The living architecture of Meghalaya that builds itself

Even if you haven’t visited them yourself, you’ve probably heard of the famous jing kieng jri or living-root bridges of Meghalaya. Standing for centuries, they’ve been sculpted bit by bit by the Khasi and Jaintia tribes using just the aerial tree roots of the giant, hardy Indian Rubber Fig tree. Over decades, the roots of a single tree are intertwined and woven into tight knots to cultivate each bridge, which gets stronger as the roots grow to cover larger areas. Some bridges can span across 250 feet, but most are smaller, used by locals to cross streams. Over the last few decades, as peace in the North-Eastern states has boosted tourism, they’ve been attracting tourists, becoming a symbol for the state around the world. More recently, they’ve also become a source for researchers and architects across the globe to learn more about structures that can be climate change resilient and sustainable.

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Sunday, September 24, 2023
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