Jembatan Akar, A Living Root Bridge

Jembatan Akar is the bridge formed from the interconnected roots of two trees that grow across and extends over the Batang Bayang river in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is located about 88 km south of the city of Padang. This root bridge has a length of 25 metres (82 ft) and a width of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) with a height from the surface of the river of about 3 metres (9.8 ft). 

It was created in 1890 by a Muslim teacher Lubuak Glare for the students from Pulut-pulut who couldn’t attend his classes due to the Batang Bayang river that separated the two settlements. He planted two small Jawi-jawi – a type of  broad-leaf banyan tree – and started stringing their roots around a stem bridge made of bamboo. It took approximately 26 years for Jembatan Akar to become the sturdy structure and with each passing year, it becomes even stronger, as the banyan tree roots continue to grow. To make it more stable and prevent accidents especially during rain, villagers added a series of wooden planks over the roots and reinforced the two trees with steel wire. Now this root bridge becomes tourist attraction and is much visited by local tourists and foreign tourists.

Jembatan Akar, A Living Root Bridge Jembatan Akar, A Living Root Bridge Reviewed by Vasanthakumar Saravanan on November 13, 2013 Rating: 5