The State of Meghalaya is a heaven on Earth for thrill seekers and visitors who seek an adventure filled vacation. The vast forest cover, mystical mountains, streams, valleys, deep gorges, living root bridges, living root ladders, unexplored caves make Meghalaya a unique destination for trekking for all its visitors. The State of Meghalaya offers its visitors the best nature treks in India leading across dense rain forests to the clearwater river front at the bottom of the valley to the unique Double Decker Living Root Bridges which is exclusive only to Nongriat village in Meghalaya across the World. Although the trekking season in Meghalaya is open across the year, the best time to explore these natural wonders are across the dry months from October to April which is when destinations across Meghalaya throw open abundant trekking, caving and camping opportunities across the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.

Acting as a preferred adventure destination among the eight sister states of India, Meghalaya is a beautiful region filled with waterfalls and rivers across the major trekking routes. Visitors from far flung areas visit Meghalaya to experience trekking in the beautiful environment of Meghalaya far away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city life free from any noise and pollution. Among the various trekking routes across Meghalaya, the principal ones attempted by major tourists are the Double Decker Living Root Bridge trek from Cherrapunji to Nongriat village and the David Scott trail trek stretching from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang.

Some of the popular trekking routes of Meghalaya are ~

1|The Double Decker Living Root Bridge Trek, Meghalaya ~

Meghalaya has many natural wonders unique to the State. From the tallest waterfalls in India to the many unexplored underground caves, the never ending shadow of clouds to the vast stretch of unadulterated landscapes, Meghalaya is indeed a nature lovers paradise. One very unique man made natural wonder of Meghalaya are the Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya which are indigenous to the State not to be found anywhere in the World! The Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge at Nongriat village in Meghalaya is one such unique man made natural wonder. The hike to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge from Cherrapunji to Nongriat village is one of the most popular trekking routes across Meghalaya that leads you across the virgin wilderness of the Khasi hills of Meghalaya crossing many crystal clear streams and pools of water, a sacred grove and numerous bamboo hanging bridges.

These Living Root Bridges are unique to Meghalaya and have been grown from times immemorial by the Khasi and Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya. These Living Root Bridges are grown from the roots of the rubber tree (ficus elastica). Hallowed out betel nut tree trunks give direction to the roots in order to direct them over flowing streams. The roots of the rubber tree are epiphytic (growing on other plants) and its surrounding roots always grow towards light. Once the roots are trained to grow across the stream, they anchor in the soil opposite of the bank providing the formation of a Living Root Bridge. Several roots are tied together to give enormous strength and flat stones and bamboo are laid to make the pavement across the bridge stronger. Generally such root bridges of Meghalaya take around 15 – 20 years to grow and once fully grown these last for more than 500 years. The biggest advantage of such bridges are that they don’t easily rust like the iron bridges which is very much required to adapt to the rainy weather of Meghalaya. Instead these root bridges grow stronger with rain.

The trek to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge starts from Cherrapunji leading down a flight of 3500 stairs to reach Tyrna Village in Meghalaya. At the Tyrna village, there are two approaches to Nongriat village. One path leads to the left while the second leads to the right. If you choose to sight an additional set of Single Decker Living Root bridges then you can take the pah on the right to Tyrna village and continue further to trek to Nongriat. Along the way you cross crystal clear blue water streams that is fed from the waters of the Nohkalikai Falls at Cherrapunji. One will have to cross two sets of hanging bamboo bridges and also a Khasi Heritage Sacred Grove along the way. Once you reach Nongriat village the Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge is only a slight distance away and can be accessed upon payment of a nominal entrance fee. The sheer sight of this man made natural engineering marvel to leave you spellbound! You can choose to trek back to Cherrapunji the same day (total trek duration 6 hours) or choose to halt at a basic homestay at Nongriat village and continue your trek the next day to reach the Mawsaw Bridge and the Rainbow Falls.

