India is well known for its lavish diversity of nature and its wonders. It is an exemplary hub for travel enthusiasts. In this travelogue let’s have look at the Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya – “Abode of Clouds”, a state in the North East of India bordering Bangladesh, is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in India. Living root bridges have been quite helpful for crossing the rivers and streams in Meghalaya. These bridges are made by naturally grown roots of the banyan trees and it takes about 15 to 20 years for the bridge to be ready. For the last 180 years, people of two districts of Meghalaya are weaving the roots of the tree to make the bridge sturdy structure to cross the rivers. The life span of these bridges is about 500-600 years and they strengthen as they grow old. Most famous root bridges of Meghalaya are the “Double Decker” root bridge which can be found in the vicinity of the Cherrapunji.
Here is the list of living root bridges of Meghalaya
1) Umshiang Root Bridge – The Double Decker Root Bridge
The most popular Umshiang bridge located at Umshiang river at Nongriat village, which is 17 meters long and it is well-known due to its easy accessibility and resilience. This bridge is popularly known as the double-decker root bridge. It is after a descent of 1400 meters that you reach this famous and the oldest living root bridges in Meghalaya.
2) Mawsaw Root Bridge
Located at Mawsaw village with a distance of thirty minutes from the Umshiang root bridge, the major attraction of this bridge is its natural swimming pool.
3) Rittymmen Root Bridge
Rittymmen Root Bridge is located in Nongthymmai village and it can be visited while on the way to the double-decker root bridge. The starting point of the bridge is Tyrna village and it covers a distance of 30 meters
4) Ummunoi Root Bridge
This bridge is located in Ummunoi river near Siej village. This oldest living root starts from Laitkynsew village of Meghalaya. It is a single root bridge which is a three-kilometer one-way trek with a descent of 1,400 feet.
5) Umkar Root Bridge
The Umkar root bridge is located in Umkar village which was partially washed away by floods which happened 40 years ago. The villagers are working hard to rebuild this bridge. The starting point of the bridge is Siej Village. One of the major attractions of this bridge is a beautiful waterfall alongside the bridge which appears heavenly during the monsoon season.
6) Mawlynnong Root Bridge
Located a few kilometers before Mawlynnong village which is renowned as Asia’s cleanest village, the bridge is considered readily accessible. The starting point of the bridge is Riwai Village.
To reach the living root bridges you must first get to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. A ride of two and a half hours from there would take you to the villages.
These natural bridges are one of it’s kind, we hope these places will find a place in the Bucket-list of any travel lover!