Lothian Bridge is one of those Delhi landmarks that date back to the time of the East India Company. As such every stone in it speaks of history, with the Mughal and the British periods merging to form the great divide between one part of the city and another.
Every railway engine that chugs over the bridge seems to whisper the name of Sir John Lothian, after whom it is named. The engine driver too is conscious of the fact that he is traversing a sphere of history for he does lean out and wave to an acquaintance for the bridge is low enough for one to recognize faces in a crowd. Sometimes a young tongawallah waves his stick at the driver, more in jest than in anger at his horse getting startled by the train whistle.
Just behind the bridge is the Lothian cemetery, where rest some of the earliest Englishmen, who had made Delhi their home. Among them was a merchant who married four times ~ three of his wives pre-deceasing him. But the fourth survived to set up the tombstone now hardly readable. There are also graves of soldiers, sailors, priests and bankers, one of whom was killed with his entire family while defending his home in Chandni Chowk. But the graveyard, which once was in a state of decay, with people encroaching on it and shopkeepers setting up makeshift dhabas, is no better preserved.
Nearby is the General PostOffice of Kashmere Gate and opposite it a memorial to the British magazine that once stood on this spot but was blown up in 1857 by the men who were manning it for risk of it being captured by the rebel sepoys. Two marble tablets proclaim this ~ one describing the sepoys as mutineers and the other as freedom fighters trying to throw out the usurper British.
The bridge, which is older than both the graveyard and the memorial, is a witness of sorts to historic happenings during the past 150 years or so. It is planned to renovate it so that it becomes wider and more spacious.