KUDENG RIM 2

32 Kudeng Rim 2

RIVER/STREAM: WAH AMLAMAR
LENGTH: 29 m
WIDTH AT CP: 1.8 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 5.3 m
GPS: N25.22949 E92.03191
ALTITUDE: 542 m
SR: 8
NOTES: This root bridge is in the best condition in the Kudeng Rim area. It is being very actively maintained. A new span is being developed above the currently-in-use primary span. The new span is being created by wrapping young ficus elestica roots around bamboo poles. The bridge is used often by local villagers walking between the villages of Kudeng Rim and Kudeng Thymmai. Latex cutting on the bridge has been outlawed. Most of the roots that make up the bridge are quite thin, and walking across the bridge, as of January 2016, it was still noticeably wobbly. Otherwise it would have a SR rating of 9 or 10.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.

The Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills

The Opinionated Reader

61H+zzgINGLTitle:The Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills

Writer: Patrick Rogers

Publishing House: Westland

Date of Publication:  September 18th 2017

Rating: 5 stars

“Closer together,tiny groups of twinkling lights, glowing like star clusters,appeared as night fell.Dozens of villages seemed to hang in the moonlight itself.I didn’t know their names but like Riwar, and like Katarshnong,I knew that each one was its own world, with its own history and myths,own its own joys and sorrows, its own heroes and villains.They looked like such little places, yet no one person knew everything they contained.”

India. The mention of the name brings to mind countless pictures. Colourful, mysterious, sacred and strange. One of the countries that have always fascinated me . Its mysticism, the wealth of myths and legends, the weirdly haunting combination of different religions. In this beautiful book by Patrick Roger, we are transported to a different part of the…

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The Long Road to Dawki (my next book on the Khasi Hills)

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Hi folks. Just wanted to share some info on my next book about the Khasi Hills. Right now, I’m scraping together funds for a new expedition to Meghalaya. I have a new page for it here. I’ll be trekking for about six weeks, and then will be writing a new book about it.

Long walk

The focus is still going to be digging up info on root bridges. Whatever information I find will wind up on this blog (new entries will be factored into the analytics section, and also given separate blog pages). During the trek I’m planning, the idea is to cover as much wider swath of ground, and determining if root bridges are to be found, or if they ever existed, across the entire region known as Riwar…it would be very interesting to find out that root bridges were common throughout all of southern Meghalaya. However, finding a definite demarcation, a place where evidence for living architecture both current and historic, ceases, would also be useful. Also, a secondary objective of the trek is to collect folk lore about the bridges, and to gather information on the supernatural beliefs pertaining to the bridges and ficus elastica trees generally.

Anyway, check out my GoFundMe page for more info on the book, and also more pictures…needless to say, even a Facebook share would help mightily!

The Green Unknown:Travels in the Khasi Hills

Alabama Dame

green unknownThe Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills is Patrick Rogers’ first-person account of traveling by foot in northeast India in order to document the presence and locations of a rare architectural eco-wonder known as a “living root bridge.” These are found only in northeast India. No comprehensive listing of them exists. It had been thought that they were few in number. But on previous travels in India, Rogers had heard rumors of the existence of far more root bridges than the few that had been identified and catalogued. And so he headed into the Khasi Hills alone to find them. On his first trek, besides his backpack he had only a hand-drawn map from a native to the area. On subsequent treks, he ventured further in without a map, relying on his experience and information he could obtain from Khasis that he met along the way.

I read The…

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TYRNGEI 1

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RIVER/STREAM: WAH UMSHA
LENGTH: 11.4 m
WIDTH AT CP: .8 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 3.6 m
GPS: N25.23830 E91.79356
ALTITUDE: 331 m
SR: 6
NOTES: A small root bridge between Sohkmi and Tyrngei villages. The bridge shows significant indications of recent maintenance. The roots are strong and well established. There is, however, very extreme and in places recent latex extraction damage evident.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.

THANGKYRTA 1

LRP THANGKARTA 1

RIVER/STREAM: UNKNOWN
LENGTH: 6.4 m
WIDTH AT CP: 1.4 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 3.1 m
GPS: N25.30708 E91.80974
ALTITUDE: 706 m
SR: 3
NOTES: Next to the very small village of Thangkyrta. The root bridge has been functionally replaced with a conventional structure (pictured), hence there is no community incentive for upkeep. The bridge is difficult to cross as part of the walkway has fallen. Both the tree and the root bridge have received significant and recent latex extraction damage. The tree is of exceptional size and is clearly significantly older than the average tree that is used to form a living root bridge.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.

PDEI/KONGTIM 1

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RIVER/STREAM: UMREW (unconfirmed, may have different local name)
LENGTH: 33.8 m
WIDTH AT CP: 1.1 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 7.8 m
GPS: N25.34547 E91.81026
ALTITUDE: 726 m
SR: 4
NOTES: A very long and visually spectacular root bridge. The roots are mostly fairly thin. Thicker roots continue about one fifth of the way along the span from the southern edge of the bridge, and then abruptly stop. The span then continues from that point on with thinner roots, indicating that the bridge may have failed at one point in the past and then was reconnected. Many other root bridges are said to have existed along the same stretch of river, but have all been washed out as flood conditions have gotten worse in recent years. To my knowledge, this is the only survivor in the nearby area. Determined attempts are being made from Kongthong village to maintain and protect the bridge for tourism and heritage purposes. However, the bridge continues to be badly damaged by latex extraction. Significant and recent damage was observed in March 2016. Most of the jungle nearby is being cleared. The photo shows maintenance being done in early March 2015 by Kongthong and Pdei villagers.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.
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Pdei/Kongtim 1, in MArch 2015. A special thanks is in order to Rothell Kongsit, from Kongthong Village, who led me here.

SOHKHMI 1

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RIVER/STREAM: UNKNOWN
LENGTH: 11.2 m
WIDTH AT CP: 1.5 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 5.4 m
GPS: N25.25058 E91.78358
ALTITUDE: 418 m
SR: 6
NOTES: A recent living root bridge. Many of the roots are very thin, though they are numerous. There is clear evidence that the bridge itself is being very actively maintained. The tree, however, is badly scarred by latex extraction.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.

SOHKMI 2

RIVER/STREAM: UNKNOWN
GPS: N/A
ALTITUDE: N/A
NOTES: A root bridge described by several sources as “very long” existed somewhere to the north of Sohkmi village up until 2010. Government funds were received to improve infrastructure, so the root bridge was cut down and replaced with a conventional structure. It’s unclear if the root bridge had been in poor condition.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.

RYMMAI 1

IMG_1553

RIVER/STREAM: WAH UMLWAI
LENGTH: 18.5 m
WIDTH AT CP: .7 m
HEIGHT AT CP: 3.5 m
GPS: N25.29749 E91.77993
ALTITUDE: 483 m
SR: 1
NOTES: A fragment of a much larger structure that has partially disappeared which crosses a branch of Wah Umlwai to a river island. The structure once continued from the river island to the opposite bank, but the other portion has fallen. The other portion would have been around twice as long as the remaining section. The remnant primarily consists of two very thick roots, indicating an old structure. The roots are still used occasionally as a bridge. Both are in poor condition, one having partially collapsed. Steps have been created in the side of the bridge by gouging footholds out of the sides of several secondary roots.
NOTE: PLEASE GO TO ANALYTICS AND ANALYSIS (APRIL 2017 DRAFT) FOR METHODOLOGIES. LR PROJECT DESIGNATION DOES NOT REFLECT LOCAL NAME.