Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More)

28th Aug 2018
Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

' Best Moment Happens, when they are unplanned. '

We are school friends who try to go on a trip every year and this time we chose Sikkim. Sikkim, a land of mountains that touch heaven. Two new characters were joining us on this trip, a girl about to get married and a crazy guy who is excited about everything and gives up at the earliest. So 3 Boys and 3 Girls booked our tickets and in Bollywood style, we caught our flight at the last movement with Airport's Announcement for us.

I met a Sikkimese entrepreneur girl on the flight, who has a wonderful and unique shop named HATCHED, Kids boutique at MG-Road Gangtok, and also a traveller. She helped us with all the valuable information about Sikkim/Gangtok.

Day 1

We landed at Bagdogra International Airport - West Bengal and hired the Taxi to Gangtok and said a warm bye to the passenger traveler.

Mr. Hari, a farmer, and our driver-partner from Siliguri showed us some amazing places, scenic view, Teesta River, etc. We planned to visit Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim which is far from Gangtok. Mr. Hari had informed us enough about North Sikkim, about Permit, cold rough weather, and everything else. He also told us the famous story popular in the locals of Baba Harbhajan Singh and his Ghost which is still there according to them.

Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Finally, we reached the beautiful city of Gangtok, it was drizzling and dark. We booked our stay at Hotel Sher-E-Punjab, a well designed wooden artwork and located at the centre of Gangtok. We unpacked our stuff at our hotel and got ready to hit the best party places in Gangtok.

We went to Cafe Live Loud and as Murphy's Law works it was closed that night so we went to the second-best place there. We entered the shady bar as it was the only available place that night and that time.

Photo of Bonfire Baresto - Family Restaurant & Bar, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Arithang, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Rahul Rewaria

It was a small bar with 10-15 Red chairs with pink lighting that was tripping us already. There were a few strangers/locals too who after some time became our bestie after a couple of drinks. We partied all night there and then we were asked to move out. At midnight, we walked to our Hotel in that drizzling amazing night through MG Market. We went to our room and continued the party there. (We were aware of this, so we already had our backup in our hotel's refrigerator). Some of us were completely wasted and others were guardians for that night. That was one hell of a night and the amazing start of our trip.

Pro Tip:

1. Try to be there early, as shops start shutting down by 9 PM.

2. If you are open to alcohol, Try Local beer brands like Dansberg or Hit.

MG Road, Gangtok, Sikkim

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria
Day 2

The next morning, I woke up at 6 in the morning to see the beautiful hill-station in daylight for the first time, And I was not disappointed. Blue sky, Greenery everywhere, and almost every house I could see had wishing flags.

Gangtok, The Morning View, Sikkim

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

We planned to stay in Gangtok for two days and then will move to North Sikkim and Gurudongmar Lake. We decided to do the Nathula Point and enjoy the Sikkim Roads. We knew about the Permits and all, so we shared our Photos and details with Mr. Hari (our Last day Driver) and he arranged almost everything for us and A car as well. Mr. Bharat was today's pilot, who took us to Nathula Point and places on the way. Nathula's point is an INDO-CHINA Border point where travellers/tourists can have a look at another side of the border.

Nathula Border, Sikkim

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

The drive to the Nathula pass was majestic and Breathtaking, maybe better than the destination. I have been to some good places/roads in Himalaya and this road was truly beyond all of them. In between, we went to Baba Harbhajan temple, Waterfall and Tsomgo Lake. We also encountered a chain of China's Trucks who was crossing the border for Trade. Overall, it is a touristy place to go to have astonishing and stunning views with lovable roads. This all took our 6-7 hours and we were back to the room.

Baba Harbhajan Temple, Sikkim

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

The Watefall, Baba Harbhajan Temple, Sikkim

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

When everyone was in the room I decided to slip out and try to find the Co-passenger from our flight and I found her. Amazing soul with amazing travel stories, we had a couple of beers at Live and Loud cafe, the best cafe/bar in entire Gangtok, where I got to know about her and her business

Day 3

We woke up early in the morning to be first in the Queue of Sikkim Tourism Information Centre to get the permit for North Sikkim. It is right there at the starting of MG Road Market, a cream colour painted building, where you will get all the required details for anything and everything related to Sikkim tourism. There we got to know that some landslide occurred there last evening and this morning all the routes are closed and there is no sign that when it will be open again.

