Meghalaya / Travelogue

Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls

Double Decker Living Root Bridge

Khublei! After exploring Mawphlang, Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur, our plan for the day was to proceed to Cherrapunji after exploring David Scott Trail. As per the original itinerary, Sacred Forest was also planned for today, but as we started early on Day 2 and had a lot of time, we explored Sacred Forest on Day 2 itself. David Scott is an old trekking route and one of the most popular trekking routes in Meghalaya. David Scott Trail has been named after David Scott, a British officer who discovered this route in the first half of 1800s in the form of a mule track for travelling from Assam to Bangladesh. This route spread in over 100 km and takes around 5 days to get covered, on-foot. This trail route is separated into smaller trekking routes and the trail between Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang, is the most famous one. This route covers the lovely terrain of Eastern Khasi Hills.

This post is a continuation from Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur

Before proceeding further, here’s our itinerary again for your reference…
Day 1 – 24th Sep : Kolkata – Guwahati. Halt at Guwahati
Day 2 – 25th Sep : Guwahati – Mawphlang. Halt at Mawphlang
Day 3 – 26th Sep : Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna. Halt at Mawlyngbna
Day 4 – 27th Sep : Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur. Halt at Mawphanlur
Day 5 – 28th Sep : Mawphanlur – Sohra. Halt at Sohra
Day 6 – 29th Sep : Sohra Sightseeing. Halt at Sohra
Day 7 – 30th Sep : Nongriat Trek. Halt at Nongriat / Sohra
Day 8 – 1st Oct : Sohra – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shnongpdeng. Halt at Shnongpdeng
Day 9 – 2nd Oct : Shnongpdeng – Amlarem – Jowai – Ialong. Halt at Ialong
Day 10 – 3rd Oct : Ialong – Shillong. Halt at Shillong
Day 11 – 4th Oct : Shillong sightseeing. Halt.
Day 12 – 5th Oct : Shillong – Guwahati – Imphal. Ima Market & Local Sightseeing
Day 13 – 6th Oct : Andro Village & Loktak Lake
Day 14 – 7th Oct : Moreh Border
Day 15 – 8th Oct : Imphal – Kolkata

Offbeat Meghalaya & Manipur Series :
Part 1: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur
Part 2: Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls
Part 3: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai
Part 4: Offbeat Meghalaya – Shillong
Part 5: Manipur – The Jewel of India

Day 5 – 28th Sep : Mawphanlur – Sohra. Halt at Sohra :
Well if you are confused with Sohra, let me inform you upfront that Sohra is the historic name of Cherrapunji. After completing our breakfast, we started from Mawphanlur at around 7:30 AM. Contrary to the last day, we reached Markasa within 30 minutes as it was mostly a downhill drive and also the Marshall provided by Transis was easily able to navigate through the stretch, far better than the Jeep we used while going to Mawphanlur.

We should have covered Kyllang Rock yesterday only, as we had lot of time in our hand. But we were okay, as we really enjoyed our time at Mawphanlur.

After having a short Tea break at Markasa, we started at around 8:20 AM for Mawphlang via Mairang. Pradeep Da had already fixed a guide for us, named John. The drive through the highway was really enjoyable, specially after the back and forth trip to Mawphanlur from Markasa.

At first Bimal Da drove us to a Dam nearby Mawngap. He explained that this Dam is responsible for feeding water to whole Shillong. Sorry I didn’t noticed the name of the Dam, but yes the view was breathtaking.

Shillong Dam

And finally, by 10:30 we reached Sacred Forest parking point. Luckily we met Alfred there, who was our guide for Sacred Forest on Day 2. I felt bad, as if Pradeep Da wouldn’t have fixed John, we’d have loved to proceed with Alfred only. After having a cup of Tea, Bimal Da dropped us to the point from where the David Scott Trail starts which is just 3 minutes drive from Sacred Forest parking point.

