Khasi and Jaintia tribesMeghalaya The Living Root Bridges are incredible feats of engineering built by the indigenous people of Meghalaya. The bridges are constructed by pulling and intertwining roots of ficus (Ficus elastica) trees growing on both sides of the waterways. Hollowed out betel nut (Areca catechu) trunks are used to carry the aerial roots from one side of the river to the other. When they reach the other side, they take root into the soil. The roots are woven and nurtured until they mature and are able to bear the weight of people walking on them. The entire process can take 15 to 25 years to complete and the bridges formed can last for hundreds of years. Some bridges are as long as 100 feet and can take loads of more than 50 people at a time.