The bridge that “Lives”

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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.

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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.

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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.Image

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.

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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!!

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42 thoughts on “The bridge that “Lives”

  1. I have read about this and was very curious to visit, do you need a guide or is it easy to plan the trip on your own?

      1. Can’t wait to check out your next post! The human’s son in law just started a blog today on WordPress, and I heard her tell him about your blog….he plans to stop by!

        Shrimp

  2. Thanks for stopping by my brand new blog Pankaj 😀 — This bridge is just remarkable!! And thank you for the wonderful photos, since I know I will never see this bridge in person. It is as if I were there. Just wonderful! — Can I give some feedback for your blog? Maybe you could add a static page with a little map? You could add a star on the map each time you make a post about a different place. I dont know how you would do it, but after reading this post, on the front page today, I had no idea of the continent, let alone the country. Then I went to the previous post which actually says Asia, and then India. Just an idea. I hope you dont mind. — Now that I have read 5 or 6 posts, with beautiful pictures, I have the urge to go to Google maps and mark it out myself. (LOL) Hence the suggestion. I am inquisitive too, and have traveled ‘in my day’, and actually lived in Germany for a few years, but now I am just an on-the-web traveler. — Blessings to you and the work you do with animals. I agree with your motto. No animal should suffer. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Kathleen

  3. Hi Pankaj,

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

    How amazing is the view from the village outskirts – truly awesome. I just love the bridge that lives – how ingenious of the villagers to have had this work of art in progress. Truly inspirational and beautiful!

  4. Thank you for these photos and the story of it all. Fascinating. And to think I may never have known about this bridge if I hadn’t happened upon your post!

  5. The view from the rock must have been fantastic. I do envy you right for a bit that you had been there, and I did not. (:-)))

  6. Hello Pankaj. Thank you for liking my “A Week in Sherlock’s life”. I do have a couple of questions about this incredible bridge…How long has it been there? How long it took to build it? Regards. Yana

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