Just 40 odd kilometers from Shillong and about 12 kilometers from Cherrapunji, hidden from the gawky travelers is a marvel of nature. Known as double decker living root bridge, the place is recognized as Naungriyat village if a curious offroader googles for it.
A walk down 4000 steps is the only way to reach there. With no medical aid, no foodstalls, no water, if you reach the very bottom of the hill, you wonder if going back to the civilization is even possible. You experience wobbly legs, muscle cramps , breathlessness, exhaustion like never before but, you still rave about it because it’s that ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
It’s truly amazing to see a living root bridge over another. A serene water stream flows beneath and the crystal clear water is home to frolicking fishes. Reaching the spot is not the only challenge, going back is too, not only for it’s tough climbing back but because it’s hard to leave the mesmerizing site.
On the way, there is endless bounty of waterfalls, natural pools, breathtaking views but that is not the only thing that beckons you to North east. A traveler will instantly fall for the booty but more importantly it’s the people. Khasis, the local tribes, are the warmest people with a ready smile. Their warmth and friendliness gives you an insight into how spoilt and ungrateful we are. They climb steep mountains to get access to a bucket of water, Carry challenging loads to earn their living, bear the brunt of the fury of nature almost every day but are unfettered and unfazed. Their beautiful little cottages are neat and tastefully decorated. Delicate lace curtains peep from all windows and blooming flower pots adorn each of these abodes. It maybe the Scotland of the east but who cares. I love it for what it is-pure, serene, beautiful and undeterred.