Sample Itinerary for Double Decker Living Root Bridge Trek – Meghalaya

DAY 1 ~ Guwahati – Cherrapunji (5 – 6 Hrs. Drive)

Arrive at Guwahati Airport. Upon your arrival, you’ll be met by our representative. We directly hit the road to Cherrapunji. The roads are good, so enjoy the lovely drive through the lush green hills. Lunch/Snacks on way, depending upon the flight timings. Check in to a Hotel/Homestay at Cherrapunji.

Night Stay: Sai Mika Resort/Sohra Plaza Homestay at Cherrapunji.

Meals Included: NA

DAY 2 ~ Cherrapunji ~ Nohkalikai Falls, Seven Sister Falls, Mawsmai Caves, Double Decker Root Bridge  Trek (Duration of Trek ~ 6 Hrs. (Complete))

After Breakfast, we will visit the Tallest Plunge Waterfalls of India ~ the Nohkalikai and the Seven Sister Falls at Cherrapunji. Also visit the Mawsmai Caves at Cherrapunji. Later in the day we will kick start the Double Decker Root Bridge Trek to reach Nongriat Village. On your way you will spot the first Root Bridge of your tour at Tyrna Village. Check into a Homestay at Nongriat Village.

Night Stay: Basic Homestay with Khasi Tribes at Nongriat Village.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 3 ~ Nongriat Village ~ Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Mawsaw Bridge, Rainbow Waterfalls and Daithlen Falls

Spend the first half of your day admiring the Wonder of the Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge at Nongriat Village. Trek further from the Double Decker Living Root Bridge to reach the Mawsaw Bridge and the Rainbow Waterfalls near Nongriat Village. Trek back to Cherrapunji at the trek start point. Later in the day visit the Daithlen Falls.

Night Stay: Sai Mika Resort/Sohra Plaza Homestay at Cherrapunji.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 4 ~ Longest Root Bridge Trail Trek ~ Pynursla (Drive 2 Hrs. & Trek Duration 2 Hrs.)

Today after breakfast, we’ll drive to Pynursla. From there we kick start our trek to the longest Root Bridge accessible in the East Khasi Hills

Highlights of the Trek:

  • Longest Living Root Bridge
  • Virgin Wilderness
  • Picturesque Views
  • Lunch can be arranged as time suitable. After Lunch we can go to Mawlynnong for stay overnight

Night Stay: Homestays at Mawlynnong (Asia’s Cleanest Village).

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 5 ~ Mawlynnong & Dawki

Today is our day in the beautiful village of Mawlynnong, settled in the wilderness of East Khasi Hills.

Morning after breakfast we visit the Living Root Bridge of Mawlynnong. You spend the day simply enjoying the nature of the place. Get your camera out, make notes of the place, read a book or anything that unwinds you.

For Sightseeing Options are

  • Asia’s cleanest village
  • Watch Tower (Take a view of the plains of Bangladesh)
  • Balancing Rock
  • Village Walks
  • Dawki ~ Clear Water Boating on the Umngot River
  • Border of India and Bangladesh at Pillar 1275

Night Stay: Homestays at Mawlynnong (Asia’s Cleanest Village).

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 6 ~ Mawlynnong – Shillong – Guwahati

After Breakfast depart to Shillong. At Shillong, visit the Elephant Falls, the Shillong Peak and the Don Bosco Museum. Depart and arrive at Guwahati.

Night Stay: Hotel NEZone at Guwahati.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 7 ~ Kamakhya Temple – Guwahati Airport

Early morning visit the Holy Maa Kamakhya Temple at Guwahati. Later in the day we drive to the airport and you fly to your onward destination. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!

2|The David Scott Trail Trek, Meghalaya ~

The David Scott Trail Trek is another interesting long distance trek in Meghalaya. The trek starts at Mawphlang and stretches a total distance of 16 kilometers ending at Lad Mawphlang. The David Scott trail passes across numerous streams and valleys, vast green stretch of mountain cover, pristine clear water pools, hanging bridges and a beautiful countryside. Both these places, Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang have their own distinct history that illustrates the rich history, culture and the folklore of the Khasi tribes of Meghalaya.