While others remained nearby parking at Sacred Forest, Me and Akash started for the David Scott Trail. The first 4KM was mostly downhill and thus we really enjoyed walking through the easier part of trail. John was really young in his teen age and frankly speaking, being a guide, he needs to learn a lot. Well, a Guide is generally there to walk along with you. But John was mostly around 500 – 600 meters ahead, leaving us behind. I know, locals cannot generally walk by our speed, as they tend to get tired, but that’s what differs a good and a bad Guide.

  • David Scott Trail

After first 4KM, one needs to cross a river stream and then it’s mostly uphill, so as expected, we both were taking rest a bit frequently. Though as a person, John was very friendly and we quickly became friends in such a short span.

But then suddenly, weather turned worse and it started raining like cats and dogs. Due to the same, John suggested us to take a leave from the next village which is at a mark of 10 KM. David Scott Trail is total 16KM, and if one wishes, one can also exit from a village at a mark of 10KM. If one wishes to leave from that village, one still needs to walk further 2KM to reach the main road.

Somehow we managed to reach the village on that heavy rain, and John guided us to one of his friends house where we took shelter. The family was really helpful and offered us a cup of Tea while we waited for the rain to come to halt. Me and Akash was still in dual mind thinking, whether to take a exit from here or complete the trail. Finally at around 2:30 PM the rain came to halt and Sun came out of the clouds. After giving it a thought practically, we analysed that it’d be 5 or 5:30 if we now proceed for the remaining trail, thus we decided to agree with John and take a leave from the village.

It took us another 20 minutes of roaming here and there in the village to get connected with our team over the phone. As per the plan they would have been waiting for us at Lad Mawphlang, so we had to inform them about our change in plan so that they can pick us up from the right point.

The route became very slippery due to the rain, but from our bad experiences with the shoes we had from Iew Luri Lura at Mawlyngbna, we discarded them today and came on our Kito’s which really proved to be fruitful. Finally at around 3:30 PM, we reached the Main Road after another 2KM trek.

Mawkdok Valley

After paying John his fees and bidding him goodbye, we proceeded towards Garden of Caves at Laitmawsiang and on the way one can experience beautiful splendid Mawkdok Dympep Valley. It was already 5 by then and things started getting dark. There are around 7-8 points which is scattered throughout the place, and thus it generally takes around 1-2 hour to explore the place on your own. Thus Bimal Da suggested to hire a local guide there, who can quickly walk us through the points. We agreed. The guy at Ticket Counter, agreed to help us for a guide charge of Rs. 100/-.

Garden of Caves

Garden of Caves

Garden of Caves

The place is really a gem and off the beaten track as not many tourists knows about this place. One can experience 2-3 beautiful waterfalls and naturally formed stones that of a shape of a baby in womb, heart etc. It took us around 40 minutes to explore the same.

Finally we proceed towards our shelter for next 3 nights, Coniferous Resort at Cherrapunji. Theoretically Cherrapunji lost it’s popularity to Mawsynram for being the wettest place on earth. But as we were on our way to Cherrapunji, it felt awesome. It was all cloudy out there such that one cannot see what’s there within next 1 meter and it was raining like cats and dogs.

We reached our hotel at around 6:30 PM, and we were showed our rooms. Rest of the evening we enjoyed torrential rains, chitchatting among ourselves.

Day 6 – 29th Sep : Sohra Sightseeing. Halt at Sohra :
We woke up on a cloudy morning with torrential rains since last night. Sohra (Cherrapunji) Sightseeing is spread across Lower and Upper Cherrapunji. Though one can easily cover all the points within a day. After having our breakfast we started our day a bit leisurely at around 8AM in the morning. The first thing we were upset with was when Bimal Da expressed his dicey feelings for Nohkalikai Falls, due to this clouds. Nohkalikai is one of the famous attraction of Sohra and the idea of missing it after coming this long way made us a bit upset.

Still hoping for the best, we proceeded towards our first point of the day, Dainthlen Falls. It was all cloudy through the way with hardly a visibility of 1 meter. I must confess beforehand that pictures of Sohra (Cherrapunji) Sightseeing would not be good, as due to the torrential rains I couldn’t get much scope to use my DSLR. Infact at one point I tried using it but my camera was frosted due to the fog which I had to fix it with the car heater afterwards. And from that point onwards, I didn’t dared to take out my DSLR again. And also due to the foggy weather, my iPhone Camera failed to capture any eye candy pictures.

