The uniquely popular living root bridges in Meghalaya are made of tangles of massively thick roots. They can hold several people at a time and have been classified as double-decker and single-decker root bridges. The Khasi people are experts in growing these bridges, which are over a hundred feet long and take about 10 to 15 years to become fully functional.

The bridges are alive and growing, capable of carrying strong weights of up to 50 people at a time. There is no knowledge about when and how the tradition of growing living root bridges began. Lieutenant Henry Yule's written mention of the bridges in Sohra, Cherrapunji in the Asiatic Society of Bengal journal in 1944, is perhaps the earliest record.

It is fascinating how a living root bridge is made. The pliable roots of the Ficus elastic tree are pulled and guided across a stream or river and then left to strengthen and grow so that they can hold the weight of a human being. It is said that even elephants are able to cross over by using these bridges! There are various ways that a root bridge can be made: one is where the locals pull and manipulate young roots to grow and strengthen without any scaffolding. The second is when the roots are pulled over bamboo or wood scaffolding and allowed to grow. The third method is when the roots are manipulated and allowed to grow through hollowed out areca nut trees that are planted over rivers or streams. Last, but not least, is when the roots are manipulated over already existing bridges, which could also be steel structures.

The longest living root bridge is near Pynursla and the most famous is the double decker bridge in Nongriat Village. Some of the places where one can see this quirk of nature are West Jaintia Hills, Burma village, Rangthylliang etc.Apart from India, living root bridges can also be found in Jembatan Akar in Sumatra Islands, Indonesia and in the Banten province of Java.

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