Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya

20th Oct 2014

The Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya is one more testimony to nature's splendour.

I was on my way to Cherrapunjee from Shillong when my thoughtful escort took a detour to Riwai village to sight these bridges.  

A bio-engineering marvel, the living root bridges are made from the roots of Ficus elastica (rubber tree). 

"The Khasis took notice of the strength and flexibility of the roots and saw an opportunity to make bridges out of them. The secondary roots hanging from the tree trunks are used to build the bridges.
The Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to prevent the roots from spreading out and growing in the direction needed.
When the roots reach the other side of the river, which may even take decades to happen, the root branches are then grown into the soil. The gaps are then filled with stones.
The bridges can endure the weight of up to 50 people, and as the bridges are alive -not kicking for sure – and still growing they gain strength over the time." 
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