View of Sohra Cherrapunji

Dainthlen Falls, Sohra Cherrapunji

Post Dainthlen Falls, we proceeded towards Arwah Caves. We were carrying our raincoats back from Kolkata specially to use it in Cherrapunji for it’s famous torrential showers. It was a first time, we visited any Cave and we really liked it. The cave is rich of various fossils.

Arwah Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

Arwah Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

Arwah Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

Arwah Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

Arwah Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

Post Arwah Cave, we went to Ramkrishna Mission. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of Ramkrishna Mission, as it’s not allowed to click pictures there in the Musuem and I personally didn’t visited the Temple due to heavy showers. The museum at Ramkrishna Mission displays the culture and ethnic wears of North Eastern States.

Next we proceeded towards the most awaiting point for the day, Nohkalikai Falls. But alas, the only thing we could hear is the sound of the falls with total whitish visibility. We choose to wait for some time, but our luck didn’t favoured us. Even after waiting for more than 30 minutes, nothing changed. And thus we decided to proceed towards Cherrapunji Market without wasting much time there. But due to heavy showers we couldn’t explore it to it’s fullest.

My mom and dad was dying for having home cooked Bengali food. And thus Bimal Da suggested us to have our lunch at Nalgre Restaurant nearby Sohra (Cherrapunji) market. I must say it was simply finger licking. My dad exclaimed, “Bohu din bade pet bhoira khawar khailam” (After a lot of days, had a great meal). Actually they are not used to trying out various cuisines and always rely on home cooked Bengali food. The owner there was very friendly and belongs from Guwahati. So anyone looking out for having Bengali Cuisine while at Sohra (Cherrapunji), do pay a visit at Nalgre Restaurant and you will be overwhelmed with the food served there.

Post a sumptuous lunch, we met Pradeep Da. He asked about our whereabouts, and enquired whether we have any complaints with Bimal Da or anything else. Although we were planning to proceed to Eco Park, he advised us instead. He suggested that it’s not worth visiting. He informed us that it’s just a park converted to tourist point with views of Bangladesh plains. And as we’d be anyway proceeding to Dawki and Shnongpdeng next, it’d be nothing interesting for us. And also due to this cloudy weather, nothing would be visible anyway.

Thus as per his suggestion, we proceeded towards Khoh Ramhah. Bimal Da, explained a story behind this spot. Once a man was carrying a small stone on this back and at this spot he choose to take some rest and went asleep. When he woke up he saw the rock has grown to the size of a giant as a result of curse. Thus it’s believed to be a living rock which is still growing gradually. Well, I cannot guarantee the storyline, but the spot was amazing.

Khoh Ramhah, Sohra Cherrapunji

Later we proceeded further towards Thangkharang Park. It’s more of a lovely place for people who loves flower or a botany student. But our main interest was to see Kynrem Falls.

Thangkharang Park, Sohra Cherrapunji

Thangkharang Park, Sohra Cherrapunji

Thangkharang Park, Sohra Cherrapunji

Kynrem Falls, Sohra Cherrapunji

As it was 3:30 by then, and due to the cloudy weather, the daylight was gradually decreasing, we decided to proceed towards Mawsmai Cave without wasting much time, else it’d be an issue for us. The entry to the spot is through a small lane and due to which there’s a significant traffic one needs to face. Due to few large groups, the entry to Mawsmai Cave was totally blocked. It took us some time to make our way through the crowd. Bimal Da already informed us while at the parking that, except Me and Akash, others won’t be able to complete this cave. As one needs to be a bit flexible and fit to pass through it and unlike Arwah Cave, one needs to enter from one point and exit from other way out.

Mawsmai Cave, Sohra Cherrapunji

This was our first caving experience passing through the small bends. We really loved it. And after this we specially plan to go Meghalaya again for caving and plan to explore Mawmluh Cave which is more of a actual caving experience and requires to be done with a Guide. This was not in our plans for this trip and thus we didn’t had any time allocated for the same.

