Sunday, 5 February 2017

North East Trip - Kaziranga and Guwahati


North East Trip - Shillong

After a hectic trek, we were back at our base - Shillong. It was a bright sunny morning and a perfect day to explore the beauty of this place. Being the capital of the state, the place was quite stylish in its own sweet way. Our hotel was in the most happening place - Police Bazaar. We hired a taxi to cover all the major tourist attractions of the city. It was a wonderful experience.

Highlights of the city -

  • Elephant Falls - 12kms from Shillong, Elephant waterfalls are famous as it is a 3 tiered waterfall. Britishers named it after a rock that resembles to an elephant next to the waterfalls. A place to relax in nature's lap.
    Elephant Falls Pic courtesy - MapsofIndia.com
  • Shillong Peak - Best place to have panoramic view of the city. It's build inside defence area and allows entry with ID proofs. One can view the city via tha binoculars as well (paid facility). 
    Shillong Peak Pic Courtesy - Mouthshut.com
  • AirForce Museum - An attraction for both adults and children, it's a great place to get knowledge about the country's defence forces and defence history. The museum has pictures of Indo-China war and Indo-Pakistan war on display. Visitors can also see python's skin at the museum.
  • Lady Hydari Park - Known for the beautiful bed of roses that bloom here in various colors. There is a mini zoo clubbed with a deer park that stretches for more than a kilometer. Park has been well maintained to play for tiny tots. Couples and families can also spend quality time.
    Lady Hydari Park Pic Courtesy - HolidayPlans
  • Ward's Lake - Horse shoe shaped lake has been set up amidst lush green gardens. One can enjoy the serenity in peace.
    Wards Lake Pic Courtesy - Mapsofindia.com
  • State Museum - For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition, this museum offers insights to the lifestyle of the people of this state. The museum has central library complex as well.
  • Don Bosco Museum - A three-in-one Institution combining a museum with a research and publication centre, for promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of North East India -a unique fusion of all the sister states under one roof.
    Don Bosco Museum Pic couretsy - Wikimapia.org
  • Golf Course - Shillong golf course is considered to be the Glen Eagle of the East and is the first 18 hole golf course in India, open for common public as well.
  • Umiam Lake - On the outskirts of the city is the famous Umiam lake. It was created by damming the Umiam river. Tourists visit this spot for kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating.
    Umiam Lake Pic Courtesy -Wikipedia
How to reach Shillong - Road is the best way to reach Shillong. However by train and rail Guwahati is the nearest point from where bus or taxi can be hired for Shillong.

Accommodation - Listing down couple of good hotels located at police bazaar.
  • Hotel Centre Point
  • Hotel Sapphire
  • Pinewood Hotel

Hope you enjoyed reading this post.
Happy Travelling !!!

North East Trip - Nongriat Village and Rainbow Falls

The most exciting and adventurous day of our trip. We were to see the world famous Double decker bridge and rainbow falls - place wherein one can see rainbow 365 days of the year. We booked a cab from our resort (Coniferous resort, Sohra)  to Tyrna village - the place wherein the trek for 3000 Stairs starts. The cab charges around 800 for pick and drop.

Buckled up with full energy we started the trek around 9:15 the morning. Majority of the trek is downward as you proceed towards the double decker. Trail in the middle of the forest, clear air, drizzling at times, we enjoyed every bit of it. Clicked pictures at various spots, rested in the tree-houses, had maggie by the stream, soaked in the beauty of nature, had adrenal rush while crossing the suspension bridges, explored the unexplored !!!

Tips for this trek-
1. It will take approx 3 hours to reach double decker (approx - 3000 stairs, mix of both downhill and uphill trek)
2. Trek as much light as possible and start early.
3. On the way one can find only small refreshment stalls (you can have maggie, tea, water, biscuits etc). Not more than 4-5 shops for the entire trek.
4. Wear sports shoes as they would be really comfortable for the trek.
5. In case you plan to go further to the rainbow falls, you need to be really fit as the trek is comparatively harder.
6. To and fro from double decker to rainbow falls would take 3.5-4 hours with no refreshment stall in between.
7. Major part of the trek is muddy and rocky, hence prefer visiting only during the winter season. Kindly avoid during the monsoons.
8. In case you prefer a night stay at double decker, make your bookings in advance as there are not many homestays and are majorly occupied. There are 2 major homestays, one before and right after the double decker. Byron's homestay is really famous and you can opt for it. (91-9436739655, 91-9615252655, byronnongbri@gmail.com)
9. As you descend down into the jungle, your cell phone might not work, hence do inform your friends and family about your whereabouts.
10. Ensure that you carry, umbrella, mosquito repellent, pain relief ointment and SOS medicines with you.
11. Drink lots and lots of water and keep yourself hydrated for the entire trek.

PhotoGallery -
Starting point of our trek - Tyrna Village
View of the stairs amidst the forest
First Stopover - The Long Root Bridge
Spectacular View of the Long Root Bridge
Entry to the first Suspension Bridge

Second Suspension Bridge

Reached NonGriat Village - Home of the Double Decker Bridge

Striking Looks of the Double Decker Bridge

Mesmerizing Rainbow Falls
Happy Trekking and Travelling !!!



North East Trip - Cherrapunji

Cherrapunji - Abode of the clouds, a land of breathtaking beauty and exotic people. Commonly known as Sohra, this place is the wettest place on earth, but nearby place Mawsynram currently holds the record. Situated in the East Khasi hills district, we happened to explore this beauty on 27th Jan and it was all worth.

