Meghalaya’s Living Bridge can grow for up to 500 years. It takes more then one life-time to make one.
The tree that is used to make the bridges is a rubber tree called “Ficus elastica,” and it produces a series of secondary roots higher up on it’s trunk that are strong enough that people can actually perch on them. Hollowed “betel nut trunks” are used to guide the roots from the “Ficus elastica” across a stream where they are allowed to take root in the soil: http://bit.ly/aFS1uA
Cherrapunji as seen in the monsoon season. This video is well worth watching!
Cherrapunji as seen in the winter when the water level is low
Crossing a younger living bridge
This is the blog that this video came from. It has some more great photographs: http://rootbridges.blogspot.com/
The town called “Cherrapunji” can receive as much as 22,987 millimetres (905.0 in) of rainfall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherrapunji. So the living bridges came in very handy to make the area more accessible. The process of growing a bridge can take 10-15 years, and these bridges can last for hundreds of years. The oldest bridge is said to be around 600 years old.
Some of the older bridges can hold up to 50 people at a time: http://bit.ly/pBgCsM, and are made from a interwoven latticework to make them extremely strong.
This is a little tour of the many sights around Cherrapunji
Shortened link to this video: Cherrapunji: One of the wettest places on earth : http://youtu.be/4QIPonjsmFY
Despite all this water, Cherrapunji suffers water shortages in the winter and this is only set to get worse as global warming occurs:
Shortened link to this video: Despite Cherrapunji’s high rainfall, it suffers acute water shortages during the winter : http://youtu.be/J3DFSFXDcRw
“India’s wettest place ‘lacks water:'” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8378327.stm.
Shortened link to this post: Meghalaya’s Living Bridge: http://bit.ly/nH5r9d