The oldest bridge in India was built by the British in 1877, at Punalur, a town in the Kollam district, which lies on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. It is also India’s first motorable bridge. Owing to lack of concrete technology, the bridge was built first as a suspension bridge.
Punalur is also the site of the Punalur Paper Mills which was started in the 1850s. During the rule of the Travancores, Punalur was a major center for trade and transport between Kollam and Sengottai (Tamil Nadu).