” It’s not so much for it’s beauty that the forests make a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air , that emanation from old trees , that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit . ”
My wandering bugs took me to such a trip where nature , along with her ample hypnotic elements provided necessary solace to my weary spirit. I made this trip early Feb but publishing it now as we know mundane things often keep us away from the heavenly reminiscing.
Coming back to the saga , Assam – Meghalaya were my destinations this year . In India , we refer to clouds as “Megha ” and home is referred to as ” alaya” , so the name perfectly denotes the abode of clouds. Northeast India boasts of its bountiful beautiful assets in general but still being considered an offbeat destination , many of its gems are yet to be discovered. Having the famous double decker root bridge trek in mind , my choice of season was the winter , since otherwise it gets too risky for the very obvious reason of it being the wettest place on Earth, with 12000 mm average annual rainfall. Sounds splendid isn’t it? Yes indeed . Just imagine a souffle of clouds chasing you everywhere even marking it’s presence indoors through the windows ajar. Ahh ! take me back …
My itinerary was somewhat like this ..
Guwahati ( Assam ) considered the gateway of northeast , was my first halting point. My limited hours here provided me with the opportunity to visiting Kamakhya temple only. This temple is a well known shrine of the Hindus where the yearly menstruation festival of the goddess is celebrated with great pomposity.
Talking about food, when in Assam ,the ” Khorika Thali ” is a must try which will relish you with the local cuisines like items prepared from bamboo , local spices , pork/mutton and everything northeastern, served neatly on bellmetal plates.
Assam is still in my bucket list for I have places like Majuli, Kaziranga wildlife , Manas still pending to be ticked off.
Destination Meghalaya . A shared cab from Guwahati easily takes you to Shillong (capital of Meghalaya) within 3-4 hours. The day I ventured out, was a day of local election which delayed my arrival . By the time I arrived ( around 2 pm), the place was already cloud covered so no sightseeing happened .
Destination for the day was decided to be Dwaki – Mawnlynlong , a serene village beside the India- Bangladesh border. The umngot river in Dwaki was a sight to behold . It boasts of its crystal clear emerald water and a boating on the river certainly gives you clear spectacle of the underlying rockbed.
A few kilometres drive took me to the cleanest village of Asia , Mawnlynlong. Villagers here are mostly into farming and skilled in handloom products . You can get a fine taste of the vanishing Indian cottage industry here.
The term ” worshipping nature ” is not mere a bookish word here but of action. Haven’t felt such proximity of men and nature anyplace else. Imagine a walkable bridge constructed entirely with the roots of rubber plants , standing tall since 500 years without disturbing any natural balance. It surely is the epitome one of the greatest blends of human and nature in the world. Yes welcome to Meghalaya . The bridge in question is Living Root Bridge, whose growth is still in process.
There are several other living root bridges in Meghalaya ,one of which will be the destination of my trek in the upcoming posts.
Picture courtesy – Sanchali07wanderer