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Ten Interesting Facts Nobody Told You About The Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji

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Perhaps the most striking feature of Cherrapunji Tourism is its fascinating Living Root Bridges that have been handcrafted by many generations of Khasi tribes who devised the ingenious technique to make these natural wonders.

Among the many living root bridges, it’s the Double-Decker Bridge that speaks to the sophistication and engineering of the indigenous people of the region.

Living Root Bridges

  1. The Living Root Bridges are grown from the secondary roots of rubber trees known as Ficus Elastica, the roots of this tree grow above the surface of the ground, hence making it easy to carve bridges from them.
  2. The Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji were first constructed by the forefathers of the Khasi tribes as a permanent solution as the bamboo bridges could not withstand the heavy rainfall.
  3. Unlike man-made bridges, these Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji can survive for up to 500 years and support as many as 50 people at a time.
  4. It can take anywhere from 10-15 years to grow these bridges, and with each passing year, they get stronger.
  5. Once the skeletal structure of the bridge is formed, the locals put stones on between the roots to make a comfortable walking path.
  6. The Khasi tribes use various techniques such as pulling, twisting, temporary bamboo structures etc. to guide young roots in the necessary direction to achieve the desired structure.
  7. The most famous Living Root Bridges is the Umshiang Double-Decker Bridge. These are two bridges made from using the root of the same tree, stack on top of each other.
  8. Some root bridges measure up to 100 feet long.
  9. The Living Root Bridges have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  10. There are many Living Root Bridges scattered around Meghalaya, but only 11 are functional.

Living Root Bridges

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So, there were a list of 10 fascinating facts about the Living Root Bridges if Cherrapunji, let I know in the comments below if we missed anything. By now we are sure you must be dying to see these surreal Living Root Bridges. So, here is your guide on everything Cherrapunji, it’s a list of everything you need to know before planning your memorable vacation.

Living Root Bridges

Must read: Cherrapunji: Everything You Need to Know about the Wettest Place on Earth

How to Reach Cherrapunji

  • Air: The nearest International airport to Cherrapunji is located 181 km away in the city of Guwahati. From there you can book a cab from Paltan Bazaar and make your way to Cherrapunji.The closest domestic airport is located in Shillong approx. 54 km away, however, the airport receives flights only form Kolkota that too at the very low frequency.
  • Rail: The nearest railway station to Cherrapunji is located in Guwahati, which is connected to major parts of India via a well-established rail network. From Guwahati, you can book a cab from Paltan Bazaar and make your way to Cherrapunji.
  • Road: There is easy road access to Guwahati from Shillong. In fact, it’s the most common way to reach the city. You can either drive or book a cab. The latter is recommended as the local drivers are familiar with the route and can navigate the winding and slippery routes with ease.
  • Bus: State-run buses ply from the Sohra Bus Stand located in the Bara bazaar area of Shillong. There are daily bus services that run at all times of the day.

How To Reach-Living Root Bridges

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Best Time to visit Cherrapunji

 Since it rains in the region all year long, it’s essential to note the Best Time to Visit Cherrapunji. And while you may still encounter rainfall, it won’t be as bad as saying the monsoon season.

  • Summer (March-May): Best time to visit Cherrapunji as the region receives relatively low rainfall. Bear in mind that May is the wettest month of the year, so it’s best to leave before then.
  • Monsoon (June-September): Heavy rainfalls coupled with low temperatures make this the most unfavourable time to visit Cherrapunji.
  • Winter (November-February): If you can brave temperatures between 5- degree Celsius with occasional showers then winters is the excellent time to visit Cherrapunji.

Suggested: Best Season to Visit Northeast India: Our Complete Guide

The landscape is picturesque, and the sights are breathtakingly beautiful this time of the year.

Living Root Bridges

Places to visit in Cherrapunji

Meghalaya is a haven for natural wonders and the list of this attraction in endless. So, it’s essential to have a list of places in mind while you browse for Cherrapunji. That way you can make choices you packages that include most if not all the places you would like to see.es

Here, is a list of top places we recommend you must visit when in Cherrapunji.

