Meghalaya: Abode of clouds (Ep-2)

Throughout my travel voyage, I have always been inspired by the people of India with the stories they share with us and driven by the unconditional love that the every place had to offer. Today those same people had brought me back to experience what it’s like to be at home away from home.
Being in the heart of Meghalaya, there was no doubt that the coming days were going to be action packed and full of surprises. En route to Cherrapunjee (one of the Wettest place on earth), a blanket of clouds followed us with majestic views, heavenly landscapes and soothing road trip journey for which thousands of us could only dream of it. Every turn was a different turn, offering captivating moments which was beyond beautiful.

In childhood days, I used to dream of experiencing a walk through the clouds and hoping to live a life in a fairy tale. Who thought it could actually be a reality. If wishing could make things happen, then it should definitely be Meghalaya. Cherrapunjee was a city covered with clouds. It was a land where the clouds romanced with the valleys and the hills.

To experience something surreal and magical, we had to give up the life surrounded by “luxury and comfort”. These were the sleepless nights due to bone chilling weather, tiring scouts to get the best possible homestays, skipping a meal to increase the kilometres of our journey, unreserved train travels to cope up with our expenses and above all was the infinite patience to respect the fury of nature.

But had it not been for these sacrifices, the grandeur of mother Earth may have never taken place. By discovering nature’s thousand shades of green, the rain showers honoured our arrival and it would not be surprising why Cherrapunjee had been the wettest place on earth. It looked like a cinematic setting and we remained spellbound by the beauty that unfolded before our eyes.
But nature had some other plans as we decided to stay overnight in Nongriat to get the authentic experience and be more close to the nature. Nongriat is a tribal village in the midst of the jungle and in order to get isolated from the outer world, we had to climb down 3500 stairs.

The moment when you realize climbing down 3500 steps=climbing up 3500 steps.

This was going to test our limits but we were ready to give everything because nature never fails to disappoint you. In the depths of north eastern India, bridges aren’t built—they’re grown.

The living root bridges in Nongriat is a bio engineered marvel by the Khasi tribes where the rubber tree roots were tended to and patiently nurtured for years until they slowly reached the opposite bank. Living root bridges takes around 15-20 years to grow. This is the only bridge in the world which becomes stronger with age. It is a testament to the power of human nature in kinship to the surrounding landscapes. The overnight stay in Nongriat gave us the chills of living in the era of 19th century.The next day was going to be the last day in Meghalaya. With great resilience and determination, the feat of climbing up 3500 steps was finally achieved. We headed to this mystic waterfall called as Wei Sawdong.

This three step waterfall is the proof that nature is truly capable of producing golden moments. The melody of the waterfall and the refreshing touch of the virgin blue water captivated our senses. Few hours were left until we aboard the overnight train journey to Assam. The buzz of going into the unknown state had disappeared as everybody was living in the ‘now’ and soaking the warmth that Meghalaya had to offer. I wondered how blessed people living here are, being so close to the nature. These people were at peace with the way of life they have built for themselves.Warm and hospitable, they have maintained a smooth balance between advancement, culture and tradition. Simplicity had paved the way towards happiness. The happiness that I have been searching for years was there within me all the time. I just lost access to it a long time ago because of the delusional material world. It was the people of Meghalaya who taught me- “To fill my life with experiences and not things, to have stories to tell and not the stuff to show”.

As the journey continued from Meghalaya to Assam, there was a transition from hills and valleys to flat lands, crystal clear rivers to one of the largest basin (Brahmaputra) in the world, Asia’s cleanest village to world’s largest river island(Majuli). Stay tuned for more exciting stories of North east India in my Assam travel blog.