living root bridges

Photos of the amazing Living Root Bridges in the East Khasi Hills region of Meghalaya in North-East India.­

In 2005, Human Planet photographer Timothy Allen documented and exposed to the public these incredible living bridges located in a remote tribal region of North-East India, near the Bengladesh border.­ After seeing his photos of this region, I decided to follow his footsteps,

Here is some of the info I gathered from Tim Allen's blog about those living root bridges:

All Khasi villages are connected by a network of stone pathways known as the King’s way which traditionally kept the local betel nut trade alive with Shillong.­ Throughout this network, hundreds of living root bridges form the bridleways over the myriad of water channels that criss-cross the area.­

A few minutes walk from Mawlynnong, Wahthyllong has one of the most beautiful of all the bridges in the East Khasi Hills.­ The age of the Wahthyllong Jingmaham bridge is estimated to 60-100 years and local say it wasn’t planted by someone who is still alive today.­

The development and upkeep of bridges is a community affair.­ Initially, a length of bamboo is secured across a river divide and a banyan plant (Ficus elastica) is planted on each bank.­ Over the months and years, the roots and branches of the rapidly growing Ficus are trained along the bamboo until they meet in the middle and eventually supersede its support.­

At later stages in the evolution of the bridge, stones and earth are inserted into the gaps and eventually become engulfed by the plant forming the beautiful walkways.­ Later still, the bridges are improved upon with the addition of hand rails and steps.­

You can get more information and view more amazing photos of the Living Root Bridges, and of the Khasi people who bio-engineered them, on Timothy Allen's Blog.

A few other pages about the living root bridges:
- www.­atlasobscura.­com/­places/­root-bridges-cherrapungee
- www.­dailymail.­co.­uk/­news/­article-2035520/­Meghalaya-villag.­.­.­