Finally we proceeded towards our hotel, with a hope to see Nohsngithiang Falls (popularly known as Seven Sisters Falls). But our luck again didn’t favoured us here too and it was all whitish. As it was getting dark, we decided to proceed back to our hotel with a hope to experience both Nohsngithiang Falls (popularly known as Seven Sisters Falls) and Nohkalikai Falls on next two days.

Rest of the evening we spent over the drinks chitchatting among ourselves. Although Bimal Da was staying with us, but he got few friends there and choose to enjoy with them.

Day 7 – 30th Sep : Nongriat Trek. Halt at Nongriat / Sohra :
As suggested by Bimal Da last night, we started our day early at around 6:30 AM. Our plan was to come back to Sohra with a fallback plan of staying back at Nongriat. Double Decker Living Root Bridge at Nongriat is the most popular attraction at Meghalaya and considering our physical fitness we allocated one full day for the same.

The trek starts at Tyrna Village and one needs to climb down around 3064 stairs and walk 3KM further to reach Nongriat. Though first 1500 stairs are like we see everywhere but remaining 1500 is steep downhill. Well it’s definitely not for the faint hearted or for people with weak knee. Though it might seem that while going downstairs it’s not much of an issue, but at every step nature will challenge you to it’s fullest even when climbing down the steep stairs. Though for people with good physical fitness or those who are involved in sports it’s not much of a concern, but we city lads were very much worried of making it back within a day, as we are hardly used to walking and physical fitness, please…don’t make me feel awkward 😛

Way To Tyrna

Hahaha!! Thus the fallback plan for staying back at Nongriat in any case. Anyway, after reaching Tyrna, we hired a guide and bought two walking sticks as suggested by the Guide and Bimal Da both. Though the route to Double Decker Living Root bridge is cemented and clearly marked with almost no chance of getting lost, but we still choose to hire a Guide. I’d suggest you to do the same. The first reason behind this is, promoting local livelihood. So a mere Rs. 600/- won’t matter for you, but for them it’s a lot. Also having a local person walking beside you is a good to have specially when you might feel morally down or to help you with at various conditions. Also it’s recommended to buy the walking sticks before starting, as it really helps you balancing while climbing up and passing through the slippery rocks.

Our guide for the day was Manbha. Bimal Da, negotiated with him accordingly and told us it’d cost Rs. 600/- for Double Decker Living Root Bridge and Rs. 1000/- if we choose to go Rainbow Falls. From Double Decker Living Root Bridge one needs to further trek around 1 hour to reach Rainbow Falls which offers a Breathtaking view. That’s what I knew while planning for Meghalaya, as very few people make it to Rainbow Falls out of all the tourists who visit Double Decker Living Root Bridge.

Way To Nongriat

Anyway, after having a cup of Tea at a local shop there, we started following Manbha on his path. Soon we became friends. Manbha speaks little English and Hindi besides his native language. But one can make it easily with the body language. While going down it was mostly easy but one needs to keep the pressure on his knee. It started raining on our way down, but we were prepared with our Raincoats on. But due to the physical activity we were going through, Manbha suggested us to take it off instead, as it’d help cooling down our body temperature, else were sweating like hell with our raincoats on.

At a point Manbha informed us that we have already crossed 2000 steps. We met few tourists coming back up and panting. Me and Akash was mostly worried about our condition while coming back up. Anyway, while chitchatting with Manbha about his lifestyle and discussing things like who all are there in our and his family, we finally crossed remaining 1000 stairs too.

The path to the village is a cemented staircase in the middle of the thick jungle, that first reaches the bottom of the valley and then after crossing the river, another flight of stairs upwards lands one at the village. While on our way, Manbha explained, the villagers comes up and goes down daily or sometimes even twice a day for foods. Even the kids follows the same for their secondary schooling and college as in Nongriat there’s only a basic primary school. We were overwhelmed and thought how does they do this. Infact, on our way we experienced few villagers carrying heavy wooden pieces on their back. And they easily navigated through it leaving us behind.

