Ever Growing Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya – A Nature’s Marvel In The Northeast


There are bridges all over the world which are considered to be man’s best creation! but natural wonders Living Root Bridge in Meghalaya It’s mind boggling. These amazing structures have carefully evolved over time and are one of the biggest attractions of Meghalaya. The ever-evolving Meghalaya bridges are made of entangled thick roots that provide strength to the structure and make it large enough to hold 50 or more people at a time. They are trained and raised Cough And jaintia tribe Who have mastered the art of growing roots on the high banks of the rivers that flow through the dense forests of Meghalaya.

Living Root Bridge: History and Facts

Living Root Bridge hanging over a stream in Shillong

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The whole idea of ​​Meghalaya’s living bridges came about two centuries ago (exactly 180 years ago) when the stalwarts of the Khasi tribe living in Meghalaya inserted the roots of the rubber tree into the hollow canes of the Areca nut palm that were placed halfway across the stream. Used to meet in. The roots were properly nourished and cared for until they grew large enough to reach the opposite bank, completely fused with each other and capable of supporting heavy weights themselves.

The awesome roots of the rubber tree that form a living root bridge

Some interesting facts about these bridges are as follows:

  • Living root bridges are made from the roots of the rubber tree also known as ficus elastica tree,
  • Some root bridges are over 100 feet long and take 10 to 15 years to achieve the correct shape.
  • Once fully developed, these roots can live for up to 500 years. While some roots rot due to constant exposure to water, other roots grow and compensate for the rot, providing the necessary stability to the bridge.
  • Of all the living root bridges in Meghalaya, Double Decker Root Bridge at Cherrapunji And this Single-decker root bridge in Shillong These are unique bridges in the world and are major attractions in the Northeast.
  • The Living Root Bridge in Meghalaya has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Read suggestions: 11 reasons to visit Cherrapunji that make it heaven on earth

Living Root Bridge: Location

Living root bridges are found West Jaintia Hills district, East Khasi Hills The district, and some other areas of Meghalaya are among the places in India that deserve more travelers. However, the best root bridges are concentrated at Cherrapunji and Shillong. Here’s how to reach these beautiful destinations. Both these cities can be reached from Guwahati.

How to reach Shillong and Cherrapunji from Guwahati

The highway that leads to Shillong

Guwahati being a major city of Northeast India serves as a hub for everyone traveling to the region. One can easily get many transportation options from Guwahati to all the places in the North East.

By air: Guwahati Airport, at a distance of 123 km from Shillong, is well connected to major airports in India. Most people prefer reserved cabs to reach Shillong from the airport. Cherrapunji is 54 km from Shillong, a 2-hour drive by local bus or cab.

by train: Guwahati Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Meghalaya. It is very well connected to other major railway stations across India and commuting to Shillong and other major cities of Northeast India is quite convenient. The distance of 148 km between Guwahati and Cherrapunji can be covered in 4 hours by taxi or private/government bus.

by road: Volvo buses and government buses run at regular intervals from Guwahati to Shillong and Cherrapunji. The 99 km distance between Guwahati and Shillong is full of thrilling views, which is truly a gift to all travelers.

Best time to visit Living Root Bridge in Meghalaya

Dense forest in East Khasi Hills region

Meghalaya has a similar climate throughout the year. The weather is pleasant and foggy for most of the year. However, avoid the monsoon season from June to August as the roads become slippery. Even walking in the forest and climbing stairs becomes difficult.

For the rest of the year, just pack your bag and don’t forget to carry enough winter clothes.

Read suggestions: 30 Best Places to Visit in India in January

Double Decker Living Root Bridge at Cherrapunji

A view of the double decker living root bridge at Cherrapunji

30 meter long bridge standing 2400 feet high and there is Longest known living root bridge, which also means that one has to climb a steep descent of 2400 feet to reach the bridge. Having said that, the route from Cherrapunji to Umshiang Route Bridge is one of the Most challenging trek And it requires a lot of patience and stamina. It is said to be 180 years old and there are plans to add another level to the bridge.

Having the distinction of being addressed as one of the most picturesque and beautiful places on earth, Cherrapunji, at a distance of 56 km from Shillong, is a must-see place in Meghalaya. Innumerable waterfalls, misty atmosphere, favorable climate throughout the year and lush greenery are among the most prominent attractions for tourists from all over the world who visit this peaceful place in Northeast India.

