Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge of Meghalaya is a unique root bridge that is grown by nature and still living. Meghalaya has some amazing root bridges. But, those are not so tall with majestic, soaring towers and futuristic like the Umshiang Bridge. This 250 years old living root bridge is in the village Nongriat, which is only accessible by trek. The 5-6 hours trek that includes climbing close to 6500 steps, both up and downhill, is very challenging. Not only the steps make the trek arduous, but it also two dangerously narrow shaky bridges, made of bamboo, iron cables and rods increase the thrill of the trek. It’s no doubt that the trek will take you to some excellent beautiful green forest and two amazing long iron rope bridges that run over the crystal clear blue river and offer you a breathtaking beauty of nature.
How to go to Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge?
Living root bridges are known to occur in the West Jaintia Hills district and East Khasi Hills district. From Cheerapunjee (Sohra-the name where your taxi/bus etc will drop you firstly or reach firstly) You have to take a rented cab to TIRANA village (15 km).There is a church in Tirana village, besides which, the uncountable Steps to the village NONGRIAT starts. You should take a local guide in the cost of 500 Rs for the up and down trek.
What is the Living Root-Bridge?
The occurrence of root bridges is quite common in Meghalaya. Each of these has been fashioned by locals to combat the devastating monsoons that the rain-drenched state of Meghalaya receives. Root bridges take about 10-15 years to become functional but are also alive. It means they grow stronger with the passage of time. These structures are built over small rivers and streams in Meghalaya, to aid passage during the menacing monsoons.
Made of rubber trees, these bridges are created with patience. A sliced-up trunk from a Betul nut tree is used to guide the roots of the rubber plant. The roots grow, directed by their Betul channels until they reach the other side of the gap. The rubber tree grows until it is strong enough to walk on. This can take ten to fifteen years. Eventually, stones are placed on the roots, making a path. The roots grow around the stones and each other, strengthening the bridge.
These bridges require little to no maintenance. Some bridges are estimated to be over five hundred years old. The bridges can be one hundred feet long and support the weight of fifty people.
The Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge consists of two bridges, with one above the other. These bridges show innovation. Using something that readily grows in the wet Indian environment, the rubber tree, people have made strong, lasting structures.
What to See?
The road is more beautiful than the destination. In fact, the road is full of thrill. You also find another two root bridges on the river. Crossing those hanging root bridges is a dangerous experience. But, at the end what you get is the lifetime experience. Many waterfalls, unique trees, birds and the villagers of the local village will entertain you throughout the road.
So, don’t miss the chance to trek the route and visit the Umshiang Double-Decker Root bridge while you make a trip in North-East India.
My theme for this Challenge is The OFFBEAT DESTINATIONS OF INDIA.
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