Nongriat is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, in North eastern India. It is perhaps best known for its living root bridges; one an impressive double-decker suspension bridge called Jingkieng Nongriat.
The village has three functional root bridges. These are crafted by hand, as the Khasi people have done in the Khasi Hills for centuries, intertwining and weaving together the aerial roots of banyan trees on opposite sides of a stream-filled gorge.
As per the folklore, there was a man who fell in love with a tree and they wanted to get married and spend their lives together in harmony. But the man’s family did not approve of the marriage and wed him to a girl belonging to the tribe in the village, with whom he bore children.
But the love of the tree for the man was unconditional and undying. As a gift, it made living bridges entwining its roots above the river. Of course, the story is a folklore but the love of the men for the trees is evident here in the village. It is a living example of extraordinary coordination between nature and man.
The trek to the Living Root Bridge of the Nongriat village near Cherrapunjee is not for the weak-kneed or the faint-hearted. A trek between lush forests and high mountains to the mystical paradise called Nongriat. The starting point of this trek is at Tyrna above the mountain. The board at Tyrna village indicated a 3KM hike to Nongriat. It is advisable to have good grip shoes and a wooden stick which you get for rent at the starting point.
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. There are different villages on the way, where you can relax.
The villages are filled with eateries and a couple of relaxing options. They have different routes where you can explore the secret waterfall and caves which is like an add on point to the places. You will witness the local life of the area. Remember people are not comfortable with photography, so before taking their photos, please take their permission.
A small single root bridge connects to the village of Nongriat. There are sign boards available everywhere which directs you to the double decker bridge. The minimal cost of ₹30 is an entry fee for the maintenance of the bridge and the surrounding.
A peaceful spot is to go towards the opposite side of the bridge where you can see the waterfall and a pond is there. You put your feet and see the magic of natural fish therapy. Enjoy nature as long as you want. You can explore the village Nongriat and see the local life of the Khasis. If possible, try talking to locals, they can provide more local information.
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