The Pilgrimage to the Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunjee
Meghalaya lays nestled among the lush, humid Jaintia and Khasi hills, Northeast of India. The descent is a five and a half hour trek deep into the jungle. This 3000 step pilgrimage is both challenging, exhilarating and breath taking in more ways than one. It is here you will find the only living root bridges in the world. They are as magical and mysterious as their name suggests and are a testament to humanity and nature living in harmony.
These incredible bridges ooze chi that cleanses energy, ridding you of blockages and revitalising the soul. And they have the bonus of looking as though they have stepped right out of an ancient fairytale.
They are made from the Indian rubber tree called Ficus Elastica. This tree thrives amongst rivers and streams and can perch its roots on the top of boulders or plant them deep into the riverbed, shooting out secondary roots as they go. The Khasi tribe discovered the flexible power of these trees hundreds of years ago and has left living legends for their ancestors by creating these living root bridges.
They hollow out betel nut tree trunks and place them in the desired location of where they want the direction of the bridge to grow. They then weave the thin roots of the Indian rubber tree around them and watch them spread to the other end to take root there. Stones are laid on top creating a pathway and overtime become embedded. Eventually, the living bridge is formed and can carry around 50 people. They take around 15 years to become fully functional and continue to get stronger with time.
These bridges are used every day by the locals, who are very proud of their heritage and greet you with a warm welcome.
Will our future generations be proud of their ancestors? What living legends are we leaving for them? Are we cultivating something that grows stronger with time and will still benefit the community in hundreds of years?
Watch the video here of our little adventure going to the Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunjee
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