The next day, we woke up early to make our way to Tyrna - the transit point for the Double Decker Root Bridge Trek. The Living Root Bridges are an exquisite example of natural architecture. Shaped by hand from the aerial roots of Rubber Fig trees by the indigenous Khasi & Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya- they are a sight to behold. And, also the focal reason behind our trip east! The path that takes you to the Double Decker Root Bridge in Umshiang from Tyrna involves climbing down approximately 3000 stone-paved steps & crossing over two extremely weathered bridges, hanging over cascading waterfalls, at a steep height.
But when you witness the sight of the root bridge, built over hundreds of years, you do not begrudge the effort that took you to reach it. Infact, you marvel at how precious the moment is!
By the time we'd contented ourselves taking photographs of this natural wonder, the Sun was already on its way down. Hence, we decided to look for accommodation for the night there itself. Choosing against the risk of hiking back in diminishing light. Once, we had arranged for our stay at a modest hill hut, renting out beds by Rs.200, it was time for us to continue our exploration.
We returned to the site of one of the iron hanging bridges we'd crossed on our way & realized we wanted to see a waterfall up close. So, down we climbed boulders until we'd reached the spot where the waterfall collected into a pristine blue pool. Darkness was falling rapidly all around us and threatened to engulf us but for the light of the Moon. In moonlight, the lot of us made our way back to our home-stay. After cleaning the day's dirt off ourselves, it was time for dinner. We were served Bamboo shoot curry and dal made of lime, generously alongwith rice. Our tastebuds had never been treated to a palate this exotic. Satiated, we requested our hosts to arrange a bonfire (They had offered to collect wood before for the same) .
I sat in a circle with three of my closest friends around the glowing warmth of the fire, swapping stories & laughing. Countless stars were visible in the clear Winter sky. Words fail everytime I try to recount the bliss I felt at that instance. Sitting there in contentment, for hours, we headed back only after what sounded like a fox howl.
Mobile network coverage in Umshiang is only made available by Aircel. Hence, for the duration of our trek, we functioned without any.