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Grow your own bridge, the War-Khasis of North West India

Root bridge in India an example of sustainable designSwift-flowing rivers and mountain streams are a feature of the southern Khasi and Jaintia hills in North West India. One of the trees growing there is a species of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system .  And the good people of the War-Khasis tribe  use the roots of said tree to grow bridges. The bridges, which take around ten to fifteen years to plan, are created by using betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out to guide the roots across the river where they are allowed to take root into the soil. Because they are living, the bridges become stronger over time and there is speculation that some may be over 500 years old.

We found this on Atlas Obscura, photos from Flickr and felt the need to share it more widely. These bridges were re-discovered by Denis P. Rayen of the Cherrapunji Holiday Resort. He was worked with local people to protect the bridges and a new one is being grown. It should be ready in about ten years. It would b  trite to preach about how much we can learn about working with the environment from the War-Khasis, so we will leave you to reflect as you enjoy a few more pictures of their work .

Root Bridge

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    Root bridge in India an example of sustainable design Swift-flowing rivers and mountain streams are a feature of the southern Khasi and Jaintia.


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