At Riwai; one can witness the ingenuity of the Khasi people. The Khasis have engineered the young roots of the Ficus trees on either side of gullies and brooks to grow through bamboos spanning the banks. The roots have taken hold on either side over years, forming a natural bridge; the famed — Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya. With time, stones have got lodged into the entwined roots. These bridges grow stronger with time unlike others; blending with the surrounding jungle landscape becoming a part of the scenery itself. There are many such bridges strewn across the forests of Meghalaya but the one at Riwai is the most easily accessible; the others requiring hours of trek through ancient trails known as the King’s Way. The King’s Way have kept the centuries old betel nut alive with the capital Shillong. The place also offers the village kids a natural pool to have a bath and splash about during the summers. It is a place of stunning beauty, with sunlight streaking down through the lush canopy amidst fluttering butterflies, the roots overgrown with moss and dangling creepers; an unique wedlock of natural bounty and human cognizance.
Living BridgesOthers sped off to visit Dawki lake and Bangladesh border, while me and my wife decided to stay back to get Inline Permits(ILP) for Nagaland, instead of going to Bhutan. http://www.explorenagaland.com agreed to help us getting ILP's and accomodation too. Unlike AP, we could ride to Kohima and pick up ILP's, and if required she would talk to the checkpost guys over phone. Then we, booked our last stay in Majuli islands and headed out to see the living bridges
The first stop on this scenic route was the much anticipated Living Root Bridge. It is exactly what the name says, a bridge made of aerial roots of Banyan Fig trees which grows stronger with each passing day. In one of the wettest regions of our country, the locals have shaped the roots of many such trees to form natural bridges to cross rivers and connect villages. This beauty blew me away. So majestic and yet so simple. An extension of two trees twirling into each other. They just stood there tall and strong watching as the world passes by. If we sit quiet awhile, I’m sure they’ll share a few stories with us.Few Pointers: This Bridge is the most easily accessible for tourists and will take a 10 min walk from the parking lot. It can get a little tricky when it rains to tread your way down. So be careful. Also carry a bottle of water. If you have more time, then do visit the other Root Bridges spread out over Meghalaya. There are even Root Ladders. :oMawlynnong:
He dropped me to see the Living Root Bridge at Riwai Village. Its a hike down the river stream till the bridge and uphill hike to the breathtaking View Point through the village. I had to literally run and still it took me an hour to take pictures and enjoy the place.We rushed to Mawlynnong finally and had food there. It was around 5:05PM and almost dark.I took rest and had red tea.We again rushed to Shillong as I had to catch Sumo cab back to Guwahati. We made it to Shillong by 8 PM and it was already too late. Sumos to Guwahati do not run after 6PM.Private Meghalaya taxis with ML number plate will charge you 2000/- for dropping you and coming back until you are lucky to find Assam Taxis with AS number plate.My day 2 went well and I was back on my backpacking mood. I searched a place to stay for just 200/- for a bed. The hotel guy was kind enough to help me and even served me tea. The common bathroom to use was huge and the whole arrangement was a lot better than any other Hotel around.You meet all kinds of people on the way and you end up learning or gaining experiences. The Hotel guy helped me in every possible way and refused to even collect money while I was leaving.Early morning found Sumo back to Guwahati at the same rate 170/-.Remember always - "Friends and assets are the surest passport." - Aravindh Vinodh.