Thursday, December 27, 2012

Living Root Bridge

My stomach churned with excitement as the car turned down a small road and the dry brushes became lush jungle. Welcome to Mawlynnong, "the cleanest village in Asia", in the Khasi Hills of India's Northeastern State of Meghalaya. One of the wettest places in the world, the Khasi people have a tradition of weaving treeroots into living bridges that grow over generations.

This is the dry season, so as you can see, the water level in the river is low. But, as they describe in the BBC Human Planet excerpt below, when the monsoons come that all changes!

Human Planet Photographer, Timothy Allen, has a great blog post about the Living Root Bridges. It's easy to get excited about the idea of organic architecture, traditional sustainable design and everything that the bridges symbolize. The Khasi culture has other great examples, like the bamboo tree house pictured below.

There are no nails or screws, metal or concrete in this structure. The joints are tied together with reed and the supports are wedged in between tree branches. Not mention from the high platform you can see the sunrise across the plains of Bangladesh. I was moved by the magic of the forest, and the generous spirit of the people who live there.

Illuminated by the moon and stars, this is a long exposure shot was taken by Mitwa AV.

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