Sikkim Tourist Information Centre

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Now we all were unhappy and worried but still, we called our driver Mr. Bharat and decided to do local sightseeing today. On this day we visited Tashi View Point, Ban Jhakri Waterfall, Hanuman Tok, and Bakthang Waterfall. And among all, The Tashi Viewpoint was best because this is a good place for observing Kanchenjunga & surrounding hills.

Bakthang Waterfall, Gangtok, Sikkim (The Photographer)

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

All these places have amazing Sikkim food and MG road made us forget about our worries that we don't have any plan for the next 5 days; it was funny and scary. But as soon as we entered the room we realized that we are at a dead-end and we are supposed to check out from our hotel the next morning by 11 AM or have to convince Hotel management to let us continue our stay. It was too late to find a good hotel/accommodation nearby or go to the tourist office to check if the route to Gurudongmar lake is open or not.

Day 4

Fourth Day, again in the morning I went to the tourist office to check if conditions were the same or better but hard luck, there was more landslide that occurred last night, So now there was no chance to go to the Gurudongmar lake. The 'girl about to get married' and I had discussed an alternative last night, so we can save our 5 coming days and make most of it. So we took Bharat's Taxi and asked him to drive us to the Siliguri railway station. We packed our bags and hit the road again.

Till now no one else but we two had a clue where we were going. It was a long tiring drive but the moment we encountered the Teesta River on the way to Siliguri we decided to do an impromptu adventurous sport, River Rafting. We asked Bharat if there is any chance if we can do it, he made a couple of calls and arranged it for us and within 20 min of that adventurous idea, we were standing at the bank of Teesta River.

Teesta River bridge, Silliguri, West Bengal

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Teesta River is known as the lifeline of Sikkim and for the fact; it is the fastest flowing river in India. Teesta River rafting is a different experience than you do in north India (mostly in Rishikesh). It is rougher, crazier than other rivers in India and at this time there was no one around us in the river. So we made most of it and had a great experience that day, this is one of the must-do things there. It made our day.

Our train tickets were booked from Siliguri Railway station, and we were running late. So now we asked Mr. Bharat to stop the car, and I took over the Steering. Now I was driving to the station, and Mr. Bharat was a Lil worried as he never saw a Delhiite driving, and it was a fun drive for all. So we reached the railway station on time.

Now at this time, we both announced that we are going to Meghalaya, as expected they all were shocked and excited at the same time. Though we didn't plan too many things for the upcoming days but were sure that we would plan it out. We didn't have confirmed tickets but somehow we did some Jugad with TT and arranged our seats in the AC coach. We played a lot of Card games all night and the train led us to the next stop, Guwahati.

Day 5

We reached Guhwati in the morning at 10'o clock. It was one clear sunny day when we booked our Taxi to Shillong. It was a Jeep, with an open roof, and we were out of it most of the time. This Road leading to Shillong had such a remarkable view, where there is Assam at one side, and Meghalaya is at another side of the Road, and it was a majestic experience.

Guwhati Railway Station, Assam

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Both of us, the 'girl about to get married' and myself were a Little worried if everyone else would like the plan or not, but the moment we entered Meghalaya it was confirmed that we made the right decision to come here. Meghalaya, The name means "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit, all we read about Meghalaya in our notebooks is that the state experienced high rainfall and it just got proved. It was drizzling 24x7 there and we loved it.

NH6 (Left to the road is Assam and Meghalya at the right)

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Khanapara, Guhwati, Assam

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

We reached Shillong by 4 and it was showering like anything. We booked a place online but it was not as good as it was looking in the pictures and was far from the center, the 'Police Bazar' .So we had to look for some other place. We made two groups one who will look after the luggage and the rest will look for a good place to stay in this heavy rainfall. And this time our girls did an amazing job, found us a great place to stay at the main chowk in police Bazar.

It was a good hotel with small and comfortable rooms, we unpacked and relaxed for a good time as we were travelling for a long time. The room was at the main chowk of police Bazar and we had a good view from our room windows. After sleeping for a good time we visited the market and did the touristy shopping from there and had a tasty dinner there in the market. After that, we all crashed in our beds.

