The land of bridges, Nongriat is the place away from the touristic attraction despite having the incredible bridges – Living Root bridge and Double Decker Bridge along with 3 spectacular dangling cable bridges. There might be reasons for the tourists calling it unsafe or dangerous, but that is not the case, it is a one of a kind place that gives you a unique experience where you’re surrounded by mountains, crossing rivers through the cable bridges, chilling in rivers or at rocks and appreciating the beauty of root bridges.
Let’s break the stereotype and add this place to our itineraries. If you’re scared or are affected by the lazy-bugs opinions, we have got your back.
Let me clear your basics first, the journey starts from Tyrna Village, located around 20kms from Sohra. Umsophie village, thousands of steps, Living root bridge, 3-4 snack shops, again thousands of steps, two cable bridges to cross the river, the Double Decker bridge, a trek to Rainbow falls and then tracing the same route backwards.
Here are trivias and tips that would help you have a wonderful day at exploring Nongriat:
1. Get here by cab or bus and spend a day at homestay in Nongriat
Non-sharing cabs at Rs. 200 and buses(less frequent) are available from Cherrapunjee(Sohra) bus stop to Tyrna which is a 3 km trek away from Nongriat. All the tourists park their car at little Tynra and then start their exploration. You can either stay at Umsophie village which is very close to the Tyrna village at Rs. 300 per night(scroll down for phone number) or post trekking, choose Nongriat as your basecamp(Room rates start from Rs. 500 and above).
2. Travel light
If you’re staying at Umsophie then you can keep your luggage at the homestay itself else if you’re staying at Nongriat, carry only important stuff and keep the rest in the dorm downside as you’ve to cross cable bridges. Hence, avoid carrying a lot of luggage on the smallest cable ramp. Pack lightweight material in decent quantity – camera, food and water bottles.
3. Earn benefits by starting early
The early you start, the more you can relax on the tiring journey and also get enough time to spend at bridges and the fall. Do this to avoid rushing from one place to another in the limited time frame and kill all the fun. Moreover, the entry is restricted after 6 PM.
4. Strong boots and no heels
Wear sport shoes that are good for hiking. Do not wear slippers or heels – as you have to cross the cable bridges along with lot of stairs, so why make the journey painful.
5. Carry plenty of food and water
You never know when you will fall short of food and water, hence, carry whatever that gives you energy in a light backpack.
6. Carry cash
The technology has not taken over the place, so prepare yourself to carry liquid cash.
7. Pump yourselves for 10,000 steps
Keep your mind prepared to climb thousands of steps up and down in your excursion. The serene view will act as motivation here, so breathe in, breathe out and keep exploring.
8. Don’t dance or click selfies on the bridges.
Though the bridges are ultra strong but you should not swing along the bridges and make them weak. Also, control your urge to take pictures while crossing the bridge, how will you feel if your camera falls down in the valley?
9. Litchi juice is the secret of my energy
Litchu bottle worth Rs. 10 can act as an energy drink throughout the journey, buy 4-5 bottles for your hike and be as energetic as Khasi people.
10. Don’t overeat anywhere
Though Maggi, Chai, eggs, chips, biscuits, lemon juice, etc. are available throughout the journey, but try to eat little as it can make you doozy on the hike. Moreover, there is no place to eat after the Double Decker bridge.
11. Don’t litter or spit around
If you’re taking a bath in small water bodies, enjoy but make sure that you don’t make the place dirty. Let us conserve the beauty of place and let’s not ruin such places. Also don’t litter around, there are dustbins on the way, use them.
12. Phone networks won’t take you far in nongriat
It is a phone network get-away(pun intended), basically you may find network at some places but using the internet data pack is next to impossible. Hence, your Instagram friends might have to wait to get jealous of the wanderlust.
13. Lonesome or smartsome at Rainbow falls?
Rainbow falls is a deadly 1 hour uphill trek with steep areas, small water bodies and hanging bridges. Not all those who visit bridges go there, so to hit on the road not taken, either follow rest of the rules properly or go with a gang/fellow travellers. Though you will see people debating whether to visit the falls or not, if you’re an adventure junkie, then it is a must visit place do not miss it.
14. Hold on to buy these for friends and family from Nongriat
If there is any enthusiasm left after covering huge distance, you can buy the home-made honey that is given in weird bottles for your friends and families.
Looking for budget stay at just Rs. 300 for a double room and home-cooked khasi food, contact Lumlang for homestay in Umsophie village at +91-9856706403
Planning to visit Mawlynnong which is hardly 80 km from Cherrapunjee? Find out all your answers here, Mawlynnong, a village filled with goodness.