Why build a bridge when you can grow one?
That’s the solution the valley dwellers of northeast India came up with hundreds of years ago. In the isolated East Khasi hills, monsoon swollen rivers can be difficult and dangerous to traverse, and the locals found that homegrown bridges made of living, sidewalk-cracking roots were a lot more difficult to knock down.
Not only that, but the bridges thrive in the super-soaked region, growing stronger in the damp rather than rusting or rotting. About ten years ago, a local resort owner took notice of the root bridges and began tirelessly and successfully promoting them as a tourist destination.
The attention encouraged the local villagers, who had been considering replacing the bridges with modern concrete ones, to revive their bridge-making craft, and new bridges are growing today. Take a look at this truly green infrastructure…
This particular bridge is known as the Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge, named for the river flowing underneath. It’s a one-of-a-kind bridge among one-of-a-kind bridges, the only double-decker root bridge known to exist.
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