Living Root Bridges at Cherapunjee
Cherapunjee alias Sohra in Meghalaya state of India is considered as one of the most wettest places on the Planet Earth (or ‘The Wettest Place’) . People in Cherapunjee and surrounding areas have mastered the art of making the tree roots into bridges. There are many such bridges in these areas. The Oldest such Tree root bridge which exists today is believed to be more than 500 years old.
Roots of ‘Ficus elastica trees’ are used to make the root bridges. Ficus elastica trees have secondary set of roots, way above its trunk. Locals patiently join these roots. They use Betel nut tree trunks (cut into half over the length of the Betel trunk) and make a root-guidance system, to make these roots grow in the direction of the shores. They also make bridge spans and railings from roots of these tree! It normally takes a minimum of 10 to 15 years to make such bridges, which are strong enough for people to use.
There is a Double-Decker living root bridge at Umshiang, which may be the only one of its kind in the world.
Cherrapunji is credited with the world record for rainfall in both a single month (366 inches in July 1861) and a calendar year (1,041.75 inches, between August 1960 and July 1961)
Nohsngithiang Falls is a beautiful nearby falls in East Khasi Hills district.
How Do I Go to Cherapunjee or Sohra, the Place of Living Root Bridges?
Living Root Bridges of Cherapunjee can be accessed from Shillong or Guwahati. Shillong, The capital of Meghalaya, is at around 55 kilometers distance from Cherapunjee and takes around 1 hour to travel by car. There are frequent buses to Cherapunjee from Guwahati and Shillong.
There is a Domestic airport with IATA code ‘SHL’ at Umroi, at a distance of 30 kilo-meters from Shillong. The distance from this airport at Umroi, Shlloong to Cherapunjee is around 78 kilo-meters, which takes a travelling time of around 1.5 hours by car.
The nearest International airport, ‘Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport’ with IATA code ‘GAU’ at Guwahati, is at a distance of around 150 kilometers from Cherapunjee. It takes around 3 to 3.5 hours to cover this distance.
The nearest railway station to Cherapunjee is the one at Guwahati, the capital of Assam.
Which is the Best Time to Visit Cherapunjee?
September and October months, after the heavy Monsoon spell, are normally the best time to visit Cherapunjee.