Breathtaking images of the living bridges of India
Deep in the misty rain forests of the Indian state of Meghalaya lie the world's most majestic bridges, woven from the living, growing roots of rubber trees.
Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM
Photo: Amos Chapple/Getty Images
Among the most beautiful places in the world is the Indian state of Meghalaya. Conjure up heaven on Earth and you might picture it: Chiseled by majestic waterfalls and carpeted in lush rain forest, misty gorges characterize the landscape. "Meghalaya" literally translates as "abode in the clouds."
Life doesn't just grow in Meghalaya, it flourishes. Drunk on the region's countless rivers, roots and vines thrive and tangle in a seamless weave. Clouds blanket the terrain in an air of mystery and magic.
Though it may sound too ethereal to be accessible, the people of Meghalaya have adapted to traverse this impenetrable paradise. Over the centuries, they have invented an ingenious form of natural engineering: the living root bridge.
The powerful but malleable roots of Ficus elastica, or Indian rubber tree, can be woven into latticework structures that, over time, form robust bridges. Because they are made from living trees, the bridges do not rot like conventional bridges might. In fact, they only grow stronger as the tree's root system matures. The resultant bridges are nothing short of breathtaking.
Take a look at some of these remarkable living bridges here:
Photo courtesy: TravelWithNeelima.com
Bryan Nelson is a writer, adventurer and activist.
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