Monday, June 27, 2016

Umkar, An Under Construction Living Root Bridge!


Siej Village is home to a stunning piece of wonder "Umkar Living Root Bridge." A couple of years ago, this 40 year old bridge was washed away due to massive floods and the villagers are now rebuilding it. This Bridge is 75% complete and would take another 15 years to grow fully and become functional. The bridge can now be tagged as "Under Construction."



We could see and feel the tender off shoots from the massive rubber tree guided by the villagers with the help of betel nut trunks and bamboo. Since it is still growing, one cannot walk the complete distance on this bridge. It was amazing sight to see the roots in different shades and sizes. Some are so fragile and easy to twist and turn while others are just impossible to move. This amateur bridge clearly shows its age compared to other senior root bridges. This serves as a perfect example to learn the ingenious technique used to grow these natural wonders.



The color of this bridge is light brown while the other older root bridges are pretty dark in shade with moss all over them due to the levels of exposure to sun and rain. The bridge comes to life during monsoon. Another stunning fact about this bridge is that the offshoots are trained to form a double decker bridge. But this could take a long time as this is just in the initial stages.


This root bridge is accessible by a short 10 min hike once you reach Siej Village. This village is a 3 km drive from the Cherrapunjee Resort and can be easily clubbed with the Double Decker Root Bridge while you are staying at the resort.

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