Root Bridges

What seem here to be old rickety rope bridges are actually something far more fascinating and far more structurally sound.

Root bridges

  • these bridges aren’t built
  • they’re grown
  • these anomalous river crossing apparatuses can be found in the Kahsi and Jainita hills of southern India
  • the tree that makes this all possible is the Indian rubber tree, or Fiscus elastica
  • these trees grow on the banks of rivers and their thick secondary roots stick out of the bank soil
  • this caught the attention of the War-Khasis tribe long long ago and they began constructing root guide systems to get the roots across the river
  • betel nut tree trunks were used as guides for the growing roots, and once the roots reached the other side of the river, they were allowed to grow into the soil
  • this process takes ten to fifteen years but it is well worth the wait
  • instead of weakening over time like man made bridges, root bridges strengthen
  • as time passes the roots continue growing thicker and stronger

A sustainable system for both man and tree! Look how well things go when we work with nature.

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