Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sohra (Cherrapunjee)

Sohra (previously known as Cherrapunjee) and nearby Mawsynram, both regions in Shillong are two of the wettest places in the world. Post-monsoons these valleys hold awe-inspiring sights consisting of lush green valleys, gorgeous hills and staggeringly beautiful waterfalls. This one, my favorite by a narrow margin, is called Nohkalikai, which according to Lonely Planet is the fourth highest in the world.
Our guide insisted that this one is called the "Seven Sisters" falls, but I am sure there is a nicer local name to it.


This one is called the Mawsmai falls.

We were also privileged that on the one night we stayed at Sohra, the sky completely cleared up revealing a brilliant night sky.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Root bridges of Meghalaya


I've been late to post about my trip to Meghalaya. One of the most remarkable features that we encountered in the Khasi hills of this state are these living root bridges. In a practice perfected by the Khasi tribe, the growth of the secondary roots of rubber trees are guided by the use of betel-nut trunks to form, over the span of decades, bridges that can be used by humans to cross streams and rivers. You've got to see them to believe that this is even possible. To me, not only was the geo-engineering aspect marvelous, but it was heartening to see a community's long-term stake in its environment. The picture above was from a bridge near Mawlynnong. Notice that they even managed to shape the hand-railings! Near Cherrapunjee, there was also this fantastic double-decker bridge.