 1. Living Root Bridges

Root Bridges of Cherrapunji are one of the regions most fascinating natural wonders. In fact, these bridges have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and have given a boost to Cherrapunji Tourism bringing much-needed revenue and business to the region.

There are many living roots bridges scattered around Meghalaya but only are in commission. These bridges that can take up to years to form may last up to 500 years can support as many as 50 people at any given time.

Living Root Bridges

Also read: 13 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In North East

2. Double Decker Living Root Bridge

Although there are many beautiful Cherrapunji Attraction, the most fascinating among them are the original Double-Decker Bridges that are constructed from the roots of the same rubber tree and are stacked on top of each other.

The Umshiang Double-Decker Bridge is one of the most famous bridges of its kind in the region. The best way to get to the bridge is a trek from Cherrapunji. It’s a day-long trek that may take up to 9 hours to completes and involves a lot of walking up and down steep pathways.

Double Deck -Living Root Bridges

3. Cherrapunji Market

Cherrapunji Market-Living Root Bridges

Shopping is an essential part of any vacation. So, it is essential that while browsing through Northeast Tour Packages, you select ones that include a visit to the Cherrapunji main market where you can stock up on impeccably made local arts and handicrafts.

  • How to get there: Walk
  • When: Visit the market on the weekly market day when most stalls and shops are open.
  • Ideal For: Anyone
  • What to buy: Local Arts and Handicrafts

4. Don Bosco Shrine

Don Bosco Shrine-Living Root Bridges

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This famous shrine dedicated to Saint Don Bosco is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Cherrapunji. The Shrine houses the relics of Saint Don Bosco himself.

  • Approx Distance from Cherrapunji: 3.2 km
  • Approx Travel Time: 10 m
  • Timings: 9 am to 4 pm
  • How to get there: Walk, Drive, Cab
  • Ideal For: Anyone

5. Seven Sisters Waterfalls

Seven Sister Waterfall-Living Root Bridges

As far as Places to Visit in Cherrapunji go, these fascinating and symbolic seven sisters should be on top of everyone’s list.

  • Approx Distance from Cherrapunji: 4.5 km
  • Approx Travel Time: 10 m
  • How to get there: Trek, Drive, Cab
  • Ideal For: Anyone

Recommended: Top 20 Places To Visit In North East- The Land Of Beautiful Seven Sisters

6. Limestone Caves

LimeStone Cave-Living Root Bridges

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Mawsmai and Arwah Caves are limestone caves. The cave formations are naturally bent in ways that people can easily enter and explore the cave interiors.

  • Where: Mawsmai and Arwah Caves
  • Approx Distance from Cherrapunji: 4.3 km
  • Approx Travel Time: 10 m
  • How to get there: Trek, Drive, Cab
  • Ideal For: Anyone

7. Thangkharang Park and Khynrem Falls

Thangkharang Park and Khynrem Falls-Living Root Bridges

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Another popular attraction in Cherrapunji, the Thangkharang Park is one of the best places in the city to catch some great views on Bangladesh and the stunning Khynrem Falls. One of the most famous attractions within the park is the Khoh Ramrah rock aka the Shiva rock. The rock is situated opposite the park’s main entry gate and is in the form of a lingam.

  • Approx Distance from Cherrapunji: 10.3 km
  • Approx Travel Time: 28 m
  • How to get there: Trek, Drive, Cab
  • Ideal For: Anyone

8. Khoh Ramhah/Pillar Rock

Khoh Ramhah/Pillar Rock-Living Root Bridges

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The Khoh Ramrah rock or Shiva Rock is a popular attraction located within the Thangkharang Park. The rock is placed opposite the main entry gate and is in the form of a lingam.

  • Approx Distance from Cherrapunji: 9.9 km
  • Approx Travel Time: 27 m
  • How to get there: Trek, Drive, Cab
  • Ideal For: Anyone

Things to do in Cherrapunji

When you are done visiting all the mesmerising Tourist Places in Cherrapunji, you may want to indulge in some thrilling outdoor activities that our family friend and a great way to explore the natural and abundant landscape of the Meghalaya. While you can do these activities on your own, you may want to consider Meghalaya Tour Packages that include some of these activities. This way everything you do will be supervised, and you can enjoy yourself without any hassle or concerns.

