Carefully Woven Live Root Bridges of Meghalaya

They are live, gain strength each day, marvel of nature, bless the tribals, live in perfect harmony and pride of Meghalaya.

Yes, I am talking about the centuries old live root bridges which is a tribal art of carefully manipulating the roots of a tree into a live bridge, basically for the commuting purpose to cross rivers and streams. 

DSC02805Khasi people have been trained to grow these bridges across the raised banks of streams to form root bridges made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree, which produces a series of secondary roots that are perched atop huge boulders along the streams or the riverbanks.


Stones and banyan tree roots provide strongest path to cross rivers and streams.
Stones and banyan tree roots provide strongest path 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…….


The life span of these bridges are around 500 to 600 years after they are well formed ( take ten to fifteen years to be fully functional) and are strong enough to take load of the daily functioning and commuting of locals out here. Some of which are over a hundred feet long, more long lasting than metal or wooden ones which gets destroyed due to massive rains this area receives.DSC04947_001



30 Responses

  1. They look so amazing. You dont see something like that very often now do you? Phew. Thanks for an interesting post. Good Luck on your travels 🙂

  2. This is quite mind-boggling. The sort of solution one would imagine from fairy-folk. How many other useful things, I wonder, could not be made by people by encouraging life rather than causing death as with, in this case, chopping wood to make a bridge?

    1. You are absolutely light. Tribals protect their environment by fulfilling their requirements from within their means without harming mother nature. This bridge is a perfect example of their approach towards life. Thank you for appreciating the effort.

  3. I’ve never seen anything like that before! That’s some real ingenuity there…. though I’d probably still be a bit freaked out trying to cross one the first time!

  4. Those are AMAZING. What an incredibly good idea … and what wonderful pictures. I don’t think it is possible in our climate, but I wish it were. The bridges are always falling apart here and there is never enough money to fix them. Living bridges is the ultimate renewable resource.

    1. They are indeed. Seriously wonders of nature and creative minds. They look magnificiant from the distance and you are in awe when you see them for the first time.

  5. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:
    This is one of the most remarkable things I’ve seen. It’s a brilliant concept. Living bridges created by the twined roots of trees. I know it wouldn’t work here in New England, but what a great way to have footbridges that live and grow. Living in cooperation with nature. Brilliant. And great pictures, too.

    1. I bet ! Very adventurous and exciting to go across through live root bridges. I kept on wandering how they must have thought about this unique creation. Thanks for the read and same to you.

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