The East Khasi Hills, site of the many living root bridges constructed by the Khasi tribe have one quite major claim to fame.
In my opinion, apart from the living root bridges, the main reason to come to this part of Meghalaya is to meet the fantastic Khasi people who populate these hills which sit majestically overlooking the plains of Bangladesh.
The place I called home during that time was a lovely little village called Mawlynnong which I had heard about from a Canadian guy called James Perry who lived in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong with his Khasi wife and kids.
My first visit to Mawlynnong was a beautiful eye opener and one that, looking back now with the benefit of hindsight, I can identify as a pivotal cross roads in my life that will live with me forever. About 4 extremely bumpy hours later (the road was still under construction) and after our midway tea stop at the village of Pynursla, we arrived at what looked to me like an exclusive garden centre from back home in the UK.
All Khasi villages are connected by a network of stone pathways known as the King’s way which traditionally kept the local betel nut trade alive with Shillong.
When I tell people about this part of India, I can’t help drawing an analogy with the appearance of some of the sets in Lord of the Rings. In the dry season, women come to this place to wash their clothes and a trip here at sunrise is an unforgetable experience. Lesser know than their cousins the living root bridges but equally as fascinating are the Khasi’s living root ladders. The Khasi villages in this area sit atop a great plateau providing a comfortably cool climate. Believe it or not, the pathway you can see in the photo above has been suspended from roots and branches attached to the cliff face on the left of the image.
A few days trekking around these hills will bring you in contact with some lovely people and beautiful places. I went out hunting and fishing with Henry and his friends on many occasions in this magnificently wild landscape. When I originally went to Mawlynnong, the handful of foreigners who had previously visited were mainly missionaries. During my first trip there, I was asked by the village council for suggestions on how they could attract tourists to come to their corner of Meghalaya.


Well, it appears that 5 years is a long time in NE India, since there have been some interesting developments in the Khasi Hills since I was last there. There’s no question that Mawlynnong IMO still has the best looking bridge nearby, but make sure you visit it first thing in the morning or last thing at night if you want to experience it the way I did.
The monsoon in Meghalaya is generally between May and October, but it has fluctuated recently. We were in the East Khasi hills a few weeks ago on a family holiday and it does seem that tourists have discovered this part of India. The Living Root Tree Bridges is still fascinating but go there before the huge day tripper tour buses land up.
Hi, does anyone know any book about root, rope, vine, bamboo and other traditinal natural bridges? I belong from Mawlynnong pure khasi and for the first I know Gupta take advantage Our khasi community. Hallo, thank you for your visit and for more information and help for more unexplored and new places you contact me. Fantastic pictures and story Timothy…I have also heard about it but never been there.
We had a wonderful weekend there while we were living in Shillong for 2 years 06-08 and sent our visitors to stay there too.
Meghalaya has rich traditional heritage but i am a shame to say that our government has done nothing to explored the rich heritage that we have.
The true reason for writing this post is because the link to my blog you posted above is to my old one, which I haven’t used in year.
I am really proud that such a place is nestled away in our neck of the woods and I wish the other Khasis around can take some lessons in eco-preservation from a group of people who have learnt to live it instead of just talking about it.
I lived in India for over a year and visited many places but Meghalaya is one of the most magical places on earth. We have just arrived in Guwahati and are about to embark on the journey down to Nongiat and (hopefully!) Mawlynnong.


And I do sincerely hope that the local village people are able to figure out how to make things sustainable on their own before they get over-run by processed food and commercial alcohol.
We need to educate ourselves about our heritage and then learn how to promote and market it. We are not talking high quality blogging here ?? So perhaps you should put a warning there as well, so people know what they are clicking on. I fell totally in love with everything about it, so much so that I named my daughter Meghalaya, in honour of that beautiful place where she was conceived. Things have changed now and there are fairly brilliant roads all over Megahalaya as well as a large amount of trucks. The bridge a short walk from there was the only root bridge we got to see during our stay in Meghalaya. We participate in different Travel Fairs to promote the weather, Living Root Bridges and culture spending good amount of money. Perhaps when we visit india again at the end of the year we might revisit the place and see other bridges. Put in effort from your end to create a website and give authentic information about the place.
Be an active promoter yourself and you would not have time to look what others are not doing.
Sangma wanted to come and see it for herself to see if the same can be promoted by the Government. That is when they came to Riwai to take the picture of the bridge connecting Riwai to Nohwet.
The Double Decker Root Bridge was featured in 2004 Republic Day Parade for Meghalaya Tableau which won the Second Prize, it has been featured in many Meghalaya Tourism stalls in Travel & Tourism Fairs held in the metros where I myself had participated and aggressively promoted the Root Bridges.




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