Rating in India
$ 1385

Living Bridges of Meghalaya

Trekking  +  walking
Trekking + walking
min $ 1385
Per person
Tour details
Destinations: Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunjee
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 1385
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  • Overview & dates
  • Itinerary
  • What's included

Overview & dates

INTRO

Discover the magic of Meghalaya, the 'Scotland of the East'. Wander the bazaars in the hill station town of Shillong. Visit the picturesque town of Jowai in the breathtaking surroundings of the Jaintia Hills, and learn how Mawlynnong maintains its status as 'the cleanest village in India'. Enjoy views of craggy cliffs, rolling hills and waterfalls on your way to Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on the planet. Trek to the incredible Living Root Bridges, and marvel at the ingenuity of the Khasi people who created these feats of living architecture. Finally, visit the Sacred Forest of Mawphlang before returning to Guwahati.

Read The Independent article on the bridges

Watch clips from the BBC documentaries:

The Travel Show: North East India
Human Planet


GROUP DATES

  • 28 Oct 2018 to 03 Nov 2018 - £ 1,095 - GD
  • 16 Nov 2018 to 22 Nov 2018 - £ 1,095 - GD
  • 30 Mar 2019 to 05 Apr 2019 - £ 1,095 - AV
  • 15 Nov 2019 to 21 Nov 2019 - £ 1,095 - AV

If these dates do not suit you but you are interested in this tour, please contact us for alternative dates.

AV - Available
GD - Guaranteed
LM - Limited places left
OR - On request (contact us for status)
CL - Closed for bookings


All tours in India


HIGHLIGHTS

Relax in the charming hill-station of Shillong

Marvel at the incredible living root bridges

Visit the cleanest village in Asia

Explore Mawphlang's sacred forest


PLACES VISITED

Shillong - Mawlynnong - Jowai - Cherrapunjee - Mawphlang Shillong
Mawlynnong
Jowai
Cherrapunjee
Mawphlang

Itinerary

ITINERARY

Short | Detailed | PDF


Choose departure date28 Oct 2018 -- 03 Nov 201816 Nov 2018 -- 22 Nov 201830 Mar 2019 -- 05 Apr 201915 Nov 2019 -- 21 Nov 2019

Day 1 : Guwahati - Shillong

Arrive at Guwahati Airport and be met by a Travel the Unknown representative. Drive to Shillong. Upon arrival, check into hotel before walking around the busy bazaar. Rest of evening free at leisure. Overnight in Shillong.

Arrive at Guwahati Airport and be met by a Travel the Unknown representative. Drive to Shillong and check into hotel. Take a walk around the busy bazaar, getting a feel for this modern hill station. The rest of the evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Shillong. 

Meal plan : n/a


Day 2 : Shillong - Jowai - Mawlynnong

After breakfast, sightseeing around Shillong. Proceed to Jowai in the Jaintia Hills via Tamabil, stopping en route to look over Shillong from Shillong Peak. Visit the Nartiang Monolith Park and the century old Durga Temple. Continue to Mawlynnong and check into guesthouse upon arrival. Overnight in Mawlynnong.

After breakfast, visit the main sites of Shillong. Proceed to Jowai in the Jaintia Hills via Tamabil, stopping en route to look over Shillong from Shillong Peak. Visit the Nartiang Monolith Park and the century old Durga Temple. Continue to Mawlynnong and check into the guesthouse upon arrival. Overnight in Mawlynnong. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


The capital of Meghalaya and one of India's smallest states, Shillong was nicknamed the 'Scotland of the East' by European settlers thanks to her stunning mountain scenery. Set between the Brahmaputra and Surma Valleys, the area was chosen as the headquarters of the Khasi administration by the British. Some places of interest include the spectacular Elephant Falls, formed from mountain streams on the outskirts of the city, the Lady Hydari Park, which stretches over a kilometre and has a mini zoo. There are also several interesting museums, including the Dan Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures as well as the beautiful Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians. Panoramic views of the area can be found on Shillong Peak, which is also an excellent picnic spot.

Situated alongside the Myntdu river, the picturesque town of Jowai is the administrative headquarters and commercial centre of West Jaintia Hills. The mountainous range of the Jaintia Hills is well known as a natural paradise, with its rugged terrain of deep gorges, narrow valleys and cascading waterfalls holding a large variety of flora and fauna. With its plentiful rainfall and sunshine maintaining the dense emerald-green forest cover, much of which is considered sacred ground, it is a place of scenic beauty, peace and tranquility.

