Living Root Bridges in Cherrapunji

Bridges are architectural marvels that serve important functions like connectivity, border security, and some are even good for the environment! If you’re a pontist or even a gephyrophile, the bridges listed in this article are sure to excite you!

Locals in the state of Meghalaya have been growing bridges from the roots of trees! They are quite common in the southern part of the state and are known as Living Root Bridges. Once fully grown, these bridges can stand the test of time and have been known to stand strong for as long as 500 years. They are immensely strong, some can even hold up to 50 people.

The bridges are made by threading the aerial roots of rubber fig trees and take a painstaking amount of time, between 10-30 years to morph into the popular structures that you see today. The patience and future-oriented thinking of the Khasi community from decades ago has finally paid off. Not only has this resulted in something functional for the community, but is also natural and attracts tourists from all over.

Living root bridge in shillong

The Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge

With its distinctive twin decks, this double decker root bridge is truly a marvellous sight to behold, a testament of what man can achieve in harmony with nature. The bridge is easily the most spectacular of the lot and spans 20 metres in length across the Umshiang river in Meghalaya. This root bridge in Cherrapunji is about 12 km from the city and can be accessed by a tough 3 km trek from Tryna village.

Ritymmen Root Bridge

Spanning across a length of over 30 metres, this Cherrapunji tree bridge is the longest known living root bridge. The trek down to this bridge is not as physically taxing as compared to the double decker bridge, and since it is on the way to the latter, it is more accessible and preferred by tourists.

Ummunoi Root Bridge

Widely considered the oldest of the Cherrapunji tree bridges, Ummunoi Root Bridge spans 17 metres across the Ummunoi river. The bridge can be accessed from Laitkynsew village via a 3 km trek.

Mawsaw Root Bridge

About a half hour’s walk from the double decker bridge lies Mawsaw Root Bridge. The bridge is particularly known for the natural pools that lie beneath, which make the landscape an even more gorgeous sight to behold.

Explore the subtropical forests, the marvellous eco-structures and everything else that Cherrapunji has to offer when you stay at Polo Orchid Resort, Cherrapunji. This hotel is centrally located and about a half an hour ride to most of the living root bridges in Cherrapunji.

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