To Bawa Samsara Railway Bridge
Updated: Sep 11
Whenever I turn up to Southern Shan State, the spot that I often visit is Bawa Samsara bridge. That is a bridge used for trains located at mile-stone (379/7-8) between Thasi town and Shew Nyaung town. It is said to be 200 feet long and 62 feet high.
The most interesting fact about this bridge is that this coming 2017 it was built for exactly 90 years ago. It can be called an old-aged bridge. It is also really interesting that though this bridge was constructed in 1927, yet it is still strong enough for present use. There is an upper rail-road and down there crossed another rail-road. The design is amazing. If you have a sight over the surrounding from the top of the bridge, you will see an opened clear blue heaven and verdant mountains. So that is a sweet sight for you.
Whosoever has traveled by train to Tawngkyi to Kalaw testifies that the sights are so beautiful throughout the railway’s both sides. But only few people travel by train. Most travelers are foreigners and the rest are local people. There are 417 bridges in numbers between Thasi Station and Shew Nyaung station, yet why people choose this bridge is a wonder. Since my childhood I had been really anxious about why this bridge is named “Bawatantayar.”
Because this bridge was taken scenes in the cinema “Bawatantayar” by diractor Baba U Thu Kha, so by I know easily later times how its name given. And in recent times I notice also more about this bridge with a deeper sense. If you are coming from Shewngewng you would be coming across the mountain roads and when you are coming up toward Heho, you would take the lower bridge and take a spiral path. The train has to take up and down so often; and there are a lot of spiral paths. So this sight is compared to a life artificially and shot its scenes in the cinema causing the audiences of that time named that bridge as “Bawathantayar” which literally means “Life circle.”
Years ago I still remember that you can’t go down to the bridge and take pictures. In 2000, the year I finish my matriculation, the only thing we could do was taking photos of the bridge from the highway side. But now there is a stair made down to the bridge, so you can take good pictures according to your views of art. But you will need to careful because it is a little bit dangerous for falling. Unfortunately if a train comes while you may be having your best poses in the middle of the bridge, how fast you would have to run? Besides your one leg may be junked to railway, Oh no! It is just my imagination. In reality I have never met a train coming experience and been to the middle of the bridge.
Though there aren’t many strange things around but its age is 90 years, two railways were constructed in a crossing way with its beautiful sights around; I believe this place is still attractive to the eyes of the travelers.
Thiha, the Traveller