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Bridge created by nature

subhraj1t

Joined July 2010

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A living root bridge in Mawlynnong village, Meghalaya, India. The roots of the trees on are knitted to form a bridge-like structure in the early days by the war-Khasi tribes.
The travel magazine Discover India declared the village as the cleanest village in Asia in 2003.

The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree. This tree produces a series of secondary roots from higher up its trunk and can comfortably perch atop huge boulders along the riverbanks, or even in the middle of the rivers themselves.
In order to make a rubber tree’s roots grow in the right direction – say, over a river – the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems. The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight out. When they reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time, a sturdy, living bridge is produced.
The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong – strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time. 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 may be well over five hundred years old. (Got the info from Living Root Bridges )

Artwork Comments

  • Mary Sedici
  • subhraj1t
  • MardiGCalero
  • subhraj1t
  • LisaMM
  • subhraj1t
  • kalaryder
  • subhraj1t
  • Kanchan Mahon
  • Kanchan Mahon
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