Day 6

Next Day, We kept it a bit relaxed and we explored the local sightseeing and colourful town Shillong. We visited Elephant Waterfall for which you have to take a walk down in the mountains. The original Khasi name for the falls is Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, which translates to "the three-step waterfall" and this waterfall should be on your list whenever you go to Shillong.

Elephant Waterfall, Shillong, Meghalaya

Photo of Elephant Falls, Upper Shillong, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Rahul Rewaria

Coming back to the hotel we visited the famous police Bazar, a good happening place to be. I believe Shillong has the best fashion sense. It was drizzling & we were exploring the market and experienced tasty Shillong's street food too. Then we spent our night in our room’s playing cards. Later that night to get some drinks, me and my friend, 'the Photographer' and I moved out at midnight and it was all closed. We roamed around the entire area and we encountered some dark stuff that night and it was a crazy experience. We both came back and quickly went to our beds.


1. All type of food is available in main Shillong Market, north Indian too. But should try Local dish 'Jadoh'.

2. Go out and keep exploring, Shillong stays up in night too.

3. Shared and private Taxi is main transport to roam and is affordable too.

Day 7

After Spending 2 Days in Shillong we started moving toward our next destination, 'Cherrapunji'. As I have mentioned before, Cherrapunji was the reason we left Gangtok and re-planned our entire trip. The road was next to anything you could have imagined, the greenery there will take your soul and put you in the ninth cloud. It was drizzling all the way and we all were enjoying it a lot.

Roads in Cherrapnjii, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

We were in Cherrapunji for 2-3 days and there was not a single moment when it was not raining. We Pre-booked a homestay for our two days stay in Cherrapunji, run by a small family with two cutest possible girls playing around in the lawn. We kept our luggage and continued to the roads.

The Homestay, Cherapunjii, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

The first stop was the Living root bridge. It was a small hike down through a lush green trail. We were excited to revel in the breathtaking scenery with this hiking to the living root bridge. As we expected it was just magic, no other word can explain it better. There was a gigantic waterfall running under the bridge and the bridge was nothing but some web of Roots. We also actually entered the waterfall to get some dang photographs and we got it too.

Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

The Waterfall, Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

After this wondrous start, we moved to the next site to Asia's cleanest village, Mawlynnong God's own Garden. We were wowed for the second time today, as it was the cleanest we have ever visited. It was a tiny village with a big entrance area and a church on your left and you can hear prayers very clearly. The clean Place, lush green view, small tiny house, and sound of prayer and bell from the church will take you to meditation without doing anything.

You will be clicking almost everything around you as everything will be so fascinating and yet the Camera could not do justice to what we were seeing. Even the villagers were too generous with us and other tourists and let us wander around their village. You will see dustbins and people cleaning their surroundings but not a single piece of trash. Another interesting fact is that Mawlynnong has a 100 percent literacy rate with most people speaking English fluently.

God's Own Garden, Mawlynnong

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Rahul Rewaria

We were already overwhelmed with the views at the Living root bridge & God's own garden, Mawlynnong and we still had places to go. The next place we visited was the India-Bangladesh Border. This is almost the same as India-Nepal Border, Open for all. An Indian can literally walk it to Bangladesh on their foot; all you need the valid Documents. It was a good experience to do an international touch on your domestic trip. We also tasted a Bangladeshi hawker's food that was coming from Bangladesh and selling his food to Indians at the border.

IND-Ban Border, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

At last, we went to the popular Lake, Dawki’s Crystal Clear Umngot River also known as Dawki River. The green of the river sparkles brightly under the sun with colourful boats lining its shore. The water is impossibly clear, you can see the river bed, and it is one of its kinds. So to enjoy this magical river we hired a boat, but the boat allowed just 4 people & the boatman and we were 6. So 'The Photographer' and I decided to stay back and click/shoot this beautiful lake from its bank only.

But within 5 mins we couldn't resist asking a fisherman, who was there for just fishing I think, to let us board for a couple of bucks. He let us enter his boat without booking it from the booking counter, though it was illegal. Not only that he also let us row the boat on our own and we did row our boat gently down the stream. We did the boat race too with our friends in the other boat, we won. We did more crazy things around and this place is one of the Gems of Meghalaya. And BTW, at last, we found out that our fisher was drunk enough to let us enter into his boat illegally.

