“Home of the Double Decker Root Bridge”.
Where is Nongriat?
The village of Nongriat is a village in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya State, in north-eastern India. Famed for its living root bridges and in particular, the impressive double-decker bridge called Jingkieng.
The village has three functional root bridges. These have been crafted by hand, intertwining and weaving together the aerial roots of banyan trees on opposite sides of a gorge.
Our journey from Cherrapunji to Nongriat was on foot, trekking through the jungle.
During our time in Nongriat, we chose to stay at the Serene homestay.
The overnight stay at Serene was brilliant, no sooner had we got there, we were deep in conversation with two fellow travellers. This continued at dinner, where more travelling guests joined us, talking until it was time for bed.
The accommodation was very basic but clean, with a good hearty home cooked meal provided for dinner. Breakfast was equally hearty, with a large bowl of porridge with fruit and nuts. Which set us up for the trek back up the stairway to heaven, or so it felt, as it just went on and on.
Places of interest
Double Decker Root Bridge
The impressive double-decker root bridge known as Jingkieng is just outside Nongriat. A living root bridge is a simple suspension bridge formed of living plant roots by training the aerial roots by manual shaping. Entry to this costs 30 Rupees per person and the sight of the two bridges, one above the other is spectacular.
Apparently the upper bridge was constructed as the lower bridge would get submerged in the monsoon season making it unusable. Whatever the reason, it is a sight to be seen.
The trek to Rainbow Falls from Nongriat took a further 1 hour and 40 minutes. Crossing more root bridges along the way, some of which are wire reinforced.
Stopping off along the way for lots of photos. We also took a slight diversion, up a root bridge onto a huge flat rock. This afforded us some outstanding views up and down the gorge.
The path to Rainbow Falls isn’t as good as the one to Nongriat. It is just basically rocky steps and a dirt path, quite narrow in places with a steep drop to one side.
Being the dry season, the path and steps were easy but care would need to be taken in the wet season.
Arrival at Rainbow Falls was simply stunning. The water cascading down the rocks and into a beautiful aquamarine pool at the base of the falls. Both the sight and the sound here are stunning.
Access down to the base of the waterfall is possible via a Heath Robinson homemade ladder and clambering over the huge rocks in the gorge.
The journey back to Nongriat was quicker, only taking us 1 hour and 10 minutes.