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Living Root Bridge

Located in one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji, Living Root Bridge is one of the top attractions in Meghalaya. Two bridges entangled into one another makes it one of the most captivating blends of man-made and nature. This not only fascinates Indians but international travelers as well. 

Shillong to double decker living root bridge is only a two-and-a-half drive away that takes you here for a wondrous experience. Created by the people of the Khasi tribe, these roots spread from ancient rubber trees and are trained by the Khasis to grow in a particular manner on the top of a river. Fascinating right? No wonder they are the most popular attraction of Cherrapunji. 

It is said that a new living root bridge takes about 15 years to grow and get strong enough to bear the weight of people crossing it. And to your surprise, some of the root bridges are over 500 years old! Among all the Root Bridges in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya state, Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge is the most famous one. 

In 1844, Double Decker Living Root Bridge were documented in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. And later, the owner of the Cherrapunji Holiday Resort put it on the tourist map. If you want more details on these living root bridge of Cherrapunji, Meghalaya keep reading. 

Everything You Need to Know About double decker living root bridge Meghalaya

Popular Double Decker Living Root Bridge

  • Ummunoi Root Bridge: This is the oldest known living root bridge of the region. This also is a highly popular attraction, mainly because of easy accessibility and scenic charm. The bridge is 74 meter long settled at a height of 1400 feet.
  • Ritymmen Root Bridge: This can be visited while you are on your way to the popular double-decker living root bridges in Cherrapunji. Tyrna Village is the starting point of this bridge and the length of the bridge is 30 meter.
  • Umkar Root Bridge: The bridge starts from Siej Village and is a short one; it hardly takes thirty minutes to go to and fro. A part of the bridge was washed away by flood years ago and local villagers are rebuilding it, and it is interesting to see them at work. During the monsoon season it looks even more beautiful as a glistening waterfall pours just beside it.
  • Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge: This, without doubts, is the popular living root bridge of Meghalaya and what’s interesting is that this is a double-decker living-root bridge. It starts from Tyrna Village and is 3 kilometers long, situated at a height of 2400 feet. To reach the upper bridge, which is 20-meter long, one needs determination but it is all worth the efforts. Also, keep a note that reaching up to the upper bridge is not recommended for physically unfit people.
  • Mawsaw Root Bridge: Walk past the Double Decker Bridge for 20 to 30 minutes and you would reach Mawsaw Bridge. The highlight of this bridge is the natural swimming pool. 

Best time to visit Living Root Bridge

As Cherrapunji is known to be one of the wettest places on earth, the Living Root Bridges are encompassed by thick tropical forests and are cloaked with rain during most parts of the year. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season (April to October). It is best to visit Living Root Bridge in January as it is the dry winter month with a temperature as low as 5°C.

Tip:You will be tempted to wear a raincoat or winter clothing. But the trek is arduous and you will get hot very easily. Make sure to wear breathable clothes or clothes that dry quickly. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes that have a good grip. 

How to reach Living Root Bridge

  • From Shillong- Shillong to Living Root Bridges is approx. 78 km and takes about 2.5 hours by car or taxi. 
  • From Cherrapunji- Cherrapunji to Living Root Bridges is around 12 km and takes approx. 30 minutes by road. You can take a taxi to reach the destination.

Trek to Living Root Bridge

Trek for Double Decker Living Root Bridge begins from Tyrna Village, which is approx. 30 min past Cherrapunji. You can also plan a day trip from Shillong for the same. The path to the bridge is approx. 3 km long and has around 3,500 stairs and descends 2,400 feet. Also, there are three parts to this trek.

First, one is the most challenging and takes about 45 minutes. The remaining two involve narrow steel suspension bridges over raging rivers. Finally, you will reach the Nongriat Village. A few steps from here and you will see the famous Double Decker Living Root Bridge covered in moss.

Tip:You have to be physically fit to be able to complete the trek to the living root bridge in Meghalaya. If you have joint pain or any other illness including breathing difficulties, avoid this trek.

FAQs about Living Root Bridge Meghalaya

Q: Where are the living root bridges located?

Ans. Double Decker Living Root Bridge is located in Cherrapunji in the state of Meghalaya.

Q: How many living root bridges are there in Meghalaya?

Ans. Meghalaya has a total of 11 living root bridges that are known to have existed in Meghalaya since 1844. They are only 2.5 km away from Shillong town.

Q: How are living root bridges made?

Ans. Living root bridges are grown by guiding the roots of the rubber trees across a stream or river. The roots grow naturally and get stronger over time to hold the weight of an individual. 

Q: How far is the living root bridge from Shillong?

Ans. Shillong to Living Root Bridge distance is around 78 km. It will take about 2.5 hours to reach here by car or taxi.

Q: How far is the living root bridge from Cherrapunji?

Ans. The distance from Cherrapunji to Living Root Bridge is approx. 12 km and takes around 30 minutes to reach by road.

Q: Why is Meghalaya known as living root bridges?

Ans. Due to the presence of several root bridges in the jungles of the state, Meghalaya is known as living root bridges. These were made by the tribal people of Khasi and Jaintia who entangled the thick roots together so that they could hold the weight of more than 50 people. 

Q: How long does it take to make a living root bridge?

Ans. The process of making a living root bridge can take up to 15 years. 

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