Iconic living root bridges in India put on UNESCO ‘tentative list’

(ORDO NEWS) — India’s Living Root Bridges – tree roots woven and stretched into the shape of a suspension bridge – are on the UNESCO tentative list and may soon be granted World Heritage status.

These amazing living bridges grow in the state of Meghalaya in eastern India

The Khasi people, who live in the state of Meghalaya in eastern India, pass down from generation to generation the art of manipulating tree roots to create a system of living bridges. They take decades to create.

These amazing structures are not created for beauty. When the environment is full of waterfalls, ravines, and rivers, you need to be creative in building routes and modes of transportation.

Living bridges are made from the roots of the rubbery ficus, which has a row of aerial roots. The locals use bamboo to guide the growth of these roots by tossing them across rivers and ravines. The design, made without a single carnation, can withstand up to 50 people at a time.

What does it mean to be included in the UNESCO “Tentative List”?

Iconic living root bridges in India put on UNESCO tentative list 2

The inclusion of bridges on the UNESCO “tentative list” is the first step towards submitting them for consideration for World Heritage status.

This will make the living bridges an “Outstanding Universal Value for Humanity” that will be protected for future generations.

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