Inspired by the narration of locals about the serene beauty of the living root bridges and the waterfalls, we decided to take a trek down the villages and hills of Meghalaya to find the ‘Rainbow Falls’. Little did we know that the trip would turn out to be one with dangerous trails, beautiful sights, and unforgettable experiences!
My trip to Meghalaya was a part of my Explorer’s Fellowship by IIT Gandhinagar in the summer of 2017. After a 36-hour train journey from Kanpur, we reached Guwahati. We took a 3 hour shared taxi to Shillong where we decided to stay for a day. Unable to find accommodation, we decided to move forward and we reached Cherrapunji by noon and did some local sightseeing. The easily accessible stay in Cherrapunji was ‘By The Way’ hostel, where we could get a stay for 250 rupees per person a night back then.
The quest started the previous evening while I accidentally overheard a bunch of fellow travelers talking in my native language. The immediate instinct was to befriend them. The five of us and our four new friends finally decide to go for a trek the next day. A quick chat with the locals made us aware of the Living Root Bridges and the Rainbow Falls that was an hour’s trek ahead of the Nongriat Root Bridge.
We started out at 6 am as we had booked a vehicle to drop us at the trek starting point – Tyrna village. We started the trek around 7 a.m. while it also started to drizzle. The initial part of the trek was easier and we walked through the villages. The trees and forest along with the rain gave us a beautiful sight of the lush green mountains. The fog cover added to the beauty of the scenery. We reached the first living root bridge within 1 hour and took a break. One of our friends from the other group went for a dip in the rushing streams and almost got dragged along. It was a sheer moment of panic for all of us. We were lucky to have him back but he was full of bruises as he hit some rocks while at it. The entire trail is full of suspension bridges and would be scary for first-timers. The rushing river water due to the rain made it worse for us.