Day 3 : Mawlynnong - Cherrapunjee

Visit Mawlynnong village. After lunch, drive to Cherrapunjee. Evening free to relax or explore. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

Spend the day walking around Mawlynnong village, the cleanest village in Asia. Meet the locals and learn how they work together to maintain the cleanliness of their community. After lunch, drive to Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on earth (particularly during the monsoon period). Evening is free to relax or explore. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

Meal plan : Breakfast & dinner


Often referred to as 'God's Own Garden', Mawlynnong is a community-based eco-tourism initiative where environmental cleanliness is a way of life. The ritualistic cleaning process has become tradition, with members from all generations of the community sweeping the roads several times a day, while litter, and even fallen leaves, are picked up off the floor immediately and discarded into the bamboo dustbins lining the street. With agriculture being the main economic source, conservation and protection of the forest is of the upmost importance within the village. Multiple trees are planted to maintain the forest area, waste is collected in a pit to be used as manure, and there is an ongoing mission to ban plastic. With such high cleanliness and education (all community members are literate and taught about sanitation from a young age) in a country well known for it's lack of both qualities, Mawlynnong has become a place of envy for its Indian neighbours and one of pride for its inhabitants. 

Day 4 : Cherrapunjee

Explore the living root bridges and nearby Khasi villages. Evening free at your leisure. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

Explore the unique living root bridges in the surrounding area and nearby Khasi villages. Evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

Meal plan : Breakfast & dinner


Cherrapunjee is tucked away in the Khasi hills, near the Bay of Bengal. Situated in the path of the Indian summer monsoon, Cherrapunjee is one of the wettest places on earth, taking the record for most annual rainfall of any place on earth in 1974. Average annual rainfall is a staggering 11,859.4mm and most of Cherrapunjee’s rain is thought to be formed from water condensation from the Bay of Bengal. To reach the area, you drive through Meghalaya’s rolling hills, with views of craggy cliff-faces and rugged flora. Now officially known as ‘Sohra’, Cherrapunjee literally translates to ‘land of oranges’, and is surrounded by local Khasi villages with excellent views of the plains of Bangladesh. 

The Khasi people discovered the properties of the Indian rubber tree some 200 years ago. The roots of these trees are coaxed across streams forming amazing natural bridges. The tree trunks are sliced in the middle, hollowed out and then positioned according to the requirement of the bridge. The long tender roots are then passed through these hollowed out trunks. The roots start growing towards the directed end. When they reach the other end of the stream, they take root in the soil. This process can take up to 15 years, and these bridges can tolerate some 50 people. The most spectacular is the Double Decker Bridge in Nongriat.


Day 5 : Cherrapunjee

Drive to village of Tyrna for the starting point of a trek to Nongriat village and the double decker living root bridge (1 to 1.5 hours). Enjoy swimming in the natural swimming pool. Return back to hotel. Evening free at leisure. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

Drive to Tyrna for the starting point of a trek to the Nongriat village and the double decker living root bridge (1 to 1.5 hours). Walk along the meandering edge of the cliff face and start the descent downwards, trekking through lush green vegetation. Pass villages and four other smaller living root bridges and traverse across an iron cable suspension bridge hovering at 45 ft above a roaring waterfall. Enjoy swimming in the natural swimming pool. Return to the resort. Evening free at your leisure. Overnight in Cherrapunjee.

NOTE: This trek requires a high level of fitness. Alternative, less arduous treks can be arranged to other living root bridges. 

Meal plan : Breakfast & dinner


Day 6 : Cherrapunjee - Mawphlang - Guwahati

Leave for Mawphlang and explore the Sacred Forest. Continue to Shillong. If time permits, visit Ward's Lake. Evening free at your leisure. Overnight in Shillong.

Leave for Mawphlang and explore the Sacred Forest. Continue on to Guwahati for your overnight stay. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


Guwahati is popularly known as ‘the city of eastern light’, and situated on the banks of the Brahmaputa River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau. Many Hindu temples are found in the area, including the Kamakyha Temple, where animal sacrifices are still a daily occurrence. Nearby is the quaint Umananda Temple situated on an island.

Mawphlang, the site of the sacred forest, is still revered and protected by locals as an ancient burial site. A dense growth of Castanopsis kurzii trees forms a protective barrier around the forest, preventing the intrusion of the common Khasi pines which dominate the outer areas. As a result, the forest is a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna, with an abundance of aroids, pipers, fern-allies and orchids. It is thought that many of the plants and herbs have medicinal qualities that can cure serious disease. However, such plants must be consumed within the forest, as it is believed that if anything is removed from the sacred grounds, the balance of the deity will be disrupted and the taker will be cursed with illness and misfortune.

Day 7 : Departure

Check out of hotel and proceed to Guwahati Airport for onward journey.

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to Guwahati Airport for your onward journey.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Guwahati is popularly known as ‘the city of eastern light’, and situated on the banks of the Brahmaputa River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau. Many Hindu temples are found in the area, including the Kamakyha Temple, where animal sacrifices are still a daily occurrence. Nearby is the quaint Umananda Temple situated on an island.

What's included

INCLUDED Airport transfers Ground transport Accommodation Entrance fees to sites & parks Activities as per itinerary Drivers and guides Most meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Travel The Unknown
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