The Bridges of Meghalayas

“In North-East India, the giant cliffs, lead up to a hidden word: Meghalayas. Nearly 2km high and buffeted by mansoon clouds this is possibly the wettest place on earth. Once 25 meters of rain fell here in a year, the world record. Living here poses an unusual problem and it is not just keeping dry. Nearly all the rain falls during the summer mansoon. River flows from gentle stream to raging torrent. They become wild and unpredictable and almost impossible to cross. Harli and his niece Giuliana are busy cultivating a cunning solution: 30 years ago, Harli planted this strangler fig on the river’s edge and today he is teaching Giuliana how to care for it…”

David Attenborough in the BBC Documentary How the world made us below (from the PermacultureForest Youtube Channel)  narrates the beautiful story of the live bridges of Meghalayas which is a network of living fig tree bridges, sometimes several century old, used to cross the torrents in the Mansoon season.

Above: The “double decker” bridge, in Travel the Unknown blog  

Above: Close up Photo of a fig tree bridge by Neeraj2608 

Above: Even Handrails were made with the roots, article from Inhabitat      

 Above: view of one of the bridges from dpreview

 

 

Author: Arthur Mamou-Mani

Arthur Mamou-Mani AA dipl, ARB/RIBA FRSA – is a French architect, director of Mamou-Mani Architects, specialised in a new kind of digitally designed and fabricated architecture. He is a lecturer at the University of Westminster and owns a digital fabrication laboratory called the Fab.Pub which allows people to experiment with large 3D Printers and Laser Cutters. Arthur has been selected as one of the RIBAj's 2017 cohort of Rising Stars. He has won the Gold Prize at the American Architecture Prize for the Wooden Wave project installed at BuroHappold Engineering and since 2016, he is a fellow of the The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Prior to founding Mamou-Mani in 2011, he worked with Atelier Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid Architects and Proctor and Matthews Architects.

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