Cherrapunji holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year (wiki). Though the soil in this wettest region in the world is poor, the valleys around Cherrapunji, are still covered in lush and diverse vegetation.
The land is laden with various endemic species of plants. Due to heavy rains, there are numerous fast-flowing rivers and streams in the area which frequently get flooded. To travel around in the region becomes tough. Building a bridge in continued rains is impossible and wood is likely to rot sooner than expected leading to many emergency issues. So what did people do to commute around the wet land?
The people of Cherrapunji trained the roots of the most widely grown trees in the region, Ficus elastica, which has a secondary root system that grows above ground to grow into bridges and walkways. The bridges in the wettest place on the earth do look like a part of a fairy-tale in the pictures but they are real and very well alive. People walk and commute by walking on these real living gorgeous bridges in the region.
There’s no information on who first trained these roots but the practice has been on for over 500 years now. A bridge can take 10 to 15 years to grow strong enough to hold a traveler’s weight but they keep growing strong with time.
Some bridges are strong enough to hold around 50 people, and can grow over 100 feet long.
Watch this video to find out more about these magical bridges.
These root bridges are so fascinating you will now wish to see them for real if you haven’t.