Journey to Nongriat village

This post is the second of a series of posts about my travel to Meghalaya. Read the first post was about Umiam lake here.

This post is about our visit to Nongriat – a village near Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya. Accessible only via a foot path, one has to climb down 3500 steps from a village called Tyrna to reach Nongriat. But, let me start from where I previously left off.

After a splendid day spent at Umiam lake, in a boathouse, our next hop was to Cherrapunjee. From here, we were to start our walk down to the Nongriat village. The previous post ended with me mentioning that the rains had not affected us much at Umiam lake. That was about to change, fast… and how!

We had a small 10-minute boat journey to get to our taxi. It was a small, open boat with the three of us and all our luggage. All of us had a camera backpack and a duffel bag each. 5 minutes into the boat ride, the skies open up into a steady and heavy rainfall. All through the morning, it was cloudy and the heavens chose this opportune moment to get started. Quoting Murphy’s law here would be too clichéd. All my attention and effort went into protecting the camera backpack. Myself and my duffel bag submitted ourselves to the rains, with arms wide open (No we did not, but anything we did to protect ourselves did not matter). In the remaining 5 minutes of the boat ride, we were all as drenched as we could ever be and so was the luggage (especially my luggage). We had the option of waiting for the rain to subside at a shelter in the water sports complex. But we were all drenched to a degree where any further jaunt in the heavy rains could not have made us any more wet than we already were. In short, our wetness was idempotent.

The next 3 hours went in the car journey to Cherapunjee. It was raining almost throughout the journey. The car heater managed to dry our clothes a little bit. Nearing Cherapunjee, we had a new companion along with the rains – fog. After a quick lunch, we stopped at the Cherapunjee market to buy some big plastic covers to protect our luggage. The rains had reduced to a gentle drizzle and it was in this weather that we started our walk to Nongriat. The rains made it difficult to shoot photos along the way, so I ended up capturing video footage on my GoPro. Along the way, we had to cross 2 metal bridges which was quite thrilling, to put it mildly. A 100 feet drop below and the only thing that’s keeping you at this height is a slender suspended metal bridge. You foot has to rest on all of 4-5 steel rods running throughout the length of the bridge. Its at the middle of the bridge’s length that it shakes the maximum. The only way is forward. It might help to think of the mountain dew ad – “Darr ke aage jeet hai” 🙂 But, over the next 24 hours, we would master the art of crossing these bridges with minimum shake – applying a bit of science (right!) and synchronizing our steps while crossing seemed to have made the bridge shake less. Or perhaps, we really did get over our fear.

We stayed at a cozy little homestay overnight and did a bit of trekking the next morning. We encountered innumerable nameless water streams and water falls. Apart from the famous double decker living root bridge, we saw at least a couple other living root bridges too. Rain, drizzle was a companion all throughout. I have very few photos to share, but I did make a short video that perhaps shows our experience better.

Double decker root bridge at Nongriat

Double decker root bridge at Nongriat

Crossing a root bridge in rains

Crossing a root bridge in rains

A nameless waterfall near Nongriat

A nameless waterfall near Nongriat

Root bridges and waterfalls - this sums it up

Root bridges and waterfalls – this sums it up

And here is the video.

 

City folks like us definitely get a new perspective to living, once we learn that the villagers need to cross these metal bridges and climb up 3500 steps on a regular basis, irrespective of the weather condition, in order to procure essentials, groceries and medical needs. It took us 2 hours to climb back up to Tyrna, the next day. This outing shook us out of our comfort zones, the assumption of easy travel. In the end, though we were gasping for breath, we were also in a strange kind of peace.

Next part of our journey, took us to Mawsynram. More on that soon.

1 Comment

  1. Murali

    Yeah human versatility at play. Reminded of Yaana and Kumaraparvatha where folks do daily treks almost without a sweat(almost) for their living

    Nice share Srini, good snaps and we’ll written.

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  1. Umiam Lake, Meghalaya - PhotoMithra - […] This is the first post of the Meghalaya series. Second part is here. […]

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