The root bridges of Meghalaya
New Delhi, Jan 24 (Prensa Latina) The Khasi Tribes that live in Meghalaya, a very humid Indian plateu that means 'Dwelling in the Clouds' in Sanskrit language, established a close tie with nature by building root bridges to cross rivers and unite isolated villages.
Known as Jing KiengJri, these runways are made out of abundant rubber fig trees, FicusElastica, from India that produce strong aerial rootstock similar to rope.
When they are wrapped in a provisional platform of empty trunks made by Areca Catechu or native bamboo, they grow in a horizontal form over canyons and steep riverbank.
Thanks to the Palm trees, the roots develop towards a specific area whose fruit is used in a great part of Asia and Oceania thanks to its stimulating properties.
The Khasi cuts a truck from this tree and empties its center to create a guided system for the fig roots.
Once they reach the end of one of the guided systems, it is placed at one extreme and successively until they complete a pontoon.
With time, the tangible roots naturally thicken and strengthens extending over steep slopes and riverscapable of holding up to 35 people at a time.
The bridges stretch across rivers and ravines in India's mountainous Meghalaya plateau, connecting villages and allowing farmers to access their land.
They're all constructed -- or cultivated -- from the aerial roots of the same kind of tree: Ficus elastica, or the Indian rubber tree.
The construction of this type of crossway usually lasts almost 20 years as the river is crossed and the roots grow making them strong enough to walk over.
With time, these structures become more resistant and live for several centuries despite sudden flooding and regular storms in the steep region.
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