MEGHALAYA – SHNONGPDENG #2

Bucket List Ticked Off, Travel

But alas! within 1 hour of the journey our vehicle broke down in the middle of nowhere… We were really disappointed to know that we will not be able to complete our itinerary for Day 02. However, with some jugaad on the way, we managed to reach our endpoint ‘Shnongpdeng’.

Shnongpdeng is a beautiful place in East Jaintia Hills where the serene river Umngot flows whose water is so clear that you can literally see the rocks, fishes swimming and river beds underwater. The water in the river is so clean that the boat sailing gives out the look of them floating in thin air. It also has a campsite to die for, just beside the flowing Umngot River.

We were allocated our camps by the side of the river. To make it up for the loss of the day our tour guide with the locals, arranged for a bonfire evening in between the boulders and chilling cold beside the Umngot River. The fire was started, dinner was served, and the jamming started with slow travel songs creating the vibe. We soaked ourselves with the warmth of the bonfire while stargazing in the clear sky that we generally miss in the hustle-bustle of the city life. After a while, we crashed in our respective tents.

The very next day, I woke up at around 4:30 AM, due to the cold and sound of the flowing water. Where was I? Oh yes, we were camping at Shnongpdeng. The moment I peeked out of my tent, I was blown away by the humongous mountains greeting us from not very far. The sunrise was exhilarating and the sound of the river flowing nearby was just heavenly. I came out of the tent and soaked myself with all the positive beautiful energy around. You can literally hear the gushing of the river water, chirping of the birds and feel the wind caressing your face while you admire the beauty of the whole setup.

Sunrise at Shnongpdeng

Later, around 08:30-09:00 AM, the activities started. Till then, we were done with our daily routine and breakfast. Shnongpdeng offers a wide range of adventure activities – Snorkelling, Cliff Jumping, Boating, Kayaking etc. I took a boating ride and Cliff Jumping. At the starting point, we were given life jackets and we boarded the boats. We sailed across the beautiful river and admired the clear waters of Umngot. I had never seen such crystal clear blue water ever and the very excitement of seeing the riverbeds and boulders inside water exponentially increased as we went further into the river. We sailed some more and returned to our Cliff Jump point.

Cliff Jump was very terrifying at first. The water was so clear even from such height (8-10 feet) we could see the huge rock inside the waters. The view of the rocks was so terrifying, I stood there for 5-8 minutes to see everyone jump fearlessly into the water and swim to the shore happily due to the adrenaline hit. I was taking my time to absorb the fear, but that rock inside was laughing straight at my face! After a few moments, unable to make up my mind to jump into the river, I asked my guide to push me inside the waters. And he did! WHOAA! I had my first Cliff Jump (rather Cliff-Push) experience! It was an experience like never before. I loved it.

Later we returned with another boat to the starting point. Changed our wet clothes, stuffed ourselves with some Bread-Omelette and started towards the Dawki-Tamabil Border Crossing (India-Bangladesh). We greeted the Indian Army posted there and quickly clicked some pictures.

Bangladesh ko Chu ke nikal gaye hum toh!

From there, with the sense of accomplishment of ticking off another Bucketlist item (Cliff Jumping), I started towards the Pynursula Root Bridge Trek. It was a small trek and reached the starting point by 03:30-04:00 PM. It was a 30 minutes trek down and a 1-hour trek up. The living root bridge was beautiful. It was truly a wonder of nature. The locals have done a great deal to preserve the beauty of the bridges and the valley as well. When we reached the top after climbing 1200 steps (approx), we were exhausted to death. That night had one of the best dinners at Ka Bri War Resort, we reached the Mawlynnong village and spent the night in a homestay at the cleanest village in Asia.

TO BE CONTINUED…

18 thoughts on “MEGHALAYA – SHNONGPDENG #2

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