Located in the thick tropical forest of Meghalaya, cloaked with rain during most parts of the year, are the fantastic man-made cum natural wonders of the living root bridges. Created by the people of the Khasi tribe, these roots grow from the ancient rubber trees seen only in the northeast region. The Khasis train these roots to grow in such a manner as to be in the form of bridges on the top of a river.
These bridges are an amazing alternative to wooden bridges that dwindle with so much rain falling on them. The most popular tourist attraction of Cherrapunjee, these double-decker living root bridges are 2 bridges that are stacked one on the other, made because of the entanglement of roots.
A new root bridge takes about 15 years to get strong enough so that it can bear the weight of people who would be crossing it. Over a span of the next few years, the roots become even stronger. It is believed that some of the root bridges are over five hundred years old. The most popular one is the Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge. Not built but grown, these living root bridges are astonishing and unique.
Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge - The most popular root bridge, a double-decker living-root bridge, is 3 km long and begins from Village Tyrna Village. The bridge stands at the height of 2400 feet. Going on a double-decker living root bridge trek to the upper bridge, which is 20 meters long, is a tough but worthwhile task. Please note that one needs to be physically fit to reach the upper bridge.
Ummunoi Root Bridges - A top-rated attraction, this is known to be the oldest living bridge in the region. Located at the height of 1400 feet, this bridge is 74 m long.
Ritymmen Root Bridge - Settled in Nongthymmai village, this bridge is 30 m long. If you start trekking from Village Tyrna, this bride will fall on your way to double-decker living root bridges.
Umkar Root Bridge - Beginning from Village Siej, this is a short bridge. It takes just half an hour to walk to and fro on it. Local floods a few years ago had washed away a portion of the bridge that the locals were rebuilding. During the monsoon season, a visit to this bridge is even more exciting as a waterfall gushes along the bridge at that time.
Mawsaw Root Bridge - If you continue walking past Umshiang for around 20 - 30 minutes, you will arrive at the Mawsaw Bridge. The natural swimming pool is the star attraction of this bridge.
Ans: The double-decker root bridge trek distance is around 45 km from Cherrapunji. Also, the hike to the bridge involves 3500-3600 steps each way.
Ans: There are many steps; if your bag is heavy, it will make your trek more difficult. You'll find shops for snacks and water, so do not worry. Finally, wear a good pair of trekking shoes and keep hydrated.
Ans: Besides the monsoon season, which is from May to September, you can visit Double-Decker Root Bridge. The weather remains pleasant, cool, and breezy.
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