‘Zorr’ means deaf in Kashmir and the bridge was initially known as the ‘Zorr Bridge‘, which later changed to Zero Bridge.
Zero Bridge was built in the 1950s when the late Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad was the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
There is a worldly official version of why the bridge was named after that. Some say that the original suggested name for the bridge had been Habba Khatoun Bridge, in honor of the local 17th-century queen-poet.
Significance of the historic Zero Bridge
The bridge is considered by many to be part of the local heritage and, to address local sensitivities, the state government has decided not to build a cement and mortar bridge as a replacement. While there were talks going on about dismantling of the bridge an official assured that a wooden bridge would be built on the site to preserve the original architecture of the dismantled bridge.
Excited by the name of the bridge, some young people from Kashmir in New York founded a rock band three years ago and called it ‘The Zero Bridge Rock band’.
The view from the bridge is absolutely breathtaking and the night view makes a person live and stay there forever, the cold breeze, the lights falling on to the wooden surface of the bridge is unmissable. The View from Zero Bridge, emphasizes convergence, not division.
Other aspects of bridge
The bridge generally serves the purpose of tourism and is regarded as one of the tourist spots other than that it is also a great place for the locals to socialize and interact with each other. The locals there visit the bridge to interact with each other, meet their friends, enjoy with their family. It contains market for tourists and locals.
The market in the zero bridge contains many stores and stalls selling Islamic paintings, carvings, showpieces and so on, there are vegetable and fruit vendors for the convenience of locals who visit the bridge. Many locals there argue that the bridge should be utilized by the visitors and urge the government to take down the stores and stalls. There are other locals too disagree and want the stores and stalls to remain on the bridge.