Top Tourist Destinations of Cherrapunji -
  • Mawkdoh View Point - The first point while entering the Sohra circuit, this place lets you embrace the nature's beauty. On a clear day, you can see lush green valleys as majorly it is covered by clouds.
  • Wahkaba Falls - This is a tiered waterfall close to 170-190 m in height and provides a beautiful view of the valley. During monsoons, there is a heavy flow of the streams, however we visited in winters and were still lucky to have a glimpse of waterfall (although a very thin stream :P) Entry Fee per person - Rs 10
  • Ramkrishna Mission - Started by Swami Vivekananda, this place have turned into a major tourist attraction. Entry is free of cost and one can see the culture of Meghalaya and other north eastern states, dresses, folk dances, major places and the most famous things crafted out of bamboo.
  • Nohkalikai Falls - Highest waterfalls of India and fourth highest in the world. The drive to these falls take you to a cliff from where one can see the water gushing down into a pool of dark blue water. This fall has a sad legend to it. The name of the falls mean the jump of Ka Likai. A woman named Likai had a daughter and had to remarry after her husband died. There was no source of income and hence she became porter and could not pay attention to her second husband. The jealous husband killed the infant and cooked her meat after throwing away the head and bones. When Likai returned home, she found none except the meal. She wanted to look for her daughter, but ate the meat as she was hungry. As she proceeded to eat betel leaves, she found a severed finger near the place. She understood what had happened in her absence and went mad in anger. She started running and jumped off the edge of the plateau and the waterfalls were named after her. There is a saying that these waterfalls doesn't dry even in non monsoon season - Falls of sorrow. Entry Fee per person - Rs 20
  • Nohsngithiang Falls (Seven Sister Falls) - The name is derived from the seven streams that falls down the plateau. Must see attraction during the monsoons, however we could not see a single stream flowing as it was winter season :(. The falls are also called as Mawsmai falls, named after the village.  

  • Mawsmai Caves - One of the major tourist attractions. These limestone caves in Meghalaya are lit enough for the tourists to enjoy the natural formation and leave then awestruck. Indeed one of the natural wonders. Entry Fee per person - Rs 20 

  • Eco Park - This park has been designed by the government so that tourists can enjoy the seven sister falls that is right across this park. From one of the sides there is a view point to observe the Bangladesh plains. During spring season this park observes a wide variety of Orchids. Entry Fee per person - Rs 20
Travel Mode - 
Cheapest way to travel from Shillong to Cherrapunjee is a shared sumo that charges Rs 70 per person. However for a comfortable journey you can hire a taxi that covers the sightseeing as well and charges approx Rs 1500 (price for off season and can go high a bit during the peak season). Local bus transport is also available, however it isn't that frequent. People do travel by bikes as well, however a some of the places, road conditions aren't that good.

Best Season to Visit -
Summer season (March -May) is best to travel as it is pleasant and one can witness the falls as well. At times rain can be a spoilsport. During monsoons, Cherrapunji receives the heaviest rainfall and it is not possible to explore the beauty of this place as the falls and caves are flooded. Winters (October - February) is another good time to visit, however you might find couple of falls dry during this season.

Hope you like this blog, do share your comments and your experiences of Cherrapunji.
Happy Travelling !!!

North East Trip - Dawki and Mawlynnong

Hey All,

First trip in the new year had to be exciting and unique, hence we decided to explore the beauty of North East - a mix of famous and secret escapes. We planned a week long trip to Meghalaya and Assam that covered Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Kaziranga and Guwahati. One of the most memorable trips of my life. We boarded early morning flights from Delhi to Guwahati and hired a taxi to Shillong. Rest of our day was at leisure and we spent time researching more about Dawki and Mawlynnong.

Day 1 of our trip started and we were super charged up. We hired a taxi for a day covering Dawki and Mawlynnong. Once can reach Dawki by road in 3 hours as it stands at a distance of approx 80 kms from Shillong. Road conditions half way are patchy and not so good. Dawki is a town in West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya. It is on the border between India and Bangladesh. The major tourist attraction of this place is the famous Umngot river that flows between India and Bangladesh. The water is so crystal clear that one can see the bottom of the river even at deep spots. Boating in itself is an experience here that refreshes one in and out. The boat takes you to an island (which isn't visible during the monsoons as the river is flooded) wherein one can eat maggie and savour a sip of tea/ coffee. The famous suspension bridge over the Umngot is used for coal transportation and was build by the britishers. The boat ride is for an hour and takes you for a round trip. One needs to bargain well in terms of money and it can vary from Rs 500-700 for the boat ride. Couple of pictures from this place are appended at the bottom.

After exploring Dawki, we left for Mawlynnong- the cleanest village of Asia. This village is in the East Khasi hills of the Meghalaya district and is known for its cleanliness. This place is also referred to as God's own garden :) We spent about 2 hours in this village exploring all the neat pathways, admiring the beauty of the gardens and ate lunch as well. Majority of the things are made out of bamboo. Small dustbins are also hanging at every corner that reminds this place to be litter free. We also explored a tree house built in this village. On the way to see this village, we stopped by the famous Living root bridge. It was a short trek to have a glimpse of this bridge and we were left awestruck. There is a stream of river that flows underneath however it was dry partly during our visit. After posing pictures we left to see another natural wonder in this village - the balancing rock. A natural and strange phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.

Surprised by nature's wonders we left from Mawlynnong around 6 in the evening for Shillong. Embracing the memories and revisiting the pictures clicked, we logged off for our day.

Entry Fees for Living Root Bridge - Rs 10 per person
Entry Fees for Balancing Rock       - Rs 10 per person
Entry Fees for Tree House              - Rs 20 per person
Entry Fees for Car to Mawlynnong- Rs 50

Couple of pics for you.
Bird's Eye View of the Umngot river - Dawki

Suspension Bridge over the Umngot River

Clear Transparent Water
Balancing Rock

Tree House - Mawlynnong
Living Root Bridge - Picture Courtesy Flickr

Happy Travelling!!!