The Living Root Bridge of Meghalaya is the perfect example of the alliance of nature and man to serve a unified purpose and this Living Root Bridge Trek takes you to the very base of these amazing creations. These bridges have been part of the daily lives of the Khasi and Jaintia people for over 2 centuries. The trek will showcase the spectacular beauty of these places as well as the inspiring creativity of how these bridges came into existence. At the Double Decker Root Bridge you can enjoy a dip in the many natural pools or indulge in a unique fish pedicure spa experience which is set in the midst of the flowing river.
However, it is to be noted that the trek is quite strenuous and is categorized as difficult. The fact that you will need to climb down over 3000 steps to the Double Decker Root Bridge and then back up the same 3000 plus steps is quite daunting. This trek also includes an expedition to the single Living Root Bridge and the stunning Rainbow Falls. Trekking past the quaint villages, breathtaking natural sceneries, gorgeous natural pools and meandering rivers is going to be an experience that is unrivaled.
Arrive at Tyrna Village
The first day of your Living Root Bridge Trek begins with your arrival at Tyrna village which is the base point for your Trek.
Check into your home-stay and get settled.
In the afternoon you will head towards the Double Decker Root Bridge which is a 3.5 km hike from Tyrna village. The path has over 3000 stairs that descend down to the root bridge.
At the Double Decker Root Bridge enjoy the beautiful natural pools with clear refreshing water ideal for a quick dip.
You can also get a free fish pedicure by putting your feet in the water.
After exploring the beauty of this place to your heart's content, return to the homestay in Nongriat for overnight stay.
Backpacks - Backpacks are necessary for every trek and be sure to get one that is comfortable and has the capacity of 50-60 liters at least.
Refillable Water bottles - Bring a water bottle along with you on this trek as this will save you a lot of money and you can refill it at a few stops.
Hiking Shoes - Comfortable hiking shoes are very important to make this trek smooth and will take a lot of pressure off your heels.
Basic tools - Carry a torch with extra batteries and a multipurpose pen knife.
First Aid Kit with medication for common cough and cold along with painkillers. Also bring ointment for bruises and sprains.
Light fleece jackets if traveling in summer and heavy winter clothes in winter.
Stock up on snacks as the area is quite remote and it will also help you save a lot of money.
Carry valid ID proof with yourself on this trek at all times.
By Car - If you want to travel to the root bridges by road you can book a cab from Shillong that will take you directly to the Mawlynnong Village where you can see all the root bridges on foot. You can also drive to the root bridges using your own car or a rental one, from Shillong city center you can drive for approximately 80 km to Dawki Main Town from where you can drive to Mawlynnong Village which takes a few hours at most. Tyrna is the last stop for any kind of vehicle. From here you will need to hike to your destination.
By Air - The nearest airport is Umroi airport which is in Shillong. However, you can get more regular flights to Guwahati from any part of the country. From the airport you can rent a cab to Shillong and then onwards to Cherrapunjee then Mawlynnong village where you can see the famous Living Root Bridges.
By Bus - You can get on a bus from Barra Bazaar in Shillong that will take you to Nongriat from where you can either trek to the root bridges or book a cab.
By Railway - The closest railway station to Mawlynnong village is the Guwahati railway station from where you will have to book a cab either to Shillong city center or Cherrapunjee then to Mawlynnong village itself.
The living root bridges are located within the east Khasi Hills district, the West Khasi Hills district and a few other areas within Meghalaya. Most of them are located in the Nongriat village while the Double Decker Living Root Bridge is located in Umshiang, Cherrapunjee.
The Living Root Bridge trek is categorized as difficult because of the terrain as well as the 3000 odd steps that you will need to descend and ascend to complete the trek. The trek is not recommended for those with weak knees or any kind of joint problems. You will need good stamina to cover this trek as the paths are strenuous as well as unpaved.
The best time to do the Living Root Bridge trek is just after the end of the monsoon season which is between September to November. During this time the rivers and waterfalls are full with clear and cascading water making for the perfect trekking environment. Cherrapunjee has high rainfall and during the monsoon seasons the paths can get slippery as well as dangerous. December to March are winter months and ideal to tour the various attractions of Cherrapunjee but the waterfalls and rivers will be reduced to a very thin trickle of water. Although, weather wise, this is the perfect time for trekking in these parts.
The highest altitude of the living root Bridge trek is 2400 feet. It is the Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge - the most popular root bridge. It is 3 km long and begins from Village Tyrna Village.