Kushalnagar, which is popularly known as the commercial centre of Kodagu district, has many historical monuments which are in a deplorable condition and crying for attention.
One such structure is the Praserpett Bridge built across River Cauvery, 167 years ago. The bridge, situated near the Kushalnagar Tollgate is 200 metre long and rests upon eight stone pillars of 40 feet wide each. Every pillar is 30 feet far from each other. The specialty of the pillars is that they have been plastered with a ground mixture of sand, eggshell and lime. The pillars from the ground level, are built in the shape of towers.
Every pillar contains valves so as to release the excess water during floods. When River Cauvery is in full spate, people drop by to watch the splendorous scene at the bridge.
The protective walls built on either side of the bridge are built to resemble the constructions in palaces and are intact to this day. The bridge dates back to the regime of Madras Presidency. The then Superintendent of Kodagu W C Hanslow, laid the foundation for the bridge on January 1, 1846. The construction of the bridge was completed in 1848.
The then Madras Governor George Markawis of Twidel and the then Mysore Commissioner Major General Mark Cubbon left the bridge open for public on May 12, 1848. The name of the bridge has been inscribed in English as well as Kannada on marble stone slabs, on either sides of the bridge.
But, after the new bridge was built, the old Praserpett Bridge was completely neglected.
Peepul trees have grown on the protective wall and pillars of the bridge. The people have urged to protect the historical monuments such as Praserpett bridge, Tippu’s Fort and the Old Inspection Bunglow.
Bar Association, Kushalnagar, president R K Nagendrababu urged that the Archeological Dept take an initiative and protect the bridge.