In the northeast of India, in the mountains of Meghalaya, there are a series of bridges made from tree roots that create an atmosphere Summer night Dream of Shakespeare. The living bridges of Meghalaya were created by the Khasi tribe, since they were cut off by the flooding of the rivers during the monsoons. Lonely Planet includes these fascinating bridges as one of the “101 wonders of the world.”

The living bridges of Meghalaya are located in one of the wettest places on the planet. The town of Mawsynram56 km from the state capital of Meghalaya, has a rainfall of almost 12,000 liters per square meter. To give us an idea, it is six times more than what it rains in Vigo, one of the rainiest cities in Spain, where about 1,800 liters per square meter fall per year.


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engineering jewel

The Khasi managed to cross the swollen river flows caused by the rains. To do this, they agilely manipulate the roots of large ficus elastica trees or “gomeros”. It is a practice that dates back centuries, but it is still alive, since it continues to be carried out and the generations teach the next ones.

Living double-decker bridges of Nogriat, Meghalaya (India).
Living double-decker bridges of Nogriat, Meghalaya (India).

A characteristic of this species is the elasticity and ability of its roots to fuse. The aerial rootsthat is, roots that do not seek the ground and grow in the air, are braided to the trunks, thus controlling the direction of their growth and a bamboo scaffolding serves as support to the structure. Over time the roots harden and become tangled, forming a firm structure, although for the The bridge will be operational in 20 to 30 years.

According to the official Meghalaya tourism website, there are about a hundred bridges; some reach 50 meters in height and the longest is 50 meters. The most popular and visitable are located in the towns of Nongriat, Cherrapunji, Nongbare and its surroundings.

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How to visit the living bridges

First of all, It is recommended to visit them in autumn and winter, and avoid the monsoon season. The journey to the bridges is not easy. The nearest international airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata, from this point you can fly to Kolkata airport. Guwahati and from here take a bus or plane to Shillong, the capital of the state of Meghalaya. In these two cities There are agencies that organize transportation and the visit to various points where the living bridges are located.

One of the living bridges in Meghalaya, India.
One of the living bridges in Meghalaya, India.

Numerous villages of Meghalaya They are part of the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rubén Díez, better known as Lethal Crysis, uploads videos to his YouTube channel with almost five million subscribers documenting trips to the most extreme places and about the most interesting tribes on the planet.

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