The David Scott trail trek is named after David Scott, a British officer who had introduced this trek route from Assam to Bangladesh extending across Meghalaya covering a total distance of 100 kilometers and it took 5 days on foot to traverse. The Khasi people of Meghalaya used this route as a network of foot and horse path. The David Scott trek is now becoming a popular trek route as it covers the lovely terrain of the East Khasi Hills and converges across low granite and sandstone cliffs scattered amidst rolling hills. A clear water stream runs parallel across the trek and gradually the valley widens.

A Brief overview of the David Scott Trail Trek ~

1. Km 0 – The Trailhead

2. Km 0.5 – Ka KorShonmai

3. Km 2 – Mawshep

4. Km 5 – Suspension Bridge

5. Km 6 – Wahtham Valley

6. Km 9 – Laithsohma Village

7. Km 12 – Arch Bridge

8. Km 14 – Kor-Parkti

9. Km 16 – Shillong-Cherrapunji road at Lad Mawphlang

Sample Itinerary for David Scott Trail Trek – Meghalaya

DAY 1 ~ Guwahati – Shillong (3 – 4 hours)

Arrive at Guwahati Airport. Upon your arrival, you’ll be met by our representative offering you a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style. From the Airport drive to Shillong City. Enroute spot the Umiam Lake. The largest artificial water reservoir of North East India, enjoy the view of pristine blue waters of Umiam. Arrive at Shillong. At Shillong we will do local sight-seeing of the Shillong Peak and the Elephant Falls (depending on time we reach). Check into your Guest House/Hotel at Shillong. Evening free to visit the Police Bazaar at Shillong.

Night Stay: Nalgare’s Guest House and Shillong Guest House at Shillong.

Meals Included: NA

DAY 2 ~ Shillong – Mawphlang – Cherrapunji

After Breakfast depart to Mawphlang. Arrive at Mawphlang. First, we will embark on a short trek to visit the Khasi Hills Sacred Groves at Mawphlang. Revered by the Khasi Tribes of Meghalaya, the Sacred Groves is home to over 200 species of Orchids and not one tree is allowed to be cut from the groves. Later visit the Khasi Heritage Village near the Mawphlang Sacred Groves. Embark on the David Scott Trail Trek (4 – 5 Hours duration). Arrive at the Trek end point and Travel to Cherrapunji. At Cherrapunji we visit the Nohkalikai Falls – India’s Tallest Plunge Waterfall. Check into your Hotel at Cherrapunji.

Night Stay: Night Stay: Sai Mika Resort/Sohra Plaza at Cherrapunji.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 3 ~ Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Cherrapunji

After Breakfast, depart to Mawlynnong and Dawki. Today is our day in the beautiful village of Mawlynnong, settled in the wilderness of East Khasi Hills.

Arrive at Mawlynnong. At Mawlynnong we visit the Living Root Bridge of Mawlynnong. You spend the day simply enjoying the nature of the place. Get your camera out, make notes of the place, read a book or anything that unwinds you.

For Sightseeing Options are ~

  • Asia’s cleanest village
  • Watch Tower (Take a view of the plains of Bangladesh)
  • Balancing Rock
  • Village Walks
  • Dawki ~ Clear Water Boating on the Umngot River
  • Border of India and Bangladesh at Pillar 1275

Night Stay: Night Stay: Sai Mika Resort/Sohra Plaza at Cherrapunji.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 4 ~ Cherrapunji – Seven Sister Falls, Mawsmai Caves, Double Decker Root Bridge  Trek (Duration of Trek ~ 6 Hrs. (Complete))

Early morning we will kick start the Double Decker Root Bridge Trek to reach Nongriat Village. On your way you will spot the first Root Bridge of your tour at Tyrna Village. Admire the Engineering marvels of the Khasi Tribes ~ ‘the Double Decker Living Root Bridge’. Later trek back to Cherrapunji. After Lunch, visit the Mawsmai Caves and the Seven Sister Falls.

