Root Bridges - Wonder Of Meghalaya India

"There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go for me India, is such a place" Keith Bellows, about the greatness of India. Not just Bellows, travelers past and the present have left behind the impressions of India and her varied culture, be it the people, art & architecture, the flora and fauna, beautiful mountains, breathtaking valleys, spices and more. The splendor of India echoed almost all corners of the world prompting many travelers to undertake long arduous journey to explore further the richness of India and her culture. India is one country that has nature in all its beautiful manifestation. North or South, East or West the Indian region is full of wonders, whether natural or man-made. Now let us wander through the North Eastern Indian state of Meghalaya and find out why tourists are heading to see one such man-made wonder, more popularly known as Root bridges of Meghalaya.

1. The abode of clouds

Address: Upland Rd, Opp St. Margaret's School, Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah, Shillong, Meghalaya 793003, India.

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The abode of clouds Photo

Meghalaya in short means "Abode of clouds" in Sanskrit. Meghalaya is endowed with beautiful valleys, wildlife, enjoyable climate and has always charmed the discerning tourists who throng to this place to enjoy and be with nature. There are a number of places worth visiting, but tourists don?t miss to see the charming natural wonder, the root bridges, which by any means are centuries old and still going strong. The Kasi tribals take great pride in preserving these bridges. The rope bridges are formed by utilizing the aerial roots of the rubber trees usually found near the river banks and strengthening them to form long ropes, twisting them at some places to make them suitable as bridges over the river. The roots in due course adjust and grow thicker and get added strength. Sometimes the root bridges are also developed over bamboo scaffoldings so as to give the extra strength since people use very frequently these bridges. These scaffoldings are subject to wear and tear and the tribals have to change the scaffoldings as and when they feel the need to discard the used bamboo scaffoldings. In Indian villages it is a common sight to see young children swinging to the branches of the Banyan tree. Instead of the branches the Kasi tribals found new ways to utilize the roots of trees near river banks and in due course built the root bridges and the villagers utilized these bridges to cross the rivers. Some of these root bridges are said to be over 100 years.

2. Double Decker Bridges

Address: Philadelphia, PA 19153, United States.

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Double Decker Bridges Photo

Not content with just one, tribals have also developed double decker bridges after realizing that flood waters reached the first bridge during heavy rains and hence built one more bridge above this bridge to help the villagers to cross safely. People of some villages like Nongriat are dependent on the rope bridges to reach remote places as there are no modern bridges given the geographical reasons. Tourist enthusiasts say the best way to reach these bridges are by trekking which may take a couple of hours to reach but unmindful of the hazards, trekkers undergo this journey to see this natural wonder. The double decker bridge at Nongriat has been built over a beautiful river, so serene and you can see the crystal clear waters, nature at its best. Outwardly the bridges looks clumsy, but the tribals credited with this wonder were more worried about the strength of the bridges rather than the external beauty. The life span of these bridges are supposed to be 500 years.

3. How to reach Nongriat

Address: Nongriat, Tyrna, Cherrapunjiā€ˇ, Meghalaya 793111, India.

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How to reach Nongriat Photo

The nearest city is Shillong and it takes nearly 3 hours drive to reach this place. Or you can plan your journey from Sohra(formerly known as Cherrapunji) wettest place and ideal holiday resorts are there for the travel conscious people. Monsoon starts from May and sometimes extends till October and hence plan accordingly, if you want to avoid monsoon and enjoy the clear sky. Close to the double root bridges, is another natural wonder the Rainbow falls which though tests your patience, is worth a visit. There are other falls like Nohkalikai falls. If you are an average traveler or an avowed traveler and a photophile, or a nemophilist for the love of forests, then Meghalaya is the ideal destination and no wonder the root bridges of Megalaya are being nominated for excellence in innovation.

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