The Living Tree Bridges of Meghalaya

Attributes: Unusual Travel Places in India, Adventure

What’s this?

At the base of the Meghalaya Plateau are a series of bridges unlike any we have seen or heard about elsewhere in the world. The Khasi tribe in the valleys leading to Bangladesh has trained the roots and branches of banyan trees to create living bridges spanning the rivers that separate their villages. These bridges look as if they belong in a Lord of the Rings movie.

Because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time – and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over five hundred years old. One special root bridge, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, is actually two bridges stacked one over the other and has come to be known as the “Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge.”

On the surface of the bridge, which you can see below, rocks and bits of wood have been added to the mix to make for an easier crossing. There is an additional reason for the bits of wood though. As the wood decomposes, it provides nutrients for the tree roots growing around it.

What to Do:

Please do not undertake this trek unless you are comfortable walking close to 3000 steps. Its a long walk down and an equally longer walk up, taking almost double the time to climb up.

There are 2 root bridges, in this trek to nongriat village, once you climb down the initial steps you will get to a notification stating single root bridge, please take that as the first destination, it is totally worth it as you can marvel at this natural /manmade creation and also spend time relaxing in the stream flowing beneath.

Post the single root bridge , commence your walk down to the double root bridges ,to the village of nongriat, you will pass 2 manmade hanging bridges in the way, the walk is well worth it, since the double root bridges are actually something to behold . There are a couple of eating joints nearby in the village as well as stay options, should you choose to avail of them.

It is a one day affair if you want to take it slow and return back to Sohora post that. Carry drinking water and some chocolates as the case is in every trek.

Tags: Unusal Travel Places in India, Adventure places in India

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