Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji

It is a form of tree shaping, which creates these suspension bridges, they are handmade from the aerial roots of living banyan fig trees, such as Ficus elastica. The pliable tree roots are trained to grow through betel tree trunks which are placed across the gap, until the figs’ roots take root on the other side. Sticks, stones, and other inclusions are placed with the growing bridge. This process can take up to 15 years to complete. There are specimens spanning over 100 feet. The useful lifespan of the bridges, once complete, is thought to be 500–600 years. They are naturally self-renewing and self-strengthening as the component roots grow thicker.

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