Day long trek to “Double decker root bridge”

Finally, we saw that, on our right and as we were getting close, I realized that it was a huge marvelous and unreal creation. It was exactly like the jungle that we all have seen in the movies like Avatar, Jungle Book.

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Raw, wild and still breathing, The double Decker root bridge

In my previous blog, I spoke about the Magical Umangot river and the beauty of Dawki town. After then we headed to Cherrapunji.

(To know about the itinerary, how to plan, what to pack, Read my blog “Planning for Meghalaya“)

We took a halt at a highway café that served great tea and yummy Maggie. We reached Cherrapunji by 8:30 in the evening. Though there are some really good lodges, guest houses there in Cherrapunji but we wanted to stay in our tents tonight just for the thrill. We reached the outer areas of this town and there was this nice property called JMS lodge in a slightly remote area. We were a little hesitated about placing our camps in the jungle just like that. We approached this lodge to ask them if we could place our tents at their precincts. As we approached the lodge we saw a girl there, she was a Khasi girl. Wearing white kurta, short Hight, long hairs, brown color. She looked like a moon in the dark night. She did not know Hindi neither she was fluent in English but I managed to have a conversation with her. Her name was ‘Santina’, she had a beautiful smile. I told her about our plan of placing our tents. We got to know that she works there and the owners were not there hence she conveyed the message to them. They were fine with it though charged us some 500 bucks for our two tents. We all sat together at the campfire with some other travelers, talked about life. It was too much for the day and we were tired enough for much-needed sleep. We packed ourselves in our sleeping bags and said goodnight to this well spent day.

It was 8 in the morning, we had a good sleep last night. This place looked nice and the location was kind of remote. Right in front of this lodge, there was a road and on the other side, there were hills and slopes making perfect scenery. Just a few steps away from the lodge there was a house cum guest house cum café on the highway. We had our morning tea and breakfast there. After getting ready at the lodge, we were planned to go to the double-decker root bridge and the Nohkalikhai waterfalls. While I was wandering here and there with my camera. Yash was talking to the guy owner of this lodge. The owner was a friendly and interactive fella. He suggested some places to us which were not in our list and we did not hear about them either. He was asking us to go to a particular waterfall called Rainbow waterfalls. According to him, this waterfall was discovered some 3-4 years back only and it is around 2 and a half hour trek from the double-decker root bridge. That made us excited about this place. So we postponed our earlier plans for Nohkalikhai waterfalls and planned to spend our day into the woods in the discovery of the waterfall as suggested by him.

As they say that the best view comes after the hardest climb, for us it was probably going to be the best view according to the lodge guy but after the longest and tiring trek of about 4 and a half hours.

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Enroute Tyrna

To reach the Double decker root bridge you need to reach the village called Tyrna which is the last motorable village. We left towards Tyrna by 9 in the morning. The drive to Tyrna was no less than magical as on our left there were these giant valleys and canyons that were amazing because of the density of the jungle and their depth. We made to Tyrna by 9:45 AM. We saw an entry gate to this village and that was the end of the road.

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Yes it is the path to paradise

The double-decker root bridge is situated in the village called Nongriat, which is situated 3 km deep down in the valley from Tyrna. These 3 kilometers are made of 3500 cemented steps. From now on you don’t have any option than to walk in order to reach the Double decker root bridge. It is going to be the leg day you will not forget for coming 3-4 days

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Just some 3500 steps nothing more

The initial descent was fine but later on, it started becoming too steep as you can see in the pictures. While going down, we were wondering how are we going to climb these steep steps back on our return. The deeper we were going, closer we were feeling towards mother nature. So much of the fresh air was getting inside me. I was wondering how I am gonna live in the chaos of urban life back.

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Way more steps are left!!

The path was full of palm trees and so many different species of plants and trees that I had no clue and I never knew. The flora and fauna are so rich here. We could see no. of butterflies flying above our heads and along with us. Butterflies that I do not see in my city anymore.

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So dense, Isn’t it?

I saw some graves off to the route. While my friends were carrying on the main path, I went by myself to that graveyard. There were no. of graves, though it was a bloomy time of the day, it was silent like anything. I took some shots and but I felt a bit of fear so I left in a few minutes only.

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The silence of the jungle

After a no. of steps the trail started becoming plane and then we saw the first metal suspension bridge. It was a man-made bridge, capable enough to carry only 1 or 2 people at a time and very unstable, as it shakes a lot. More people means shakier and riskier. To be honest I have always seen these kinds of bridges in movies and walking on it was such a thrilling experience.

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Welcome to the Jungle
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Who would you walk with here?

After going a little further, we encountered the second metal suspension bridge. It was very strong and capable enough to carry many people at a time. Beneath the bridge, we could see shades of turquoise blue in the water bodies. The water was so crystal clear that we could see every tiny stone in the water even from this height.

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New cable bridge

There was a tree which might have fallen down into this waterbody and it was a complete wallpaper material as it looked so unreal, like a magical place. I would say Take a break on this bridge, look around, admire the beauty and say thank you to god and then start moving on.

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Isn’t it magical?

We were almost there at Nongriat. Some tea stalls and distant houses started coming on our way. We were trekking from more than 2 hours so we took a halt at one of the tea stalls, it was also a homestay. The lady made us yummy Egg preparations and Maggi and we were starving like anything. There were many pullets in their backyard and I again started chasing them. Double-decker root bridge was just 15 minutes away, the excitement was getting even stronger.

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Cute they are

Finally, we saw that, on our right and as we were getting close, I realized that it was a huge marvelous and unreal creation. It was exactly like the jungle that we all have seen in the movies like Avatar, Jungle Book. It was fantastic and fascinating. The moment I was on that bridge, it took me back to my childhood when I used to fantasize about being in the jungle with Mowgli and hanging on the trees like him. It was such a feeling of being in your dreamland

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Dreamland it is

There was this pond the water in it was crystal clear. We stayed there for a while, clicked some pictures. The villagers are making all the effort to keep this clean and intact. It is the duty of every tourist as well to keep the same thing. If I see some wrappers or plastic bottles or other trash, I collect them and drop them to dustbins on my return. That’s what I have been doing form a long time on my tracks. But this place was still much cleaner than the northern states of the Himalayas in India. Majorly due to less human intervention and lesser footfall.

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Para-Para-Paradise!!

So far it was my journey to the Magical Double decker root bridge, Read my next blog which is in continuation to this journey but now in the pursuit of the Rainbow fall in the deepest jungles of Cherrapunji.

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