From the Abode of Clouds to the Valley of Barak and Brahamaputra: Meghalya to Assam - 2 states

21st Jan 2017
Photo of From the Abode of Clouds to the Valley of Barak and Brahamaputra: Meghalya to Assam - 2 states by Aditi Gupta

A week long unplanned trip to the states of Assam and Meghalaya became a journey to remember forever. Countless hours of sleeplessness and interesting incidents started with our early morning flight from Delhi to Guwahati. 

Right after arrival at Guwahati Airport, we hunted for a cab to head to Shillong first. We were lucky to find an Innova which belonged to a driver from Shillong who charged us 600 less than what other drivers at airport taxi stand were demanding. We started from Guwahati at 1 noon after a quick lunch near the airport.

Day 1

Scotland of the East India

Photo of Umiam Lake Viewpoint, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Beautiful roads, banana and beetle-nut trees graced our way like the guests welcoming the bride with flowers at an Indian wedding. 3 hours of journey to Shillong followed by sightseeing at Umiam Lake or Badapaani (because it is really huge) and sunset at Shillong view point.

Late evening check-in at a super cheap backpacker's hostel and lavish authentic dinner at 'City Hut Dhaba' (a high priced but worthy restaurant in the center of town) in Police Bazaar completed our first day of 'The Girls Trip'. My friend wanted to have authentic Khasi food, for which we went to a Khasi restaurant in Police Bazaar - The only restaurant serving authentic and delicious but super cheap food. Both the places are a must visit for authentic veg and non veg food.

The Local Del

Photo of Police Bazar, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta
Day 2

Sun rises from the east and early in the east, so we planned to do like Eastern's in the East and kicked off our day with early morning check-out and street side breakfast at Police Bazaar. We headed to Elephant Falls with the same Innova driver.

Photo of Elephant Falls, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Roughly one hour spent at the chilling water of the falls followed by hot red tea we took the road less travelled to Dawki - the India-Bangladesh border seperated by 'Dawki' - the cleanest river in India. Spent some time on the border with a few solo travelers from across the globe and a boat ride with the singer 'Kashti Wala' and chill scenes at the hanging garden in the village Dawki. The scorching heat of the sun and cold river water at Dawki was none less than a pleasure. Rest is not idleness, and a long boat ride in the river on a winter's HOT day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, was by no means a waste of time.

Water Speaks to the souls, the cure for anything is water....

Photo of Dawki, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Moving forward, we were welcomed by clouds in the cleanest village of India - Mawlynnong. After mouthwatering lunch in the village and a small walk, jingling with the villagers, we headed toward Cherrapunjee in the afternoon. We stopped by Nokalikhai Falls to have a mesmerizing view of Sunset and a walk into the Mawsmai- the Limestone caves formed naturally. And it was dark by this time, our hunt for a budget resort ended at 7.30 pm. Broken backs and hungary stomachs got satisfied by super cheap veg food Dal and Roti that costed us no more than Rs 50 per person. Habitual of sleeping late because of Delhi's night life, we spent 3 hours under the bright shining starry night of the Meghalayas. Cold breeze, and no fear of 'girls walking alone' in the dark, made that night in Cherrapunjee ' a memory to cherish forever'. Meanwhile we were also thankful to our hotel manager as she helped us aarange a cab at midnight for the next morning.

Limestone Caves

Photo of Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Rock formation by the Limestone Caves

Photo of Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Sunset at Nokalikhai Falls

Photo of Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta
Day 3

Our day 3 in the lush green state started with sunrise, super excited for this day we had begun our day with stretching and yoga. Light breakfast, oil body massage and with our track pants on, we embarked on a trek to double roots living bridge and rainbow falls in the village Nongriat. The trek takes you down 1600 stairs to single root living bridge hanging over a flowing river. After endless pictures and bunging like monkeys on and around the bridge, we started to walk towards the most awaited sight of Double Decker Living Roots Bridge.

Single Roots Living Bridge

Photo of Nongriat, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Man-made hanging bridge over crystal clear river and a breathtaking view

Photo of Nongriat, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Double Decker Living Roots Bridge

Photo of Nongriat, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

This undisturbed beauty of nature and a pleasant disconnectedness from the real world made us want to walk forever in this jungle. Every step of this trek was indescribably adorable. A 1600 more steps up and down the hills, crossing a few hanging bridges over the flowing crystal clear river we reached the Double Decker bridge. The sight was so relaxing that made us forgot 3200 flights of stairs climbed. 1 Km uphill from here, and a tiring-exhausting walk with big steps leads to the spectacular rainbow falls - where the sunlight's interaction with waterfall leads to the formation of multiple rainbows together. Why do you need to visit the super crowded Niagara Falls when you have tremendous and picturesque sight in India?

