About six months ago, one of my friends happened to share a picture of the famous double decker living root bridges and it looked spectacular and was something I had never seen anywhere before. That very day my husband and I decided that this has got to be our next holiday destination. So we googled and planned our vacation around this one picture!One of my best holidays ever – the routes, the roads, the people,the azure skies and endless greenery -picture perfect!!Settle down with a mug of coffee for a long blog!
Our first destination in our holiday was Cherrapunji – the wettest place on earth. The drive from Guwahati to Cherrapunji was breathtaking. As we neared Cherrapunji, we could see the cloud kissed mountains overlooking deep valleys. A sight to behold!
Cherrapunji is a modest little town situated at a distance of 60 kms from Shillong. This quaint place is house to the famous double decker living root bridges – the only one of its kind in the world. The double decker bridge is situated in Nongriat village. The trek to the famous bridge is strenuous and not for the faint hearted! It is 3.5 hours one way. It includes trekking across 3500 steps and two iron bridges. En route this trek, the views are amazing.
The dense jungle with its variety of flora- beetel nut trees, pineapple trees, jackfruit trees and banana trees , the gushing waterfalls and the sound of the birds make this a memorable experience.
There are little shops selling snacks and juices all the way till the double decker bridge to ensure that tourists feel hydrated. While the trek is tiring, the final view of the double decker bridge ensures that the hardwork is completely worth it. Wow just wow!!
These bridges are made from the growing roots of the rubber trees. The local villagers have tirelessly worked to tie them together in the form of a sturdy bridge. It takes an average of 60 years for the roots to grow to create such bridges. The bridges are built on a natural swimming pool which gets its water from several waterfalls. A trip to these bridges is incomplete without a dip into this swimming pool.
If you think the trek to the bridge is difficult, then the trek back is brutal since this time its uphill! A lot of motivation and will power is needed to complete this trek.Reach the hotel, dip your legs in warm water and hit the bed.
Meghalaya – as the name suggests is a land of clouds. Several times , we were actually driving through the clouds and the feeling cannot be penned in words! Meghalaya has at least 150 waterfalls – YES! We managed to visit the best ones and what a delight it was. It is a water lover’s dream destination!
The seven sisters waterfall in Cherrapunji was not in its full force and we could therefore not enjoy the beauty of it. However, the next two waterfalls we visited more than made up for this. Nohkalikai waterfalls is truly a must go for all those who visit Meghalaya. Nature is at its best here – one moment the clouds are covering the waterfalls and the next minute the clouds clear up giving us a spectacular view of the falls.
Dainthlen waterfalls is another place which is every nature lover’s delight. My husband was not satisfied with the view of the falls so, he convinced me to trek through a narrow make shift bridge across the water to have a panoramic view of this mighty falls! I followed him with my heart in my mouth but the view on the other side just brushed away all my fears.
After an action packed 3 days at Cherrapunji we headed towards Shillong. En route,our driver suggested two places -Mawlynnong. the cleanest village in Asia or Mawphlang Sacred Forest. Mawlynnong didnt excite us because even the rest of Meghalaya was extremely clean. We were pretty intrigued about the sacred forest and were interested in going for a jungle trek. We spotted several different types of mushroom and rare plants.
Shillong is just like any other city. The traffic is horrible owing to the narrow lanes and the time spent in intracity commute is frustrating. Our driver Mr Abbas , understood our choice of places and took us to a waterfalls 35 kms off Shillong in a place -Jowai. Not only was the drive breathtaking, the trek to the waterfalls was special. Far from the hustle bustle of the city tucked away was this splendid waterfall -Tyrchi waterfalls. We had loads of fun soaking ourselves dripping wet in the waterfalls. A trip to cherish.
Our driver Mr Abbas, also the owner of the website -www.travelnortheast.in , insisted that we must visit Dauki – a point which acts as a border between India and Bangladesh. The water here on a good day is so translucent that the river bed is visible to the naked eye. None of the photos were able to capture this spectacle!
Having seen Meghalaya from Shillong to Dauki, literally from border to border.. it was time to return home. Our holiday in Meghalaya was over but not without a stop over at Guwahati – but that’s a separate blog!!