Double Decker Living Root Bridge is an example of the miraculous amalgamation of man and nature working together. As surprising as it may sound, living root bridges aren’t built but they are grown using the roots of Indian rubber tree that is native to the northeast region of India. They are unique to the state of Meghalaya and Nagaland. As far as the history can trace, this man-made natural marvel was invented by the Khasi and Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya who learnt to guide the young roots to form a bridge using different strategies.
These bridges can take as long as 15 years to get sturdy enough to handle the weight of people crossing it but once they are functional, they can sustain the wear and tear up to 500 years. People say that the Double Decker Living Root Bridge is 200 years old. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Everyone, once in their lifetime, must see this beautiful dance of roots intermingling to make a natural bridge that gets stronger with time.
Keep on reading to know how you can reach double decker living root bridge from Cherrapunji.
How to reach Double Decker Living Root Bridge from Cherrapunji?
This blog is the sequel to Become One With Nature on a Budget Tour to Cherrapunji. In our last blog, we have explained various ways by which you can reach Cherrapunji. This blog will explain to you how can reach Double Decker Living Root Bridge from Cherrapunji.
The hike to Double Decker Living Root Bridge starts from a village called Tyrna. You can either hike up and down the same day or you can stay here for a night or for as many days as you like!
We stayed in this village for two nights while wishing to stay here for longer. The place was abundantly green and clean. We never saw any village in India as clean as this one. The villagers here are also very helpful and polite. Most of them are Christians and can speak English.
We would especially like to mention Lum Lang, our host in Tyrna. He has a guest house and big heart. He made our stay so special.
To know how we reached Tyrna from Cherrapunji, keep on reading.
How to reach Tyrna from Cherrapunji?
Once you are in Cherrapunji, you can either take a private taxi to Tyrna, which will charge around ₹500 – ₹800 or you can take a shared sumo. Shared sumos run across Meghayala but they have fixed timings and pick and drop stations. Plus, in a remote village like Tyrna, the shared sumo frequents only twice in a day. In the morning, the shared sumo starts from Tyrna around 6 a.m. and in the evening, it comes back around 5 p.m.
The drive from Cherrapunji to Tyrna is quite exquisite. I couldn’t even blink my eye for a second. I could feel my lungs filling up with fresh oxygen and my mind, capturing all the beauty that it could.
Where to stay in Tyrna?
Since Tyrna is a small village, the only option to stay there is in a homestay. Before coming to Tyrna, we already had a word with Lum Lang. He has a homestay in Tyrna. We got his number from Meghalaya Tourism’s office. This guy was so helpful and polite. I can’t over the fact that people like him are still keeping the feeling of compassion alive. He surely made our hike to Double Decker Living Root Bridge a lot easier and memorable.
The Tyrna homestay cost us ₹150 p.p. We also chose to have our dinner prepared by Lum Lang, which cost us ₹100 p.p.
I’ll try to describe my experience of staying in the village but excuse me if I can’t justify.
All the houses or rooms in the village were made of wood, so, was our house. It had the most exotic view. It was just GREEN! When the sun went down, the alleys were lighted-up by luminescent fireflies. It was the first time that I had seen fireflies. Imagine the level of excitement.
The village didn’t receive electricity for two weeks, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because there wasn’t any light that made the night sky all the more, beautiful? No, that’s not the word.
Put simply, it was out of the world.
The next morning, we took some guidance from Lum Lang and started our hike to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge.
Hike to Double Decker Living Root Bridge
Double Decker Living Root Bridges belong to a village called Nongriat, which is approximately 3 km or 3500 steps away from Tyrna (the starting point of the trek).
It is advisable that you start the hike to the double decker living root bridge early in the morning, around 7 a.m. so that you can also visit the rainbow waterfall and come back on the same day. If you don’t wish to come back on the same day. You can also get a homestay in Nongriat.
Like we mentioned, the hike to the living root bridge is nothing but 3500 steps (steps of a staircase), you need to be in the best shape to complete it. We didn’t take any guide with us because we read on the Internet that the path is well-marked and it was.
While we were descending the stairs, the only thought in our mind was, how even we will be able to climb all these stairs? Until the greenery hit us. Oh, that whiff of fresh air! The pathway to Nongriat was full of exotic trees and butterflies. I still can’t forget that overwhelming of being so close to nature.
After walking for an hour or so, we saw a board leading towards Long living root bridge. That is when we realised that there’s not only one but many living root bridges during the hike.
We went towards the long living root bridge and after 5 mins we saw a ticket counter. They only charged ₹10 p.p. as an entry fee. As soon as we saw the bridge beautifully handing amidst this beautiful backdrop, we couldn’t control our excitement. The bridge was above a waterfall!! It was almost magical until we stepped on to the bridge, then it was totally magical. We couldn’t even believe it’s real (it’s the not the only time I am saying that. The whole experience was full of magical elements.)
Carrying on from there but he had to. If this was so surreal, we couldn’t imagine how wonderful the double decker living root bridge would be.
During the hike we also remember seeing small villages, shops selling food items and energy drinks, a church and yes, two long and unstable metal suspension bridges.
The metal suspension bridges looked so terrifying that I (Devanshi) was unconsciously and inaudibly mumbling, “Hey bhagwan, hey bhagwan,” while crossing them. Yes, it was very terrifying. They were on a pretty good height and looking down was every acrophobic’s worst nightmare. And dayum, yeah, I crossed it. Phew! “Jaan mein jaan aayi.” However, the scenery from above those bridges was too beautiful to describe. We saw incredible shades of turquoise. How could it even be real?
Saving some awe for the double decker living root bridge, we again carried on.
After walking two and a half hours continuously from Tyrna, we finally spotted a board that directed us towards the double decker living root bridge. We walked for another 2 mins and voila, we were there. We paid the entry fee and went straight for worshipping the magnificence.
“Oh my God! This can’t be real,” the only thing we thought. Imagine, these huge, strong, living root bridges that the world talks about, are in front of you. It felt so exclusive when we stepped onto them and touched the roots. It was precious! We couldn’t think of anything during that moment. We lived that one hour of our lives in the present, deprived of any stress belonging to past or future. That sound of the flowing water, crashing in a natural pool beside the bridge. Fish leisurely swimming. The time had seemed to have taken a pause.
We spent enough time there to capture everything in our memories and camera. Though it was hard to say goodbye, we had to continue our journey to the rainbow waterfall.
The Rainbow Waterfall was the highlight of the whole trek, which we will talk about in our next blog. We really can’t contain the eagerness. 😊
We hope that you liked reading our blog about the double decker living root bridge and we wish that we were able to help you.
Feel free to reach us at email@example.com if you have any confusion or question about reaching the double decker living root bridge from Cherrapunji.
Thank you for reading the blog.
Devanshi and Gaurav