Living root bridges

The Living root bridges are common in Meghalaya and can be found in many places. But the most famous of them all are the ones in Cherrapunjee. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state. Living root bridges are a type of simple suspension bridge formed of living rubber tree roots by tree shaping and are hundreds of years old. They are common in the state of Meghalaya in northeast India.

The literal translation of Meghalaya is “The abode of clouds”, Mehga in Sanskrit is clouds. Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya is one of the wettest places in the world. The people living in these regions near living root bridges are called the Khasis. They have developed a relationship with the forest from the ancient times. It is said that the tree shaping was practiced by Khasis tribal group from ancient times and some believe that they are the ones who made the living root bridges.

This tribal group of Meghalaya developed a way to travel through the forest through the waterfalls and other water bodies by creating the living root bridges also known as jing kieng jri. For the formation of a living root bridge it requires at least 25 to 30 years of tree shaping. These roots forming the bridge become stronger with time. The origin of creation of the living root bridges is not really known, however the first record appears more than hundred years ago.

Some of the places in Meghalaya where you can experience the Living Root Bridges are the Nongriat’s Living root Bridges, the Living root bridges at Mawlynnong and the famous Cherrapunjee’s Living root bridges. In Nongriat, you can witness the Living root bridges after a 7000 stairs trek and it is the only way that the villagers can cross the stream. Mawlynnong is the cleanest village of Asia. After a quick walk of about 15 minutes you can reach this living root bridge in Mawlynnong. And there are 11 functional Living root bridges in Cherrapunjee, situated about two and a half hours drive from Shillong.

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