India’s Root Bridge is built by Nature

Meghalaya, the Northeast state of India is home to some of the unique structures made by man in collaboration with nature. The villagers here have mastered an indigenous technique of constructing Root Bridges. These are living bridges which are not built but grown.

Root-Bridge-by-sergio-carbajoRoot-Bridge-of-Riwai-by-Shiraz-HansenRoot-Bridge-by-sayak-roy

The Khasi people of Meghalaya have been carrying forward the indigenous construction technique of root bridges from one generation to the other. A banyan tree classified as Ficus elastica is used in making these bridges. The secondary roots of these trees perched on top huge boulders along either side of the river are intermingled and connected to form the bridges.

Root-Bridge-by-raj-kamal
image © Raj Kamal
Root-Bridge-by-Apratim-Buragohain
image © Apratim Buragohain

These bridges are built from a type of banyan tree called Ficus elastica that grows on top of boulders on either side of the rivers. The secondary roots of these trees are guided through hollowed out trunks of betel nut trees to the other side of the river. Roots from either side of the river reach the other side touch the ground and starts to grow. Once they are intermingled and grows thicker, the bridge starts to grow stronger.

There are bridges in the region which are more than 500 years old. Some of the old bridges are even paved with stones.


This article is written by MM in Dubai for www.sanctosis.com.

MM in Dubai Footer copy

Tell me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s