How to reach Double Decker Living Root Bridge from Cherrapunji

bridge is one 3 km Trek from Tyrna village, which serves as the base village. Tierna Village Is at a distance of 20 km from Cherrapunji, You won’t find too many buses on this route, so the fastest means to reach the double-decker Living Root Bridge is by hitchhiking or ride sharing. However, sumo taxis It is one of the widely used vehicles for transportation in the area. The trek from Tyrna village is quite tough and you must be completely fit to cover the distance easily.

Other popular living root bridges in Cherrapunji are Ummunoi Root Bridge, Ritimmen Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge, Mawsaw Root Bridge. These bridges make for an exciting trek and are a must-see when you are in Cherrapunji.

Single-decker living root bridge in Shillong

The Living Root Bridge is a pleasant sight on a bright day

The single decker root bridge can be reached by trekking the path starting from the village Potato, This small village is very close Mawlynnong – a strange paradise that became famous in 2003 when it was declared as Asia’s cleanest village From discover india magazine.

Mawlynnong is about 3 hours away from Shillong and is located close to the Bangladesh border. Come here to enjoy the spectacular view of the Natural Balance Rock, which is one of the major attractions of Mawlynnong. In fact, there are some fascinating homestays as well as some interesting places and things to see and do. Plan a vacation and see for yourself.

Must read: Here’s why Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village, deserves more tourists

How to reach Single-Decker Living Root Bridge from Shillong

Signboard leading to the Living Root Bridge in Mawlynnong

The distance between Shillong to Mawlynnong is 78 km, which can be covered by a 2.5 hour taxi ride. Take a shared sumo or jeep from the sumo stand at Bada Bazaar, a 15-minute walk from Police Bazaar. For accurate directions, seek help from locals.

To reach the Living Root Bridge one has to descend to Riwai village, a few kilometers before Mawlynnong. The bridge is a 15-minute walk from there.

read ahead: 31 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Northeast India

Meghalaya looks straight out of the set of The Hobbit. The enchanting places of Meghalaya, be it the forests, rivers, waterfalls and wonders of the world like the Living Root Bridge, they all look very unreal. Visit this Northeastern beauty to enjoy nature at its best and the wonder of the Living Root Bridge.

Check out Dhilip’s itinerary for Meghalaya travel and book a trip to this beautiful land.

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FAQs about Living Root Bridge Meghalaya

How many living root bridges are there in Meghalaya?

There are 11 living root bridges in Meghalaya. They are 2.5 drives away from Shillong. Bridges in Meghalaya have been in existence since 1844.

How do I reach Mawlynnong from Shillong?

Shillong is 78 kilometers from Mawlynnong. It takes only 2.5-3 hours to reach Mawlynnong from Shillong. From Shillong Airport you can easily get a taxi to Khasi Hills Sumo Stand in Bara Bazaar Market. From the market, you can take a shared sumo to reach Mawlynnong. On the way, you will get to see some amazing waterfalls in Meghalaya which will truly mesmerize you.

How are living root bridges formed?

Living root bridges are created by inserting young Ficus elastica roots into the hollow trunks of areca palm trees. They are built across rivers and waterfalls. They grow through the stems so rapidly that they attach themselves to the other side.

How far is Root Bridge from Shillong?

The distance between Shillong and the single-decker Living Root Bridge is 78 kilometres, which can be covered in 2.5 hours via private taxi.

Is Meghalaya safe for tourists?

Yes, Meghalaya is safe for all tourists, especially backpackers and solo female travelers. If you are a woman, please take the same precautionary measures you would in any other country you are traveling to. Keep a pepper spray with you at all times.

Which is the cleanest place in Asia?

Mawlynnong won the title of cleanest place in Asia in 2003. It is a small village about 100 km from Shillong. It is truly a natural haven.

Why is Meghalaya called the Living Root Bridge?

Meghalaya is known as the living root bridge as many root bridges are present in the forests. These bridges are built by the Khasi and Jaintia tribes, who have mastered the art of weaving thick roots together to form a structure that has the capacity to hold more than 50 people.


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