Dwaki River, Meghalaya (Lossing Boat)

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Dwaki River, Meghalaya (Winner's Boat)

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

After All these amazing visits we drove back to our guesthouse in Cherrapunji. And on the way to it was another majestic experience, there were a couple of times where we stopped our car in the middle of the road, just to capture the beauty around. It was so majestic that if you click any random photograph of nature, it would be your best photo. These roads to our guesthouse were so wonderful that the second half of our day we enjoyed just being on the roads of Cherrapunji.

That Night, We walked to our dinner place in Cherapunji and coming back converted in a spooky walk to all of us. As after really long we realised that we are walking right next to Cherapunjii's famous cemetery for its horror incidents.

Tip: There is Entery charges for Living Root Bridge, Mawlynnong, and, Dwaki River Boat Ride.

Cherapunji, Meghalaya

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria
Day 8

Now it was our last day, we kept the best of Meghalaya for this day only, to go hiking/Trek to Double Decker Bridge. We all have read it in some book/articles or somewhere about this bridge and always dreamt to be there and the day was here now.

We drove to the base camp Tyrna Village, from where the way leading to the destination and the way is more exciting as you cross thick jungles, stone steps, water streams, etc. After 3000 stairs going into the lush green jungle, a narrowest possible suspension bridge with the heavy rainfall in the wettest state of India we reached the Mighty Double Decker Bridge.

As expected after travelling to Gangtok to Siliguri to Guwahati to Shillong to Cherrapunjee, all those flights, trains, taxis, and this 2 hr trek is all worth it when all this leads you to see mother nature doing such amazing magic all over the earth. You/We might believe that we have seen too much of nature, we know too much about it but this place makes you think thrice at least. There is nothing on this earth that can match this. You have to visit Cherrapunji just to see this.

Suspension bridge, Double Decer bridge

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

Double Decker Bridge, Cherrapunji

Photo of Trip Full of Surprises (Sikkim - Meghalaya - and More) by Rahul Rewaria

But when we trekked back to the base camp, we realized another accident happened. Somehow I dropped my Phone on that trek and had no clue where. We did walk back to some part of it, but we all knew that it is gone now & Cherrapunjee has it now. It was funny and sad at the same time, that I lost my phone at one of the most beautiful places and have lost everything I clicked on that phone. We had no option but to move on.

The next stop was the seven sister waterfall viewpoint, from here you can have a very clear view of 7 waterfalls coming out of a long mountain range. We had our lunch there and bought some souvenirs for ourselves and our family. There is one special Achar/Pickle you will find, the Fish Pickle. Small tiny fishes in a jar full of Indian spices.

Photo of Seven Sisters Falls, Cherrapunjee, Nongkalikhai, Cherrapunji‎, Meghalaya, India by Rahul Rewaria

After All These Exciting Places, memories, and dropping my phone somewhere we head back to Guwahati Railway Station. We boarded the train and the next morning we were in Siliguri, WB, and boarded our Flight and yes again shit happened, 'the workaholic' forgot to take her laptop from security check at the airport and boarded her Bangalore flight, for that 'the Photographer' had to fly down to Bangalore to return that Laptop and came back to Delhi.

Guwahati Railway Station, Assam

Photo of Guwahati Railway Station, Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati, Assam, India by Rahul Rewaria
Day 9

Overall this trip was full of surprise, rescheduling, accidents, and a lot more. Northeast India is as beautiful as you can expect or way more. Whenever you travel, always be ready for unexpected things on your way, what if you plan for something but that place has some other plans. You should be able to understand and replan your entire trip in just one night. It is another level of fun, as Master Oogway says 'there are no accidents'. The Gurudongmar Lake might be a special beautiful place, but due to a landslide, we visited Meghalaya, and none of us had any regret but happy and excited to be there.

I wish I could cherish your eyes more than being able to do through this Travelogue. But Have a look at some of the best photographs to enjoy this place virtually.

Gangtok, Sikkim

Tsongmo Lake, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

The YAK, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

Late Night Conversation, Gangtok, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

Tsongmo Lake, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

The Party Night, Gangtok, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

Baba Harbhajan Waterfall, Sikkim

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria

Heroes in cherrapunji, Meghalaya

Photo of Delhi, India by Rahul Rewaria
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