- 10 Jul. - 15 Jul.
- 09 Jul. - 14 Jul.
- Feel the might of the monsoon
- Marvel at the Living Bridges designed to withstand the torrents
- Bathe in waterfalls and lagoons
- Visit Mawphlang`s Sacred Forest
- Relax in the charming hill station of Shillong.
Day 1: Depart from Delhi or Kolkata for internal flight to Guwahati, Assam. Your guide and driver will greet you at airport for transfer to Shillong. Freshen up, then take a walk around the busy bazaar getting a feel for this modern mini-metropolis in the hills. Take your pick from a selection of excellent restaurants and spend the rest of the evening at ease. Overnight in Shillong. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 2: Known as the ‘Scotland of the East’, Meghalaya and its capital, Shillong, is one of India’s hidden paradises. After a leisurely breakfast, a day of sight-seeing in Shillong – visit Shillong Peak and take in panaromic views of the city. Move on to Ward Lake and the nearby botanical garden. Grab a bite at one of Shillong`s many food stops. Later in the day, watch the famous archers of Shillong, as they fire their arrows across a pitch into bamboo-like cylinders. The city is abuzz with people betting on the outcome. Enjoy dinner and the nightlife of Shillong. Overnight in Shillong. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 3: Set off early for Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on Earth. Drive through Meghalaya’s rolling hills, enjoying sublime views of its craggy cliff-faces and rugged flora. Arrive in time to experience the buzz of the once-in-8-day market. Set off for the Cherrapunjee Resort, tucked away in the Southeastern Khasi hills, stopping en-route at the numerous breathtaking waterfalls. Relax with chai and snacks in serene surroundings. After resting, take a gentle walk through the local Khasi villages, learn about the local culture and customs. Return for a delicious evening meal and look out over the plains of Bangladesh. Overnight in Cherrapunjee. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 4: After a filling breakfast, embark on what must be one of the most spectacular hikes in the world. Walk along the meandering edge of the cliff face and then start the descent downwards, trekking through the lush green vegetation. Passing small villages on the way, you will be awestruck by the phenomenal Living Root Bridges.
This unique climate is home to the remarkable Indian rubber tree (ficus elastica) whose incredible properties were discovered by the War-Khasis. They coaxed the roots of these trees across the streams forming these amazing natural bridges. In order to direct the roots in the desired direction, betel nut tree trunks, sliced in the middle for their entire length, are hollowed out and positioned according to the requirement of the bridge.
The thin and long tender roots are then passed through these hollowed out betel nut tree trunks. The roots start growing towards the directed end. When they reach the other end of the stream or river, they are allowed to take root in the soil. This process can take up to 15 years, and these bridges can tolerate some 50 people. The most spectacular is the Double Decker Bridge in Nongriat. What better setting for your picnic lunch.
Start the climb back up, stopping off at one of the natural pools for a swim. Wander back through the villages dotted along the hillside back to the Cherrapunjee Resort. Rest your weary limbs and tuck into a well-earned meal. Overnight in Cherrapunjee. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 5: Free day to relax and enjoy the monsoon experience. Optional suggested treks in surrounding area or bathe in waterfalls and lagoons. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 6: Enjoy a delicious breakfast. Set off for Mawphlang, site of the Sacred Forest. Still revered by locals and an ancient burial site, the Sacred Forest is a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna, with an abundance of aroids, pipers, fern-allies and orchids. Our guide will give you privileged access to this ancient site. Continue onwards to Shillong. Spend the rest of the day exploring Shillong`s bustling street, do a bit of souvenir shopping or simply unwind and relax. Overnight in Shillong. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 7: After breakfast, transfer to Guwahati Airport by jeep for return flight to Delhi or Kolkata.
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