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Living Bridges of Meghalaya

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I was leafing through the the DK Press’s book about India. Suddenly the entry about the Living Bridges of Meghalaya caught my eye. I was awe struck by this wonderful technique practiced in remote villages in Meghalaya. There they don’t build bridges, they GROW bridges!!!

I wanted to know more and gathered further information.
But in all the photos that came up, even the photo in DK’s Book, these bridges  are seen to be stretching across shallow streams. I thought, why cant people just hop over the rocks or just do a little wading across? Do they really need a bridge to cross these small streams?

Check the photo below and I am sure you will also tend to think the same.  You know what, these mild looking streams swell into raging torrents during the monsoons. Then it is totally impossible to cross these streams without the help of a suitable bridge that can withstand their powerful currents.

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Photo : A Double Decker Bridge made from live Banyan tree roots



 How are the bridges made?

The local people train the roots of a type of banyan tree to form a bridge across streams and small rivers. This growth and shaping of the roots into a bridge takes many years. But the reward is a bridge that grows stronger as the years pass by and it will last upto a century or more. Continue reading »