While on the way, we came across villagers who were selling Cinnamon as fresh as the weather there, at a very low price which is in purest form, directly from the woods. It is majorly exported from India. I bought enough that would last longer 4-5 years.

On our way back down from the falls, we again stopped by the roots bridge and spent 2 hours around the bridge in the stream formed by a small waterfall at the same place. The spa fishes were in abundance in this small, crystal clear stream. We felt rejuvenated. Walking at our own pace and clicking pictures with villagers, spending time by the streams, our trek completed at 3 in the afternoon, followed by sunset at the seven sisters fall, we left for hotel to rest until next morning.

Seven Sisters Falls

Photo of Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta
Day 4

After another night under the ocean of brimming stars and a peaceful sleep, our fourth day began by hiring a taxi to Mawphlang for a walk to witness the beautiful flora of the Sacred forest. One hour of delightful sight of flora and wild was mesmerizing to the eyes and mouthwatering but wild fruits made us crave even more. The jungle walk was followed by another hike to day long David Scott Trail. Blooming and blossoming with flowers, these dark and glowing forests energized us even more for the rest of our trip. Same day but late in the night, we made it to reach Guwahati by 2 am for an overnight stay. Though it gets dark early and with less lights, it is not suggested to take the curvy roads but we were overly excited to cover maximum in minimum days we had.

Photo of Mawphlang Sacred Grove, Mawsynram-Shillong Road, Synrang Kaban, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Little talk with nature and relaxation time during the trek

Photo of David Scott Trail rock Bridge, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India by Aditi Gupta

Bidding adieu to the mountains of Meghalaya, we embarked on a second state journey to Assam. We had a filling breakfast in Guwahati on our day 5 after struggling for good veg breakfast in Meghalaya. At 10 am, we boarded a volvo to Kaziranga and did our hotel booking on the way. As soon as we reached, the gates of the national park were about to open for welcoming tourists for an evening round of Jeep safari into jungle.From gaudy, brighty, gaily, raucous, chirping birds to young, old, sound, violent elephants, witnessing the splendid fauna was miracle to the eyes and almost attainment of Nirvana. Our evening was mesmerized by the cultural show at Orchid Farms in Kaziranga - 2 Kms from the famous Bonn Habi resort which made our stay super comfortable because of a great deal found via Trivago.

Day 5
Photo of Kaziranga National Park, Kanchanjuri, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta
Day 6

Next morning - the beginning of our day 6 was head-started by first slot of elephant safari to witness single horned Rhinoceros.

Photo of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta

Spotted a Mommy(Left) and Baby(Right) Rhino

Photo of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta
Photo of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta

Right after the safari we left for Jorhat with the cab provided by our hotel so as to make it before 10.30 am to witness the world's biggest river island in Bhramaputra River. A ferry starts from Jorhat at sharp 10.30 inviting people on first come first serve basis charging a peanut like fare and heads to Neemati ghat, forward to which there are boats to Majuli. This beautiful, serene place welcomed us with it's tribal made famous authentic Mishing meal that is rice cooked in a leaf with Pamnam fish and chicken baked in banana leaf. Since, we are pure vegetarians, we had an option of Dal tasted like a home cooked dal. We experienced our first time stay in bamboo houses over river. Another charm which added a star to this day was the cultural festival showcasing tribal and Assamese culture. 'Raas' is a must witness festival in this surreal Heritage site of India. Overnight stay in the bamboo houses, sunset by the river side, aromatic surroundings and no-network in phones made our island stay surely an unbeatable experience of the whole journey.

Day 7
Photo of Majuli, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta
Photo of Majuli, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta
Photo of Mājuli Island, Goalabari No.1, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta

Our day 7 started with the serene sunrise by the island followed by the departure back to Guwahati. After a long journey to Guwahati completed at 2 noon, check-in into a budget hotel on Guwahati-Shillong Road, we went to worship Kamakhya Devi Temple which was built before 17th Century, though renovated many a times. The temple is still following the ancient history and a major sacrificial site. While returning back from temple, we stopped by Paltan Bazaar to taste delicious street food and shopped Manipuri Shawls, Bed-sheets, and more authentic stuff from the East. We ended our day on a happy note with dinner in The Taj and as our last eve in the East.

Our Last Morning in Guwahati, Cloudy day - Wonderful Morning

Photo of Kamakhya, Guwahati, Assam, India by Aditi Gupta
Day 8

Within a few hours, the day 8 approached and we had first half of the day which we spent in trying and buying local sweets - the most favourite out of which was Pitha and then also explored their vegetable market, the variety where was quite different from that of North India and ended up buying bananas, oranges, and bamboo baskets & bags. The trip became an experience and motivation for us to take more girls trip!

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