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Bridging Gaps; Nature’s way!

INDIA | Tuesday, 5 May 2015 | Views [410]

We are from a place so deific; here, where the air is enriched with the sweetness rendered by Nature that has bounced off from the rolling hills onto the flowing rivers to us; the cycle thus so repeating in oneself. We are from a land of serendipity in abundance! We are from North East India; often and rightfully so stated as the Paradise Unexplored.

The mushrooming of industries and the ever growing agenda of commercial metropolises are yes, of course, eating away major chunks of its wildered beauty yet there are places here delicately safe kept by Mother Nature herself, wrapped underneath her thick foliage. These are hidden jewels; untouched and pristine!

Your rendezvous with the Mother might come in sailing into the island forests of Laika-Dodiha or in chasing wild horses in the grasslands of Dibru Saikhowa or in exploring the sacred forests of Mawphlang or in trekking through the D’zukou Valley or in white water rafting in the Teesta or in doing any of the other n number of things that North East India has to offer to you, each unique in its kind.

My age old love affair with nature has always taken me to places; so pure and serene; however  the most recent of my exploits with her took me to a mystical land where roots of living trees spans rivers and abysses alike, at places extending up to a length of 100 feet or more.

In 2007, I first learnt of these wondrous trees bridging villages across steep slopes and fast rivers. Ever since I had been to Meghalaya many times but only last month, after a good long 7 years I could actually undertake the trek.

The ancient war Khasis discovered that their jungles were copious with rubber trees that shoot out secondary roots from their trunks. Soon enough they could acquaint themselves with the elastic property of these roots and manoeuvre their creativity and craftsmanship to build exceptionally well balanced living tree bridges across rivers connecting two hills.

The Ficus Elastica grow wild in the Khasi and Garo hills, mostly on the bank of  fast flowing rivers and remain undeterred by soil erosion. These bridges hang effortlessly at great heights over deep chasms and some can carry as many as 50 persons at a time!!

The Double Decker Living Root Bridge located in the village of Nongriat in the Sohra district is very popular with adventure seekers and explorers and is often called the Jingkieng Nongriat. The trek to reach this bridge starts from the Laitkynsew Village from where onwards you climb down a long corridor of steps (3 kms and more). The slope at times become dangerously steep or turns into a sharp curve. It is a good 45-60 mins climb down, after which you arrive upon a small settlement comprising of 10-12 households nicely tucked in the tropical thicket and from here on the trek bifurcates- a few 100-150 further steps takes you to the Single Root Bridge or another 45 mins climb downward takes you to the Jingkieng. The bridge is located in the middle of nowhere and the quiet of the surroundings catches onto you unless bombarded by some lousy tourist.

The village offers Home stays for those nature-lovers who want to soak into its absolute wilderness and be swayed by it into a suspended state of calm. It is a great trek for first timer travel enthusiast as well as seasoned explorers for one can take in as much of nature as per what one wants.

If you are getting suffocated by breathing in and out the same stale air and is trying to fight out of your crammed existence to tune in your synergies, this is your calling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: adventure, backpacking, india, meghalaya, nature, root bridges, trek, trekking

 

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