Hanging Iron Bridge on the Way To Nongriat

Hanging Iron Bridge on the Way To Nongriat

Post the stairs, after a short walk ahead one needs to cross two hanging iron bridge. After a short walk up on another flight of stairs, we arrived at Nongriat village. Nestled in the middle of the jungle was this quaint and clean village, freshly sprayed clean with the shower that had just started. The village is fully off the grid and hence has become a hotspot for trekkers who want to be engulfed by nature. There were a few homestays I found on the way where trekkers especially from abroad were relaxing. It is commendable what the villagers have done to encourage responsible tourism while protecting nature. They have contributed towards a community guesthouse for trekkers, have made large dustbins for collecting waste, etc. They respect nature by keeping the village clean.

River Steam on the way to Nongriat

The aerial roots of Banyan tree on opposite sides of the river are continuously twisted, given direction and woven together, till it can be shaped and strengthened into a sturdy bridge. This is the only means for the villagers to cross the raging water streams to reach the other side. There are two living root bridges in Nongriat, a single deck bridge, and a double decker bridge.

Double Decker Living Root Bridge

The first view of the root bridge mesmerised me and made the arduous trek fully worth every drop of sweat and every ache in my body. It felt as though I had arrived in paradise. With chirping birds that began to emerge after the downpour, the double-decker bridge in the middle of a thick jungle, set right across a rumbling waterfall and over a gentle water stream, was a sight to behold. The Double Decker Living Root Bridge was a masterpiece in itself, with intertwined roots made sturdy over centuries. The water was so clear, cool and fresh and it was enticing me for relaxing dip. Mesmerised with the bountiful greenery around me, I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the place amidst the slight drizzle.

Waterfall at Nongriat

A small tea shop right next to the bridge was just perfect to have a cup of hot tea and steaming Maggi. Over a cup of Tea, Me, Akash and Manbha was still thinking whether we should proceed to Rainbow Falls. As it was only 9:20 AM by then, Akash showed his confidence “Dada, sobe 9:30 baje. Amra dhire dhire uthleo 3 ki 4 ghonta lagbe. Cholo Rainbow Falls ta try korei ashi. Eto dur elam. Sorom kothin hole katiye debo majh pothe” (Bro, it’s just 9:30 AM and even with our speed it’d take us 3-4 hours to climb up those stairs. So we have a lot of time in our hand and when we came all the way why not try Rainbow Falls too. Let’s start and if we feel exhausted, we will return from mid-way and can even stay back at Nongriat.) The locals and Mabha informed us that it’s a further 1 Hour trek and it’d be around 3 Hour back and forth to Double Decker Living Root Bridge.

Iron Bridge on the way to Rainbow Falls

But truly speaking, without his knowledge, I tried enquiring at the local homestays and it was all full with no bed for us. But with his confidence, I too got my confidence back and we started for Rainbow Falls. After a short walk from Double Decker Living Root bridge, one needs to cross two Single Root Bridge and two hanging iron bridge. And further one needs to cross two river streams post which it’s a continuous steep uphill walk. Sorry, as it was raining heavily, I could only click limited photos.

It started raining heavily on our way to Rainbow Falls due to which the level of trek changed to Medium – Hard for us. And accidentally on the way, Akash dropped his glasses and due to which he couldn’t see anything. At a point he lost his confidence and started crying. Me and Manbha hold our confidence and tried to cheer him up. Manbha was like god to us there. He helped him navigating those steep slippery steps gradually holding his hand. Finally it took us 2 Hour to reach Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls

The view at Rainbow Falls was breathtaking. What a vivacious falls it was. We noticed two more group there, probably college students. Manbha and guides of those two groups helped Akash tying his glass with a root of a tree. Nice Jugaad I’d say. We were more than thankful to them for what they did for us.

