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12 astounding aqueducts

By: Matt Hickman on July 22, 2015, 11:21 a.m.
The Mathur Aqueduct in India

Photo: Infocaster/Wikimedia Commons

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Mathur Aqueduct

While a newborn compared to some of the centuries-old aqueduct bridges that appear on this list, the Mathur Aqueduct — also known as the Mathur Hanging Bridge — is a primo example of what happens when you fuse together civil engineering and tourism.

A high-traffic hotspot in southernmost India's tourist-y Kanyakumari District, the Pahrali River-spanning Marthur Aqueduct was completed in 1966. A hulking concrete structure supported by 28 massive pillars, the 1,250-foot-long bridge (reputedly, it's the longest aqueduct bridge in Asia and the tallest at 115-feet) still very much serves its original purpose: moving water for agricultural irrigation from heavily forested hill to heavily forested hill. The tourism part came into play later when carloads of visitors hailing from near and afar began ascending the steps up to the bridge’s walkway so that they could take in the knockout views from up top. (There’s a small fee to both park and access the aqueduct). While the lush tropical scenery from atop Mathur Aqueduct is unparalleled ("I was reminded of Jurassic Park while walking on this bridge," reflects one visitor), those who don't fair well with super-bumpy rural roads or suffer from acrophobia might want to take a pass and find another less, err, authentic diversion in and around Kanyakumari.