Yes, I am talking about the centuries old live root bridges which is a tribal art of manipulating the roots of a tree into a live bridge, basically for the commuting purpose to cross rivers and streams. These root bridges are located in and around Cherrapunji/Sohra, Meghalaya, the wettest state of India. Some of these root bridges are more than 150 years old and strong enough to carry 50 people or more at a time. Take a look at one of the most beautiful and not so easily accessible root bridge…….
I was fascinated to see this man made natural marvel of nature made up of roots and you can make this out from the pic through my expressions…… how in awe I was !!! Obviously when you drive 2 hours from Shillong and trek for about an hour on those slippery rocks and sloppy paths, through a place shrouded in cloud and rain, which remains wet through out the year, you will react somehow like me to find yourself surrounded by roots all over. The southern Khasi and Jaintia hills are humid and warm, blessed with swift-flowing rivers and mountain streams. On the slopes of these hills the intensive members of Khasi tribe noticed a species of Indian rubber tree with incredibly strong roots and they came up with the idea to grow it’s long roots, giving the desired direction to create these strong bridges which proved to be a stable alternative to the wooden ones.
These bridges were re-discovered by Denis P. Rayen of the Cherrapunji Holiday Resort. The view of roots entwined together is majestic with ability to remain etched in ones’ memory forever. I totally agree with Timoothy Allen when he says these words about this bridge, “When I tell people about this part of India, I can’t help drawing an analogy with the appearance of some of the sets in Lord of the Rings. For me, the bridge at Wahthyllong is the antithesis of this analogy. Uncertain of the age of the bridge, I’m estimating 60-100 years but from talking to the locals, all that I can be certain of is that it wasn’t planted by someone who is still alive today.”
Cherrapunji was India’s wettest place few years back, now of course near by Mawsynram, currently holds the record. There are 11 root bridges which are functional presently however the double decker root bridge is on of it’s own kind in the world which I’ll be covering in Travel category of my next post. I hope you enjoy the pics and it’s worth including in your travel bucket. http://ceenphotography.com/2014/11/12/cees-which-way-photo-challenge-2014-20/