Friday, October 9, 2015

I am BACK :P

Thanks to the motivation from some of my close friends I have decided to blog again. Now on it won't be gossip about college days, the reason why I started this blog; but about my travel experiences that inspire me every now and then in my creative activities and gives me much needed break. 

I have been born and brought up in Assam, lived in Dibrugarh during my childhood days before I headed out to India's capital city for my higher studies. I finally returned to Assam due to unavoidable circumstances. But I feel it has been a blessing in disguise. Returning to Assam has helped me build my own brand and has given me the opportunities to travel the north-east which I hadn't explored all this while. But as they say, it's never too late. 

I start blogging again with my trip to Cherrapunji, allegedly the wettest place on Earth. I have had heard and read about Cherrapunji all throughout my formative years, but never bother to visit the place. If I look back now, I regret it. Anyways. Finally a sudden outburst of emotions gave me an opportunity to travel to Sohra (popular name for Cherrapunji) on weekend trip with my cousins. It was peak of monsoons in North-East India, and I would say best time to visit Meghalaya, as its LUSH green and waterfalls in full bloom everywhere. 

We drove directly to the town of Cherrapunji, about 4-5 hours drive from Guwahati. The drive was breathtaking. The view of the open lands was mesmerizing and absolutely romantic (unfortunately I was with my cousins).

Umiam Lake
On the way to Cherrapunji
After reaching Cherranpunji, we started with typically typical tourists spots. We went to the Seven Sisters Fall, The Caves at Sohra, The Eco Park, and a couple of more places, which I don't remember as we didn't find them exciting enough. Seven Sisters Falls is a good spot for clicking a selfie, a view point at the Eco Park gave an awesome view of the neighboring Bangladesh and caves were just ok, over-crowded. I always prefer doing all touristy stuff first and then explore further. 

Seven Sisters Fall
View of Bangladesh from Eco Park in Sohra
As the sun sets early in this part of the world, we had to call it a day. We drove back to the resort we were going to stay that night. It's about 25 kms before Sohra. The resort is called Cafe Cherrapunje and we were pretty impressed. As it was full tourist season we had to stay in the tent outside. Tent was pretty decent, but we couldn't sleep much as the drizzle during the night made noise on the tent surface. But one has to be prepared for this as it rains mostly during the nights in Cherrapunji. 

Tent at Cafe Cherrapunji
Next morning we decided to go to the Double Decker Root Bridge (DDRB), which I had recently heard about from a friend from Mumbai. She had recently visited. Such a shame on me. During our drive to the village of Tyrna, from where the trek to the DDRB starts we got to see some stunning skies. We started our drive at 4.45 am from the resort and it was bright day light. Village of Tyrna is located about 1-1.30 hrs drive from town of Cherrapunji. In the northeast mentioning of kms don't really give you a time estimate of a journey, as roads are hardly well kept. 

Morning Sky
The Morning Sky

On the way to Tyrna Village
The trek from Tyrna to the Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge is about 3000 steps, a couple of swinging bridges, one or two single deck root bridges and lot of stamina. Luckily as we started early, the sun was not harsh and it was not raining, basically a great weather. If it was raining it would have been tough as steps would have got really slippery. We were able to reach the DDRB in not more than 2-2.30 hrs if I remember faintly. But not before some scary moments for me. We had to cross two swinging wire bridges, first one was not that frightening but the second one almost made me cry and I thought of returning. I am scared of heights. But encouragement from cousins did it for me. I was somehow able to cross it. 

Scary Swinging Bridge, it is scarier than it looks. Trust me
We finally reached the now world famous living root bridge. It is considered to be a natural cum man-made wonder and one of its kind in this ever depleting planet. These root bridges are formed by roots of very old rubber trees with the help of the local Khasi tribes of Meghalaya. The roots are channelized by the locals in such a way that they form natural bridges over rivers and streams. The Double Decker Root Bridge is definitely one place that everyone should visit during their trip to North-East/ Meghalaya. As it was peak of monsoon, the bridge and the area surrounding areas were LUSH green. One could only hear the water flowing and that's it. It was very peaceful and a kind of much needed break after a hectic city life. 

The Double Decker Living Root Bridge
Now comes the real tough part. Climbing back. It was almost mid day and sun was as hot as it can get. In the hills sun is always much stronger than the plains. We were biggest fools, we didn't carry any water bottles or food to munch on. If anyone of you ever go trekking there please don't make a mistake like us. During the trek you won't find any shop as such to buy some food or water. We somehow found some taps with water in it. That was the only savior for us. We took much longer to climb back. It was extremely exhausting. EXTREMELY. But on our way we spotted a few pretty butterflies. Whatever said and done, the trek was worth every step we took. 

Butterfly spotted while climbing back
Another one
Everyone visits Cherrapunji to see the rains. We were in Cherrapunji for almost two days now, but hardly got to see any rain. I was a little disappointed but not for very long. While returning from Tyrna village till most of our journey till Shillong, we drove almost in the clouds. It was a little risky as we couldn't see anything beyond 20-30 metres, but who cares. It was INCREDIBLE. 

Literally couldn't see anything


7 comments:

yesitsme said...

I'm motivated too. Waiting for your trip to tawang and first time.with snow experience !!

Aur Batao said...

ahha... thanks Mrinalini... :)

Ashish Kumar said...

Very nice & inspiring !!!

ankur mehra said...

I seriously can't believe the fact that you named your blog as aur batao !!!

ankur mehra said...

BTW, this post is ' been there done that' for me.

I am surprised that you guys didn't go to Mawlyllong to see Asia's cleanest village !!

Shivani Gakhar said...

Glad you're back on the blog Arpit :) Looking forward to many more of your travelogues!

Aur Batao said...

Ankur Mehra, Cleanest Village is in our list. Will try to make it soon:)
Shivani Gakhar, Thanks a lot for inspiring words :)