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.


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.

image © Raj Kamal
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

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