I Trekked Down To Double Decker Living Root Bridge & Rainbow Waterfalls in Nongriat
A visit to Meghalaya is incomplete without visiting the most sought attraction i.e., the Double Decker Living Root Bridge, it is one of a kind in the world. So, let me put it this way, the trek to this place is one of those experiences that captures a big corner in your heart and stays there forever. So, do not miss out on this when you are in Meghalaya. I trekked down to the scintillating Double Decker Bridge and the mesmerizing Rainbow Falls and my experience was thrilling and beyond words.
So, let me start with the Living Root Bridges, the Khasi tribe folks used their creativity and materials available locally to build this bridge as they were facing issues to cross the rivers during the rains, so they build this using the roots of a rubber tree, it took them years to build this bridge, but they patiently waited the roots to grow and strengthen over time until that can hold the weight of a human being. Generally, the young roots are tied and twisted so that, they can grow and carry the weight, it has been said that it takes around 15 years. The roots bridges are the best examples of bioengineering and stable alternatives to wooden bridges which get decayed during the lengthy monsoon season. And that is how the Living Root Bridges came into existence. So, imagine the double-decker living root bridge where there will be two living root bridges, Isn't it unique and amazing?
To see this double-decker living root bridge, one must reach a village called Tyrna which is where the trek begins, and you need to trek down to a tiny village, Nongriat. And it is in the East Khasi hills where these root bridges are. This place can be easily accessed if you are staying in Sohra, around 20-30 mins drive and I would suggest hiring a guide for the trek would be a good decision though it will cost trust me they know the routes, the hidden gems of that tiny village and the best part is you will not get lost and you will not lose time. Also, start early for the trek if you are planning to trek to Double Decker and then Rainbow falls in one day as it is going to be dawn by the time you finish. There are a couple of homestays in Nongriat if you want to stay. And if you do not plan to stay, advisable to have a taxi ready because when it gets dark, it is difficult to find taxis to take you back to Cherrapunji.
Getting to the Double Decker Root Bridge is not an easy task, there are solid and a little painful 3500 steps (roughly 3.5 km). I was very excited, and all smiles and I started my very 1st trek, the trek down was refreshingly and tiring, I could not see anything but greenery everywhere, the trek was consisting of living root bridges, effortless concrete steps while climbing down, and a lot of leg pain while climbing up.
The walk to the village was one of the remarkable journeys of my life, the beauty of the trail was found all around in the organic fragrance, amidst the leafy forest to the bright sun looking at us from behind the trees. The glimpse of the entire place was a scenic view with the sunlight on our heads and greenery around while inhaling the fresh air from nature. Beautiful, relaxing, and soothing.
The entire trek ironically testifies its truthfulness, requires an immense amount of grit and determination. I remember how difficult it was getting for me to even reach the double-decker, but my determination helped me all the way that, yes, I can do this and that is the foremost reason I want to document my experience.
I did not carry too much for the trek as I did not want to burden my shoulders and wanted to take it easy and as me being a little chubby, the trek was little challenging. While descending, my legs started shivering and I was getting thirsty very soon. I sat to several places just to admire the beauty and took a deep breath and that is what I need when I travel solo. Like this, I was rewarded by the single-decker living root bridge and from here another 1500-1800 steps left to reach the giant bridge. This bridge is the midpoint of the trek and a perfect place for a long halt to relax and regain your energy.
The forest was a stairway to heaven and uncharacteristically was quiet and silent. And I started my trek again and this time with the extra motivation, thinking that now the destination is not far. I eagerly covered the remaining steps waiting for the first part to get over. But every time the steps disappeared from my vision; it was nothing but another spiral curve in the path. Ambled through the forest, crossing three more bridges built over the gushing water bodies was a treat to my eyes.
One bridge was made of bamboo and the other two of iron. Now it was getting exhausting from the change of heights up to and down and now my legs started bailing on me. The breaks were more frequent, the stops, longer. Somehow like this, I finally saw the entry gate of Double Decker and that put a big smile on my face. After paying the entry fees, I went inside, sat in a corner place, and admired the beautiful bridge for a very long time. It is a must place to visit and, in all aspects, a sight for sore eyes and activity for a sore body. Truly a wonder, that was tied and twisted by man but delivered by nature.
And there, I got the beautiful shot of Double Decker Bridge which I was waiting, from the time I planned to visit Meghalaya. Wow, Beautiful, Lovely, Amazing, and many more for this astonishing bridge.I sat there for an hour, relaxed, was hungry like anything and there, I got Maggi and biscuits, which helped me in filling my empty stomach. And after a while, we started to cover our remaining journey to Rainbow Falls, which was quite difficult. And, it was at the end of a 1.5-hour climb straight from the Double Decker Bridge.
And we entered secluded deep into the forest, it took the mammoth effort to reach Rainbow falls. While on the way, there are stairs; this time they are stony, broken, raw, and earthy. And again I was waiting for the end to near. Along the way, I saw a lot of people going back from the Bridge itself and a lot of people coming up to see the waterfalls. I spent moments of absolute bliss with the arteries of wood along with the crunching twigs and muddy track and after passing every curve, felt close to another crest to no avail. Grudgingly, we lumbered towards the visible specks of the sky and heard roaring waterfalls finally. Getting down towards close to waterfalls through rough paths and from stone to stone was also not easy.
And there, I was sitting near to falls, the waterfall was beautiful and breathtaking. The flow of water was so strong which had torrents of water pounding over a gigantic rock and hard enough to crack every bone in the human body. I did not immerse myself in the water as I do not like getting drenched in public places, I feel a little uncomfortable. So, I avoided that.
Sitting there was like a meditation of positivity and calmness. This fall is famous for reflecting a rainbow that I could not see that day. I sat there for quite a long time, enjoyed the view, took a couple of photos for my memories, and decided to head back to my starting point which looked very far.
I want to share a couple of things like after every 50 steps I was taking a break when climbing up, was asking my tour guide after every 100 steps, how many steps more? And I stopped at one place to have juice, the funniest part is I dozed off for 20 mins and I didn't realize it until all of a sudden, I woke up but now when I think back, it was good that I took a nap because it made me more energetic and active.
That night, I slept peacefully after the happy exhaustion of the trek, that day was one of the most memorable days of my life. I realized and felt, yes, even I can trek, no matter what people say, whether you are chubby or healthy, you cannot trek, or you do not have stamina or whatever, the only thing which is required is the motivation and will power to trek. Rest, you are smart enough to decide what is good for your body and what is not. So, Happy Trekking.
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