I have heard so much about the “Living roots” of Meghalaya, India. It has been one of the things on my wishlist to walk with arms wide open on “Living roots” .
The recent Instagram feeds that I saw in this past March gave me the adrenaline boost to take the recent trip alone on an ultra light backpack mode. It was also the much wanted break-away I have been longing.
After taking 3 hours long flight from Delhi to Guwahati, 3 hours car drive from Guwahati to Shillong, 2 and half hours drive from Shillong to Tyrna, a small village among the Khasi hills and little below the clouds, I was all set to walk the 3700 plus steps build among the woods that would take me to the Nongriat Village and the woods which was the home to the famous “Living roots” of Meghalaya. The journey through the steep ascending and descending steps intermittently breaking with iron hanging bridges over the rocky rivers would leave me much happier as a soul. It would take me a little over 2 hours to reach the Nongriat Village where I had planned to put up for the night. I find few other fellow travelers mostly backpackers, walking the path.
By the time I reach the Village, the sun was already setting in and I got busy looking for a bed to spend the night. Byron, an extra-ordinary humble gentleman had only a vacant bed left in his home stay. It was just an empty bed lying around and not meant for anyone. But, I was just too happy that he offered it to me. He made the best possible way to make me feel comfortable, I couldn’t have asked for more.
The night set in, happened to be a full moon. The best thing about this small part of the world was that, there was no light that night, cellular network was not accessible atleast for the two carriers that I use, and ofcourse there was no internet. The feeling of being totally cut-off from the rest of the world and being alive in that beautiful village was something that words can’t explain. It was one of those rare feeling of complete freedom.
The night had rained which I was told normally it does every night. I got up pretty early much before others have. The sunlight haven’t reach much into the woods. The surreal sensation that I was standing in between the woods, with no one around and having me all to myself couldn’t not be explained in any way. I was grappling the feeling with each step I took among those woods. All I could hear near and far were the birds chirping, frogs croaking and the sound of water flowing down the rocky mountains. No song that I have listened till this time can even match a fraction of this immense melody of the nature. It was truly the most beautiful music that I had ever listened to.
I came across many living roots on the way. Living roots are bridges across the river. These bridges are woven with the roots of two trees on opposite side of the river. The roots are living part of the tree and keeps on growing. And this the name “Living roots”. It is a masterpiece example of truly beautiful co-existence of humans and nature. Among the bridges, the most famous is the “Double Decker bridges”. It has two bridges woven with the roots of the same set of trees one above the other. What makes it even more enthralling was the waterfall few feet ahead from the bridges. It was truly something out of fairy tale. To someone who have never heard of this amazing place, it would be a dream-like feeling to find oneself in this place. The freshness and aura of this place is amazing.
Walking through the woods, I came across spectacular views of hanging iron bridges across rocky rivers, more living roots giving company to the iron bridges, and more water falls. The most surreal of all waterfalls is the rainbow fall. I will cover about this in my next post.
For anyone who is a nature lover and an adventurer, the thousands steps to Nongriat Village, the walk through the woods, hanging with the iron bridges and taking a dip into crystal clear water of the mountain rivers will never disappoint you.
If anyone is willing to be there, I will be happy to share my experience of the local travel modes and routes. Anyone can email me.
“It was one of my dreams as a child, growing up in my little village with my cousins. We used to walk together, and I used to say, when you look at the world map, ‘This town is there, that town is there, that river is there.’ I used to say, ‘One day, I’m going to travel these places.” – Jimmy Cliff
Wanderlust -Travel with me.