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Living root bridges of Meghalaya ,India are one of the most extraordinary piece of art and engineering work done by human and nature as a team.As an old tradition Khasi's have been growing / creating living root bridges to cross the rivers.Most of these bridges are fully functional and are being used till date.Khasis used/use Rubber Plants (Ficus Elastica) for it as the tree grows many secondary roots.Some of these bridges are over hundreds year old.The process is long and takes great deal of care and patience .Rubber trees on the banks of the river are selected. A root guidance system is used by hollowing out a Kwai/Tamul (Bettel Nut) Tree trunk .This hollow helps in containing and guiding the young and soft roots of the rubber tree from spreading out till they reach straightway to the other side of the river.They are further allowed to take roots in the soil .As the time passes by they become strong .Later stones are added to the gaps in between to create a path .The whole process takes ten to fifteen years the bridge to be fully functional.Some of these can bear the weight of up to fifty people at the same time.
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Jan 26 2012 08:32 GMT sini