A view from the village outskirts.
My trip to Mawlynnong was wonderful and I had great fun climbing the tree houses as described in my last post. My next stop, about which I had great anticipation and excitement, was the village of Riwai right next to Mawlynnong.
The signpost to Riwai.
The excitement is all about a bridge that the villagers use every day. This bridge does the same thing that every other bridge in the world does, but what is really special is the reason behind its existence. Unlike any other bridge, this one has got a life; Its a living roots bridge. This is the bridge at Wahthyllong that could be at least a century old.
The living roots bridge.
The bridge is made up of roots and branches of ficus trees standing on the either side of the stream. How the bridge was “grown” is a lengthy and elaborate affair. The villagers first planted two ficus trees on either side and connected them with bamboos. Over the years the roots and branches of the two ficus trees were made to crawl over the bamboo from either side and meet in the middle. With the passing of time, the roots and branches got strongly intertwined with each other and became strong enough to support not only its own weight but also that of people and animals who use it regularly.
The cobblestone bridge pathway.
The gaps in between the roots and the branches were filled with rocks by the villagers and with time and moss growing on them it kind of started looking very natural. A cobblestone path sculpted by man and nature together.
Going up and down the bridge.
This is a true wonder that is hidden in a distant corner and to my astonishment, majority of the local state population is still unaware of its existence…This really is the time to head towards Riwai and see for yourself what the fuss is all about!!