1. Trekking and Nature Walk

 Trekking and Nature Walk-Living Root Bridges

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  • Where: Umshiang Double-decker Living Root Bridge
  • When: Summer or Winter season as there is considerable less rainfall
  • Ideal For: Anyone with reasonably physical strength and ability
  • Things to carry: Comfortable Shoes, Rain Coats, Walking Sticks, Water, Food, Headlights, Torches etc.

2. Camping

Camping-Living Root Bridges

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  • Where: La-Fuma Dome Tents, Eco Park, Saimilka Park, Seven Sisters Waterfalls
  • When: Summer and Winter season
  • Approximate cost for two: INR 1000/- Onwards
  • Ideal For: Anyone
  • Things to carry: Your sleeping bags, torches, warm blankets, water, food, animal spray, bug spray etc

Read: 12 Tips to Remember Before you plan your Holiday in North East India

3. Bird watching

Bird Watching-Living Root Bridges

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  • Where: you can spot diverse and exotic bird species anywhere in Cherrapunji, especially if you are on a trek through the forest around Khasi Hills.
  • Birds you may spot : Chestnut-tailed Starlings, Grey Sibias
  • Best season for Bird Watching: March-April, during nesting season

4. River Canyoning

  • Where: Umngot River
  • Best Time for River Canyoning: November to February
  • Average Duration: 8-9 hours
  • Distance Covered: approximately 18 km
  • Ideal For: Anyone

5. Caving

Caving-Living Root Bridges

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Mawsmai and Arwah Caves are limestone caves. The cave formations are naturally bent in ways that people can easily enter and explore the cave interiors. Explorers and adventurers have found many fossils inside the caves.

Certain sections of the caves have stalactites and stalagmites formations and have a stream flowing through them. The stream is said to have bone-chilling water, so, make sure you stay away. The caves have many paintings carved on their walls that date back many centuries. The caves are an important part of the characteristics of Cherrapunji and hold within them years of history and culture.

  • Where: Mawsmai Cave, Arwah Cave
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • How to reach: Trek, Drive, Cab, Bus
  • Ideal For: Anyone

Hotels in Cherrapunji

1. D Cloud Guest House

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 1.4 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 865/- onwards
  • Address: Sohra-Shella Road, Mawpunkyrtiang, Saitsohpen, Lower Cherra, Opposite to Fire and Emergency Station, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 076428 34434
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5

2. Hiraba Homestay

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 1 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 1500/- onwards
  • Address: Mawkisyiem-Sohra, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 094367 10673
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5

3.  Serene Homestay

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 12.7 km
  • Address: Nongriat, Meghalaya 793111
  • Contact Number: 096152 52655
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

4. Four Seasons Eco Lodge

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 3 km
  • Address: Eco Park, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 7936111
  • Contact Number: 076280 71725
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5

5. 7 Sisters Falls View Inn

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 4.2 km
  • Address: Nohsngithiang View, Mawblang, Cherrapunji, 793108
  • Contact Number: 098625 42945
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5/5

Resorts in Cherrapunji

1. Cherrapunji Holiday Resort

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 14.4 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 1700/- Onwards
  • Address: Laitkynsew Village, Cherrapunji (Sohra), Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 087948 03833
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

2. Sa-I-Mika Park

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 5.9 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 1200/- Onwards
  • Address: Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 098630 20718
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

3. Coniferous Resort

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 1.3 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 1600/- onwards
  • Address: Sohra-Shella Road, Mawpunkirtiang Saitsohpen Lower Cherrapunji, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 094361 78164
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

4. Polo Orchid Resort

  • Distance from Cherrapunji: 4.5 km
  • Average cost per night on twin sharing basis: INR 7000/- onwards
  • Address: Mawphlang Mawsmai, Near Nohsngithiang, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya 793108
  • Contact Number: 087947 01637
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5/5

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