After spending some time there we started navigating back. While returning back it was a steep downhill trek through slippery rocks with few stairs in between. Manbha helped Akash navigating through it while I was in front being careful with my steps. A single mistake can be a cause of accident. The time we came by river streams, it turned vivacious due to the rain. Even Manbha was doubtful on crossing it. One needs to cross the waterfalls by it’s edge and due to the rain the level of water and current has been increased a lot from what we crossed while going towards Rainbow Falls.

View On The Way To Rainbow Falls

After thinking sometime, Manbha made his way and made us cross the streams one by one carefully. And finally by 3 O’ clock we were back to Double Decker Living Root Bridge. It took us around 2 + 2 Hours back and forth to Rainbow Falls.

We were more than hungry by the time, so we decided to have Maggie and a Cup of Tea there. Our knee was wobbling by then and we were really not sure about how we are going to climb back those 3000 stairs next. As we didn’t had any other option, as all the homestays were full anyway, we started climbing back at around 3:40 PM. Manbha instructed us to not to hurry through it and instead make small steps gradually. He further instructed us not to look further up, as it can lower down our confidence by the thought of number of stairs remaining to climb.

We followed him and navigated through it gradually. We made a pact of climbing 20 – 30 stairs at a once and take rest and then proceed again. Although it was becoming dark, but our fitness level was going down gradually. First the feet, and then the knee and then back pain. However, we kept our confidence and pushed it further to our fullest with intermediate breaks. Finally we made it to the parking by 6:40 PM.

We With Our Guide Manbha

Whoa!! What a achievement it was. Without Manbha this would not have been possible. He was more than a Guide or Friend to us. Now when we look back, we don’t even know, how we made it all the way to Rainbow Falls and back in 10 Hours.

We restrained from smoking throughout the way, to not to make our fitness level detoriate further. As a mark of celebration, we all went ahead for smoke. We happily paid Manabha Rs. 200/- more than what was agreed. One cannot calculate in monetary terms for what he did for us. But Manbha was more than happy with his extra. Finally we left towards our Hotel after a brief hug and droppping Manbha nearby his home.

I must say, Guides like Welbert from Mawlyngbna and Manbha would always be memorable to us. And this is another reason I’d suggest to opt for a Guide even if you are making it to only Double Decker Living Root Bridge. Become a part of Responsible and Sustainable Tourism and help local livelihood.

This post is continued at Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai

Points To Remember :

  • Waterfalls throughout Meghalaya is rainfed (not snowfed). Thus one wishing to experience various falls should plan during monsoons when the water level is higher and falls looks vivacious. Thus waterfalls starts drying up November onwards.
  • Well, almost all the points in Meghalaya have Entry Fee and Parking Fee as well. So do not underestimate this amount for costing as when added up in the end, it’s a huge amount that you need to keep in mind. Although throughout my articles, I’ll be mentioning these costs for your reference accordingly.
  • If planning for Double Decker Living Root Bridge, do start early if you plan to come back to Sohra. And if possible do not try to miss Rainbow Falls too.
  • The trek to Double Decker Living Root Bridge starts from Tyrna Village and one needs to reach Nongriat Village climbing down 3064 stairs and a further 3KM walk.
  • Rainbow Falls is another 1 Hour trek from Double Decker Living Root Bridge. Although for us it took 2 hours one way.
  • Few kids sells sticks at Tyrna. It’s recommended to buy one before proceeding as it helps a lot keeping balance and releasing knee pressure.
  • Although the route to Nongriat is cemented all the way, it’s highly recommended to hire a Guide. First to promote the local livelihood and be a part of Responsible Tourism and also having a local fellow walking beside you and helping you at every step is a good to have.

Reviews :
Coniferous Resort, Cherrapunji : We really loved our stay there at Coniferous Resort. The staffs were very friendly and courteous there. The rooms, washroom and the property is very well maintained and clean. We opted for 1 Standard Double Bed Room and 1 Standard Family Four Bedded Room. During our stay of 3 Nights, we had our dinner over there only and tried various cuisines. I must say the food was really great and finger licking.

