This trip was a long term dream of mine. I've always been fascinated by North East India and wanted to cover the Seven sisters starting with Meghalaya. 2019 was the year when I finally got to realize that dream as I found two companions Arvind and Srinath, who shared a similar idea of vacationing as mine, during my MBA at glim gurgaon. I planned the entire trip and we reached the Guwahati airport on Oct 2nd 2019 by around 8 am in the morning.
We were greeted by our driver Sahil Chetri and we set out to to our first spot, the Kamakhya Devi temple. This temple is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti pithas. The entire temple was decorated in bright red with artificial flowers. We happened to see a live Bali(sacrifice) of a buffalo and we were literally shuddering at the sight of a severed head being taken to the Kamakhya Devi's chamber. After spending about an hour here we were off to our next location, the peacock island.
The Umananda temple is located in the middle of the beautiful Brahmaputra River on an island called the peacock island. To reach this beautiful Shiva temple, we had to take a ferry, which costed about 50 bucks per person. We had to wait for about 30 minutes to get the ferry and the journey to the island took another 15 minutes. Onc can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the peaceful premises of the temple here.
We then made our way to the Balaji temple. The architecture was a miniature of the grand Balaji temple at Tirupati. The entire temple was a brilliant white and the insides of the temple were sparkling clean. The temple was beautiful and were run by Tamilians. This was the final stop for the day and then we proceeded to our hotel for check in.
We woke up at around 7 am in the morning, had breakfast at the hotel and hit the road by 8:30 am. We were off to Shillong and the route was simply brilliant. One of the things I love about travelling is the journey. The changing landscapes and the shift in culture is apparent and it sets you up for what is to come (the destination). On our way, we came across the spectacular Umiam lake. The view was simply breathtaking. Beautiful hues of aqua and lush greens put a stranglehold on us and we simply didn't wanna leave that place at all. After convincing ourselves that there is more to see, we too the road again and steered towards our next destination, the Don Bosco museum.
The museum was located at the center of shillong and it's a repository of history and culture. People who love culture would find themselves lost in this place of knowledge. You might even spend 2-3 hours here if you go through each of the 7 floors of content displayed at this museum. The museum also has an in house restaurant that served really delicious local food.
After finishing our lunch at the museum, we left for Ward's lake. This is an artificial lake set in the middle of a beautiful park. The lake is quite long and you can even care for a peaceful boating here. The park has wonderful scenery and you can take some really good profile pictures here 😁 we spent around 45 minutes in the park just taking a stroll around it. By this time we were starving and hence headed to our hotel to check in and had our dinner there.
By this time we got the hang of north east. The day starts very early and ends soon too. The sun rises by around 5 am and sets by 530 pm. Therefore it's essential that we start our trips very early. And so we did. The drive from Shillong to Dawki was absolutely magical. The roads were completely covered in mists and the landscapes were breathtaking. We drive at a snail pace but loved every secind of our drive. It was like driving through heaven! Dawki is a village on the Bangladesh border and it is here you can find the clear water Umngot lake. The water is supposed to be so clear that boat seems to be hovering over the river .But this place was over crowded and it didn't look as good as we expected. However, it was still a pleasant sight. We left Dawki and reached Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in all of ASIA! And it didn't disappoint. This was our first look at living root bridge and it was Spectacular ! This place was beautiful and we spent about an hour here just marvelling at the surroundings. We then made our journey to Cherrapunji to stay at the Cherrapunji holiday resort
This was the day we were all waiting for. Roam around the wettest place on Earth, Cherrapunji. We started early and left for our first location, Mawsmai Caves. The cave had a nice entrance and the it was around 6.5 KMS long. The mawsmai cave is a limestone cave and there was water dripping from the roof for the entirety of the cave. The best part about these caves was that it was properly lit so that you wouldn't lose your way around it. However, it wasn't too bright and hence it didn't take away the excitement of traversing the cave in darkness. After that we went for the seven sister falls, one of the many falls in the land of waterfalls. Unfortunately, it was completely concealed by mist. We waited for a while but much to our disappointment, our driver said that these mists take hours to clear out that we had to go to our next location, the Nohkalikai falls. This was covered in mist as well, but after about 30 minutes the mist cleared out to give us a mind boggling view of the falls. Nothing like we ve seen any falls before. The clouds hovering over the falls and the mists interlocking with the clouds. And the falls pouring down. All these 3 were in sync. It was like a harmony. With a heavy heart , we left the falls to go to our next location, the Arwah caves. There were two paths to it. One , the traditional laid out path. The other, an unconventional route for the daring. We ,after a lot of convincing of the other two, went for the latter. And it was one of the best decisions we took. There was no path and it was plain nature. We had to go through the wild for about 15-20 minutes. It was an exciting 20 minute trek to the caves. They thanked me later :P We then made our way to the last stop of the day, Wahkaba falls. Now these falls are a must visit. This is one of the falls that you can get close to. In fact , you can actually stand on top of the mouth of the falls. It was dangerous and exciting at the same time. There was a 5 feet fence separating us from a fall that seemingly had no end to it. But it didn't stop is from experiencing the adrenaline pumping experience. We literally felt like we were on top of the world !
The last day of our trip. We woke up and got ready very early as this day consisted of a trek. We reached the starting point of the trek by 7. It is not necessary to get yourself a guide but I would definitely advise getting one. We took the held of this amazing guide called Bahhepp. If you're planning for this trek, you can probably ask for him. Amazing chap with excellent photography skills. We gave 1200 for the 3 of us. The first point of the trek was the double decker root bridge. It took us about 100 minutes to reach there. The double decker bridge was of course breathtaking. Opposite to this was a small stream of fall where you can bathe and take a nice swim and even get free Pedicure. It was a beautiful experience. Most people stop the trek and return back from here. However, the most beautiful part of the trek is after this. 2 strenuous hours from here will take you to the most fairytale like place ever ! The Rainbow falls! Mere words can't express the beauty of these falls. A brilliant rainbow forms at the base of the natural aqua blue pool formed by these falls! However, not everyone is blessed to view this spectacle. Our guide informed us that the rainbow was not available the last many days and we were lucky to observe the rainbow falls at it's full glory ! I strongly advice everyone to make the trek to this place. It's absolutely worth the extra effort and you'll thank me later 😉
This completes our trip. With great memories and a heavy heart we left to Guwahati to board the flight back home! Hope you guys had a good experience reading our experience. For any details, you can contact me at email@example.com and I'll be happy to share more details ! Happy Vacationing 😊