Night Stay: Sai Mika Resort/Sohra Plaza at Cherrapunji.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 5 ~ Cherrapunji – Guwahati Airport

Enroute back to Guwahati. Breakfast on the way near Shillong. Arrive at Guwahati Airport to catch a late afternoon/evening flight back to your onward destination. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!

Meals Included: Breakfast

3|The King’s Highway Trail Trek, Meghalaya ~

To explore the depths of the beauty of the State of Meghalaya, across the virgin forests, undulating streams, deep gorges, pristine waterfalls and many other wonders of Mother Nature at Meghalaya we present to you the King’s High Trail Trek at Meghalaya. The King’s Highway Trail is an ancient root used by the Kings to reach the then Trade center at Dawki ~ the Border of India and Bangladesh. The King’s Highway Trail Trek will take you across the wilderness of the State of Meghalaya across the unadulterated forests and mountains of the State. In this Trail, you’ll visit the Longest Living Root Bridge at Pynursla, the Cleanest Village of Asia at Mawlynnong, the Border of India and Bangladesh at Dawki and also visit all the important Tourist attractions of Meghalaya at Cherrapunji and Shillong.

At the King’s Highway Trail Trek we also visit the village of Wahynkhat in Meghalaya. Wahlynkhat is located a few minutes ahead of Pynursla. A popular trek at Wahlynkhat is the Living Root Bridge Trail Wahlynkhat where visitors get the opportunity to sight 10 nos. of Living Root Bridges along a trek of 10 kilometer. The virgin forests and unadulterated landscape of Wahlynkhat along this trek makes it an ideal destination to spot the Engineering marvels of the Khasi Tribes i.e. the Living Root Bridges. At the Wahlynkhat village, the density of the Living Root Bridges is the highest in Meghalaya numbering 15 living root bridges in a square kilometer area. In this trek, one has to trek downhill from Wahlynkhat village through 10 root bridges at Nongblai and further proceed to climb a ridge to Rngain. Visitors also get an opportunity to cross a Khasi Sacred Grove forest along this trek. However, one has to be careful as this trek terrain is tricky with several uphill and downhill climbs.

Highlights of the King’s Highway Trail Trek ~

  • CAMPING
  • JUNGLE WALK
  • TREKKING & HIKING
  • VILLAGE VISIT
  • MAWLYNNONG ROOT BRIDE
  • ASIA’S CLEANEST VILLAGE – MAWLYNNONG
  • CLEAR WATER BOATING AT DAWKI

Sample Itinerary for King’s Highway Trail Trek – Meghalaya

DAY 1 ~ Guwahati – Pynursla (5 Hours Drive)

On your arrival, you’ll be met by our representative offering you a warm welcome in Traditional Assamese style. We will directly hit the road to Pynursla. The roads are good, so do enjoy the lovely drive through the lush green hills. Lunch/Snacks on way, depending upon the flight timings. Arrive at Pynursla. After check in, time to loosen up for the journey.

Night Stay: Pynursla Campsite

Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 2 ~ Trek to Mawlynnong (5 – 6 Hours)

Today after breakfast, we kick start our trek to Mawlynnong ~ the Cleanest Village in Asia.

Highlights of the Trek ~

  • This is an ancient route used by the king’s to reach the market place
  • Cross Hanging Bridge
  • Picturesque Views

Night Stay: Mawlynnong Campsite/Homestay

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 3 ~ Mawlynnong (Asia’s Cleanest Village)

Today is our day of relaxation in the beautiful village of Mawlynnong, settled in the wilderness of East Khasi Hills. You spend the day simply enjoying the nature of the place. Get your camera out, make notes of the place, read a book or anything that unwinds you.

