Meghalaya, the 'abode of clouds' is a charming picturesque state of India that is blessed with lush green valleys, pristine and formidable mountain ranges, amazing vistas of roaring waterfalls, mysterious natural caves, bright blue lagoons, ancient root bridges and an eclectic mix of interesting tribal cultures.
The living root bridges are perhaps one of the unique feats of primaeval bio-engineering in this part of the world. Nongriat, a village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, is known for such impressive bridges and waterfalls. Rainbow Falls tucked away in the middle of Nongriat forest creates a bright blue lagoon that is quite mesmerizing.
The Blue Lagoon is a surreal waterbody and if you love visiting hidden, offbeat paths then this is just perfect for you. The natural placing of rocks and the waterfalls is so flawless that the falls are besieged in rainbows during the daytime. The trekking distance to Rainbow Falls from Nongriat village is about 17 km. The path is uneven, rocky and has steep climbs and descends all the way.
The trek is refreshingly green with organic fragrance all around. The sound of the rumbling falls will keep you motivated to complete this trying hike. At the end of the trek, you will be visually treated with the spectacular sight of the falls that will remain engraved in your memory forever.
The bright blue waters of Blue Lagoon will conjure up images of fairyland. The luminous light through the waterfalls and lush trees will make the swim in the lagoon a one-of-a-kind experience.
How to Reach Nongriet
By air: The closest airport to reach Nongriat is Shillong Airport. It is a small airport and has limited flights. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is the major international airport located nearby.
By rail: Guwahati Railway Station is the major railway station that is closeby. Karimganj Railway Station is the local train station but has limited train connectivity.
By road: Guwahati Bus Stand is the major bus station with buses to several cities. It is 159 km from Nongriat and takes 5 hours to reach.
Best Time to Visit
You can visit Blue Lagoon any time of the year, but avoid June to August, as this is the time when the region receives huge rains. In summer, the temperature is comfortable and warm and perfect for your trekking expedition.
Attractions In And Around Nongriat
Double Decker Living Root Bridges
The double-decker bridge deep in the tropical forests of Nongriat is an astounding man-made wonder and a popular trekking location. Outdoor enthusiasts will get an opportunity to see the unique man-made wonder that is more than 150 years old. Today, there are about 11 functional root bridges that are around 2½ hours from Shillong. Most of these are single root bridges while the double-decker bridge has two levels. The members of the Khasi tribe grew the second level of the bridge when the water reached the first level after a wet monsoon season. There is an entry fee of Rs 20 to cross the bridge.
Caving is an adventurous activity that gives you an opportunity to explore the wild caves. One such cave that you can include in your itinerary is the natural and well-preserved Mawsmai caves. It is made of sandstone and limestone and is a remarkable creation of nature. It is a major tourist attraction which is located about 6 km from Cherrapunji. The stalagmites and Stalactites formations are visually appealing and will leave you enthralled. The timings to visit the caves is 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Mawphlang Sacred Grove
Spread over an area of 80 hectares, the grove is home to several species of exotic trees. It is quite impressive to witness the biodiversity of this protected forest. It also serves as a ritual site to perform blessing and thanksgiving ceremonies for people belonging to Hima Mawphlang tribe. The grove is about 16 miles from Shillong and 93 km from Nongriat village. You can hire cab services from Shillong to reach the place.
Also known as ‘God's own Garden', Mawlynnong village has earned the reputation of being one of the cleanest villages in not only India, but Asia as well. The lush greenery, abundant small steams, wild orchids dangling from the hedges and trees and majestic waterfalls are the highlights of this charming village.