The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including Milan Fashion Week, Uttar Pradesh Holi festival, Prince William with Shaun the Sheep in China and a very, very cold swim.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic A performer with body paint takes part in an event marking the closing of national carnival celebrations in the Malecón of Santo Domingo
Photograph: Ricardo Rojas/Reuters
New York, US A worker cleans the snow from the pavement in Midtown Manhattan as snow falls again in the city
Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
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A young female Indian student plays with colored powders as hundreds celebrate the Festival of Holi in Kolkata in March, 2017.
Image Credit: Photograph by Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP / Getty.
In the wettest place on Earth, the village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya, India are some of the most fascinating bridges you’ll ever see.
These “living bridges” are formed by locals who have trained the roots of rubber trees to grow into natural bridges.
They are sturdy enough to far outlast man-made wooden structure bridges.
Because of the relentless rain in Meghalaya’s jungles, wooden structures would rot away.
These root bridges are self-strengthening, becoming more sturdy over time as the root systems grow.
Photographer Amos Chapple captured these shots of people crossing these bridges that have developed over the years.
Notice the school children nonchalantly walking on a bridge over a river as well as a local guide taking a trip over a developing tree root bridge.
To manipulate the rubber trees into bridges and ladders, they must create tight knots that can withstand Meghalaya’s rain-soaked environment.
As Chapple explains about the process, “The skeleton of the bridge is bamboo, with tendrils from the surrounding rubber trees are being fixed onto the structure strand by strand.
By the time the bamboo has rotted away, within 6-8 years, locals say the roots of the tree will be able to bear a person’s weight.”
The Qutub Minar in New Delhi is a well known landmark. Photo Credit Sakeeb Sabakka/Flickr
The sandstone-colored minaret with intricately carved inscription and reliefs on its façade was erected in the late 12th century by Qutubuddin Aibak, the slave general of Muhammad Ghori, to celebrate Ghori’s victory against the Rajput rulers of Delhi.
It’s believed that Aibak was inspired by his contemporary, the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din, who built a similar victory tower, the Minaret of Jam, in remote Afghanistan just a few years prior.
For the next eight centuries, the Qutub Minar would be the principal attraction in a region that is choke full of monuments and ruins from hundreds of years of Sultanate rule.
Just over a hundred years after the first bricks of Qutub Minar were laid, a very ambitious and ruthless ruler named Alauddin Khilji sieged the throne of Delhi, by disposing off his predecessor—his uncle and father-in-law, Jalaluddin.
A great soldier and general, Alauddin quickly subdued the kings of neighboring kingdoms and extended the reach of the Khilji dynasty from Afghanistan in the north to the Deccan peninsula in the south. Khilji liked to attack Hindu kingdoms because Hindu Rajas were tremendously wealthy.
After the capture of Chittor in 1303, Alauddin ordered the massacre of 30,000 local Hindus. In 1298, between 15,000 and 30,000 people near Delhi, who had recently converted to Islam, were slaughtered in a single day, due to fears of an uprising.
After one particularly huge win in the Deccan, Alauddin decided to build a huge tower similar to the Qutub Minar, to commemorate his victory—only his will be bigger and taller.
He wanted a structure double the height of Qutub Minar so that he would be remembered as the only Sultan who dared to create such a monumental masterpiece that was grander and more spectacular than the one built by Qutubuddin Aibak.