For Sightseeing the options are ~

  • Asia’s cleanest village
  • Living Root Bridge
  • Watch Tower ( Take a view of Bangladesh )
  • Balancing Rock
  • Village Walks

Night Stay: Mawlynnong Campsite/Homestay

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 4 ~ Trek to Lenkhat (Dawki 5 – 6 Hours)

Today after breakfast, we start the second half of the Trek to Lenkhat, Dawki.

Highlights at Dawki

  • Boat Ride on the Clean River of Umngot
  • Visit to the India and Bangladesh Border
  • Authentic Traditional Khasi Food
  • Watch people mingle in the unmarked National border
  • After sightseeing we’ll get to our Mawlynnong base camp.

Night Stay: Mawlynnong Campsite/Homestay

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 5 ~ Mawlynnong – Cherrapunji – Shillong – Guwahati

Morning we will depart to Cherrapunji (the Second Rainiest place on planet Earth – the Nohkalikai Falls, the Seven Sister Falls and the Daithlen Falls) and make stop overs at tourist attractions in the city of Shillong (Shillong Peak and Don Bosco Museum). Arrive at the Chandubi Jungle Camp at Guwahati.

Night Stay: Traditional Huts/Jungle Tents at Chandubi Jungle Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY  6 ~ Chandubi Lake and Guwahati Airport

At the Chandubi Jungle Camp watch the early morning sunrise by the banks of the Chandubi Lake. Enjoy a short jungle hike, boating on Chandubi Lake and savor ethnic Rabha Tribal cuisine food at Chandubi. Later depart to the Guwahati Airport for your onward destination. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!

Meals Included: Breakfast

4|The Rhododendron Trail Trek, Meghalaya ~

Inaugurated in February 2017, the Rhododendron trek starts near the city of Shillong at Upper Shillong. This is one of the trek routes in Meghalaya closely accessible from the capital city of Shillong. The trek route of the Rhododendron trek was an earlier route used an old horse road used by the British to travel to Sangmein. It covers 6km of length and starts from 2 ½ mile and ends at Sangmein. The Rhododendron Trek in Meghalaya is open until sunset on Sundays, Saturdays and Wednesdays from October till April.

The Rhododendron Trek is of a moderate gradient and is covered with pine needles and fallen red petals of the Rhododendron trees. The entire trek route is across a well laid out path. Although the hill slopes were very steep, the path was made along a contour covered with red flowered Rhododendron trees. There are also trees with pink blossoms on the other side of the valley across the Rhododendron trek. Besides these colorful trees one can also sight other wild flowers and chirping birds. Gurgling streams and small waterfalls crossings are a common sight across this trek route. Littering along the trek route is strictly prohibited and trekkers are instructed not to throw lighted materials like cigarette, beedi and others in the forest and not to kill wild animals and birds, which is a punishable offence under Forest Acts.

5|The Kyllang Rock Trail Trek at Mairang, Meghalaya

Among the various trek routes across the State of Meghalaya, another popular destination for trekking and rock climbing is the Kyllang rock at Mairang. The Kyllang rock is a massive dome shape of single rock of granite, rising to an elevation of about 5400 ft above sea level measuring 1,000 feet in diameter. Kyllang rock lies 78 kilometer from the capital city of Shillong in Meghalaya.

According to geologists, the Kyllang Rock is about several million years old. The rock can be accessed from the northern and eastern flanks. The southern flank is inaccessible because of its slope exceeds 800 over an incline of about six hundred feet.

It is believed that the rock possesses a sort of magnetic field, so no one will fall from the slope. Enormous detached blocks of rock features the southern side and dense forests in the northern side. The forest is thickly populated with age-old red Rhododendron trees and oaks along with white Rhododendron trees, which are not found elsewhere.

The southern side of Kyllang Rock is encumbered with enormous detached blocks of rock, while its northern side is clothed with dense forests, containing age-old red Rhododendron trees and oaks besides bushy, white Rhododendron trees.

A beautiful memorial in the honour of U Tirot is constructed here in Mairang to commemorate his great feats.