Coniferous Resort Room, Sohra Cherrapunji

Coniferous Resort Washroom, Sohra Cherrapunji

Contacts :
John, David Scott Guide : +91-98564-55948

Coniferous Resort, Sohra (Cherrapunji) : +91-94361-78164 / +91-85757-93713. Email (For Reservations) : / Website : Coniferous Resort

Nalgre Restaurant & Guest House, Cherrapunji Bazaar : +91-97749-53413 / +91-75780-44872 / +91-70859-13237 / +91-97745-69691. They serve excellent finger licking Bengali Cuisine. So if you are looking for home cooked Bengali Cuisine or dying to have a bite of fish, you may have your lunch / dinner here. They also have a Guest House, if you choose to stay there, but I do not have any personal experience staying there, thus I won’t be able to review the accommodation.

Manbha, Guide at Double Decker Living Root Bridge and Rainbow Falls : +91-98567-53724. I really recommend having him beside you. He was more than a Guide to us that day. Akash dropped his glasses on the way and was unable to see anything. He helped him navigate through such steep slippery steps to Rainbow Falls and back. Also on our return when the waterfalls turned vivacious he helped us pass through it one by one holding our hand keeping the balance. He was god to us that day. We’ll always remember this friendly smiling fellow.

Serene Homestay, Nongriat : +91-94367-39655 / +91-96152-52644

Serene Homestay, Nongriat

Nongriat Homestay, Nongriat : +91-85757-87310

NOTE : If you are planning to stay at Nongriat, please note that, the infrastructure is very basic there. Thus before making a fuss about it later, do understand the condition you are expected to be in at such mesmerising destination. You are expected to stay in a dorm and use common toilet. I’m not sure if they have private rooms, but you may call and enquire. But rest assured, the beds are clean enough to sleep. And regarding food, don’t expect anything fancy, and try to understand they need to carry everything on their back navigating through those 3064 steep stairs that you climbed down to reach this place in the first place. So please try to be happy with whatever they can provide, else plan to come back to Sohra by the day.

Bimal Modak (ML 05P 2532) : +91-96137-75855. Bimal Da drives white Enjoy. He’s actually Pradeep Modak’s brother. Pradeep Modak is very well known in Meghalaya specially for offbeat circuits, but as he drives a small vehicle himself, he handed over this tour of us to his brother and assured us his full assurance!! Bimal Da is a very jolly person and quickly can be a great friend of yours. He has great experience in cooking. On three instances he cooked himself for us and it was finger licking. I must say, without Bimal Da and Pradeep Da, our trip wouldn’t have been such enjoyable.

Pradeep Modak : +91-98630-87418 / +91-82599-64634. Pradeep Modak is the person you need if you are venturing out to Meghalaya, specially any offbeat circuits. He being an explorer himself, keeps exploring various destinations. He’s the one who keeps exploring places and guides his brothers. Above all, the person is very honest and speaks his heart out. Money is not the first thing that matters to him. On various instances we found his responsibility for his guests is something to salute for. Believe me, with him around, nothing can go wrong. They are in total 6 brothers, but 3 of them are in this driving line and without him his other brothers wouldn’t have been what they are now.

Cost :
Day 5 :
John, David Scott Guide : 1200/-
Garden of Caves Entry Fee : Rs. 120/-
Garden of Caves Guide : Rs. 100/-

Day 6 :
Arwah Caves Entry Fee : Rs. 120/-
Arwah Caves Parking : Rs. 20/-
Nohkalikai Entry Fee : Rs. 80/-
Koh Ramahah Vehicle Fee : Rs. 20/-
Thangkharang Park Entry Fee : Rs. 10/-
Thangkharang Park Parking Fee : Rs. 20/-
Mawsmai Cave Entry Fee : Rs. 40/-
Mawsmai Cave Parking Fee : Rs. 20/-

Day 7 :
Walking Stick : Rs. 40/-
Entry Fee at Double Decker Living Root Bridge : Rs. 20/-
Mobile Camera Fee at Double Decker Living Root Bridge : Rs. 20/-
Parking at Tyrna : Rs. 40/-
Manbha, Guide For Double Decker Living Root Bridge & Rainbow Falls : 1200/- (Agreed Fee was Rs. 600/- for only Double Decker and Rs. 1000/- for Rainbow Falls. We paid him Rs. 200/- happily for what he did for us)

Accommodation at Coniferous Resort, Sohra (Cherrapunji) : Rs. 1741 + Rs. 3264 = Rs. 5005 x 3 Nights = Rs. 15015/-.
Fooding at Coniferous Resort, Sohra (Cherrapunji) : Rs. 5860/-

NOTE : I have omitted costs of personal nature for easy interpretation.

