Articles worth reading
Explore Topkapi Palace, Turkey

Explore Topkapi Palace, Turkey

access_time February 16, 2016

We’ve all heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”. But where exactly is “there”? Our Explore series tells...

Grab Your Dream Travel Contest Deadline Extended!

Grab Your Dream Travel Contest Deadline Extended!

access_time May 20, 2014

Cox & Kings Employees Can Now Take Part In The Grab Your Dream Contest! Hurry! Only a few days left!...

Indonesia Bans Sale Of Tickets At Airports

Indonesia Bans Sale Of Tickets At Airports

access_time February 19, 2015

Authorities issue an ban on sale of tickets at airports across Indonesia  Indonesian authorities have imposed a ban on sale...

Explore The Root Bridges Of Cherrapunji In Meghalaya

Explore The Root Bridges Of Cherrapunji In Meghalaya

access_time August 21, 2016 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 3817 views

We’ve all heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”. But where exactly is “there”? Our Explore series tells you where to go, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Happy travelling!

The Root Bridges Of Cherrapunji, Meghalaya

Cherrapunji, the ‘wettest region on Earth’ is a peculiar land with a network of criss-crossing rivers, mountain streams and thriving valleys. However, the locals don’t need man-made roads or concrete bridges to move from one place to another. Surprised? Read on to understand how it is possible.

 People in Cherrapunji rainforests use live root bridges to walk across places; these are extremely thick roots which support heavyweights; Sandro Lacarbona; flickr.com


People in Cherrapunji rainforests use live root bridges to walk across places; these are extremely thick roots which support heavyweights; Sandro Lacarbona; flickr.com

The North-Eastern state of Meghalaya is home to marvels in the form of root bridges, which have been made by hand over a span of 15 years using rubber tree roots and betel tree trunks. Found throughout the rain forests of the southern Khasi and Jaintia hills, these bridges are manoeuevred by the Khasi tribe who have perfected the art by now. The bridges date back hundreds of years and are extraordinarily strong, with some holding up to 50 people at a time. Where wooden bridges rot and decay due to the heavy rainfall, it is these root bridges that stand tall and tough, the largest one being as long as 50 metres.

 

What To See & Do

#1 The Double Decker Root Bridge

Although there are several root bridges sprawled across the area, a must visit would be the famous Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge. Perched serenely in the quaint village of Nongriat, this bridge is one of its kind in the world. Two bridges stacked one over the other, the stream flowing beneath and the mystical backdrop of the woods overwhelm with the unbelievable beauty around. Getting to it is also not short of an adventure in itself. One has to cross 3,500 steps and rickety rope pathways to reach this place. The double decker bridge is a delight for travel photographers.

The Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Cherrapunji; the thick roots, inter-twisted knots form these marvelous bridges. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

The Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Cherrapunji; the thick roots, inter-twisted knots form these marvelous bridges. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

#2 Trek Down The Stairway… To Heaven!

While trekking down the hundred of steps to the Double Decker Root Bridge takes over an hour, it is the return journey that might seem tedious. Nevertheless, the path is mind-blowing and takes you through raging waterfalls and divine forests. Hiring a guide is advisable as they can tell you interesting stories from the ancient times, which you would otherwise miss out on. It is logical to pack light, and go essentially less on food as small shacks along the way serve local noodles and tea to keep you refreshed. During monsoons, the path is slippery at places and one has to be very cautious while trekking. It might not be the most comfortable one, but once you look back on your trip to the root bridge, you will feel proud to have accomplished it.

A glimpse of the stairway to the fascinating root bridge. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

A glimpse of the stairway to the fascinating root bridge. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

Just one of the many wonderful sights that await you on en route the root bridges. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

Just one of the many wonderful sights that await you on en route the root bridges. Image courtesy: Rashmi Deshpande

#3 Try A Homestay

The best way to experience a place is to live with locals, right? Luckily, Cherrapunji offers home stays at throwaway prices. You may find a couple of them right on the banks of the root bridges. Accommodation and meals offered will be very basic, but the whole idea is to be able to live in the wild, choose a new part of the river for a dip every day and breathe in the clean cool air as much as you can.

A typical house in the Meghalaya rainforest; homestays are affordable with great locations by the banks of root bridges

A typical house in the Meghalaya rainforest; homestays are affordable with great locations by the banks of root bridges

How To Get There

Fly into the Guwahati airport in Assam. Hire a private cab from the airport to drive you down to the city of Cherrapunji (approximate distance is 181 km). Book yourself into a resort/home stay and decide the particular root bridge you want to visit. Local transport can only take you till the closest village, after which you have to undertake the journey on foot for a glimpse of this piece of wonder.

Best Time To Visit

The summer months of March to May and the winter months of November to February are pleasant and receive relatively lesser rainfall. But if you want to drench in the heaviest rains on the planet, plan a trip in the monsoon months of June to September. The hike may get risky though, so take all precautions should you choose to take a chance.

Interested in a Meghalya holiday?

Book Now
folder_openAssigned tags

About author

Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

View more articles

No Comments

comment No comments yet

You can be first to leave a comment

Leave a comment

info_outline

Your data is safe with us!

We promise not to share your email address with anyone.