A fantasy movie picture? Nothing could be further from the truth than an example of living architecture. After all, nature can also be an artist.
In the depths of northeastern India, in one of the most humid places on earth, – Cherrapunji – bridges are not built by man, they just grow. The living bridges are made of ficus elastica, whose roots grow above the trunk. The surrounding War-Khasis tribe living in Meghalaya have developed a technique for pruning and lengthening the flexible roots of the tree, helping them to reach the other side of the river. The “construction”, or rather the process of creating such a bridge, takes ten to fifteen years. Interestingly, they are extremely strong and can withstand the weight of up to fifty people at a time! Some sources say that it can be even more. It is estimated that they have been used by the inhabitants of Cherrapunji for a long time, and the oldest such works of nature, are even five hundred years old. They were rediscovered by Denis P. Rayen from the Cherrapunji Holiday Resort. Thanks to his interest in living architecture, the local people were made aware of its potential value and protection against exchange for steel.
One of the most noteworthy is the Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge – two wooden bridges laid one above the other.

Categories: Travel