Special Thanks To :

This post is continued at Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai

Offbeat Meghalaya & Manipur Series :
Part 1: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur
Part 2: Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls
Part 3: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai
Part 4: Offbeat Meghalaya – Shillong
Part 5: Manipur – The Jewel of India

About Author

Hi, I'm born and bought up in Kolkata in the midst of what bongs are best known for - Eating, Sleeping and Travelling. A developer by profession and a traveller by passion. As I was facing a lack of budget-friendly information on the internet while planning my travel, I started drafting my travel experiences here to help you all having a pocket-friendly smooth travel experience.


  • Anonymous
    October 30, 2017 at 11:01 AM


  • Bidesh
    February 13, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Hi krishnendu i make this itinerary for our Meghalaya tour

    17/05/2019 Howrah

    18/05/2019 Guwahati to shillong

    On route visit Barapani Lake

    Night stay Shillong

    19/05/2019 shillong to Dwaki

    Mawlynnong Village, Barnhill Falls and Kyurem Falls

    Dwaki to Cherapunji

    Night stay At cherapunji

    20/05/2019 Cherpunji around

    Nohkalikai Falls, Seven sisters fall, Mawsmai Cave, Arwah Cave

    Gardens of Caves.


    Night stay at shillong

    21/05/2019 Shilong Local sight seen (Don Bosco center Indigenous Cultures,

    Ward’s Lake,The Laitlum Canyons


    Night stay at Guwahati

    22/05/2019 Guwahati kamakha temple visit and Tour end 12.30 PM

    please review it.

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM

      Hi Mr. Bidesh, Te plan for 19th is too hectic. Shillong – Dawki – Cherrapunji is a lot of route to cover in a single day and lot of points comes in between, which you’d surely miss or have to rush thorough to make it in a day. Better split it into two days.

      Shillong – Cherrapunji & Cherrapunji Sightseeing
      Day Trip To Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong – Dawki & Back To Cherrapunji
      Cherrapunji – Shillong & Shillong Sightseeing

      • Bidesh
        February 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM

        Thank you for your reply. But time not permit. we want to give puja maa kamakha last day (22/05/2019). so we need come back to Guwahati on 21th may.

        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          February 14, 2019 at 12:55 PM

          In that case, go ahead with the plan and don’t stop en-route towards Dawki. At max you can go for Krangshuri Falls.

          • Bidesh
            February 14, 2019 at 1:56 PM

            Thank YOU. 3. We are with Kids and children(2,3,6,6) years.

            option 01

            DAY 1 Guwahati – Shilong

            DAY2 Shilong – Full day city tour with Laitlum Canyon

            DAY3 Shilong-Dwaki-Cherapunji

            DAY4 Cherapunji sight seen and back to Guwahati

            option 02

            DAY 1 Guwahati – Shilong

            DAY2 Shilong-Dwaki-Cherapunji

            DAY3 Cherapunji sight seen and back to shillong

            DAY4 Shilong – Full day city tourLaitlum Canyon. Back to Guwahati

            1. Which option shall be better for us
            2. We rent 26 seater tempo Travera . Is all places accessible with Big car like tempo?

            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              February 14, 2019 at 2:31 PM

              Hi Bidesh,
              Well, In both the cases, Day 4 is tiring and you’d miss out the points as you are planning to reach Guwahati on that very day.

              But considering the beauty and the impact I’d suggest to go ahead with Option 2. As you can afford to miss out basic sightseeing points of Shillong which are nothing special. But don’t miss Laitlum though.


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