Providing a perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of your complex life, which mainly revolves around your job, the Meghalaya state has a gem in the form of Cherrapunji. Sitting on the edge of a plateau, this town is among the wettest places in the world. Although every sight around Cherrapunji deserves to be beheld, its most fascinating aspect is undeniably the unique living root bridges. The ingenious natives of the region train the hanging banyan roots to grow around the trunks of other trees, thereby forming a natural bridge. The Cherrapunji winter trekking and canyoning trip is an ideal way to break away from the monotony of life and indulge your wanderlust.
You will go on two living root bridge treks and also take part in canyoning in Cherrapunji. The evenings will be delightful with musical programmes and sharing stories around a bonfire. Spend a few unforgettable days amidst the finest creations of nature in and around Cherrapunji and be refreshed like never before.
Day 01: Arrival in Cherrapunji | Living Root Bridge Trek
Named among the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji is a part of the East Khasi Hills district of the state of Meghalaya. The city is famous for its oranges, living root bridges and scenic vistas. With a rich biodiversity and pristine wonders of nature, Cherrapunji looks almost surreal. Upon arrival for the Cherrapunji winter trekking and canyoning programme, complete the check-in formalities at the resort. Enjoy a hearty lunch by twelve in the noon, and then get some rest.
On this day, you will hike for around three to four hours during which you will walk to a living root bridge and then return. An exceptional example of local talent for natural engineering can be seen in the form of these structures. Strong hanging branches of banyan trees are grown around betel nut tree trunks to form a surface for walking, thereby giving the name – living root bridge. The length of the round trip is approximately four kilometres, and the ascent you will conquer is of nearly 1400 feet. Following the scenic expedition, return to the resort and enjoy a cultural programme. If the weather remains dry, you can spend the evening basking in the warmth of a bonfire. Later, retreat to your room for a comfortable overnight stay.
Day 02: Double Decker Living Root Bridge and Natural Swimming Pool Trek
This morning, set out for yet another memorable trek amidst wondrous natural spectacles. Leave the resort at around half past eight in the morning for a full-day excursion. Today, you will head to a double decker living Root Bridge, constructed over a natural swimming pool. The total distance traversed will be approximately 20 km, and an ascent of around 2500 feet will be negotiated. You can choose to cover a total of 10 km by car rather than on foot. This would save your energy for the upcoming physically demanding activity. Physical fitness and concentration are crucial for this journey, and you will need to have your bone joints in the prime condition.
The sight of the double decker living Root Bridge will take you by awe. It is a two-storey system of intricately intertwined roots, providing access from one bank of the waterbody to the other. In a region, where thick vegetation and streams are common sights, these living root bridges prove to be extremely helpful. If the cold does not bother you so much, then you can also bathe in the unpolluted water of the natural swimming pool. After this picturesque walk, head back to the resort and spend the evening being entertained by local music artists. If it does not rain, a campfire will be lit, and you can sit around it and cherish the warmth. Later, call it a night and enjoy the stay in your room.
Day 03: Sightseeing around Cherrapunji with Picnic
This day is reserved for sightseeing around Cherrapunji; bring the packed lunch, provided by the resort, with you on this excursion. Explore the plethora of tranquil spots in the area that ooze with enthralling natural beauty. Capture the serene moments forever by taking pictures of the surroundings. The captivating sights of lofty mountains and dense forests will refresh your mind and soul.
Choose one of such scenic spots to relax and enjoy your lunch. The meandering streams in the area are suitable for bathing if it is not raining. Though the water is cold during winters, you may take a dip in these streams after apt consideration. Spend a few peaceful hours in this calm milieu, and later return to the resort. The evening will again become the occasion of a cultural music programme. You can sit around a crackling bonfire if the weather remains dry. At night, head to your room for a pleasant overnight stay.
Day 04: River Canyoning
This is yet another occasion, when you partake in exciting outdoor activities, mainly river canyoning. It will require adequate physical fitness and stamina to fully enjoy the sport.
At nearly half past eight, set out to negotiate a downhill walk, which will lead you to the bottom of a valley. Upon reaching here, start following the course of the river, which flows through here. The trek will turn out to be comparatively more challenging than others on this venture. Canyoning in Cherrapunji involves jumping over rocks and walking up the trails. You can opt to swim if the cold weather does not pose much of a problem in front of you. The idea of swimming in winters unarguably contains a certain allure.
In the evening after the experience, head back to the resort and dry off in front a sputtering fire. However, lighting the bonfire is subject to weather conditions, and it may not be available after each sundown. Cherish the evening, complemented by a cultural music programme and make merry. Later, retire to your room and spend a restful sleep.
Day 05: Continued Sightseeing | Departure from Cherrapunji
Some of the awe-inspiring sceneries around Cherrapunji yet remain unexplored. In the morning, visit the vantage points of Mawsiekriah, Mawseintyllang and Mawrong that command spectacular views of the verdant valley and deep gorges. You can make the commute to these sites by a car or on foot. Following this soul-enriching sightseeing excursion, return to the resort to enjoy a scrumptious lunch and thereafter leave for your next destination.
Duration: 04 Nights/ 05 Days
Region: Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
Places Covered: Cherrapunji, Living root bridges
Activities: Trekking, River Canyoning