Jun 29th, 2023
Meghalaya has an abundance of natural beauty comprising of spectacular waterfalls, each with their own mesmerizing trait, rolling green hills as far as the eye can see, caves with their own secrets that stretch for miles and multiple trails that can challenge even the most seasoned of trekking enthusiasts.
You probably have already heard of the famous 3600 steps to the Double Decker Living Root Bridges in the village of Nongriat. But did you know Meghalaya is also home to one of the most adrenaline pumping treks in the North Eastern States. The trek comprises of man-made bamboo bridges tied with cane ropes that are strategically placed along the edge of the mountain ridges and over the roaring river below. This is the Mawryngkhang Trek, popularly known as the most dangerous trek in Meghalaya. It is located in the Pynursla Tehsil of East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, India. Wahkhen is 54km from state capital Shillong on the National highway Shillong-Dawki road.
The trail runs along the mountain cliff alongside the Umrew River until it finally makes its way to the top of a huge single rock which is known as the U Mawryngkhang Stone. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete the trek. This trek is not only popular for it’s scary trail but also for the legend surrounding it.
The legend says that U Mawryngkhang fell in love with a beautiful stone named Ms. Kthiang from another kingdom but another huge Stone named U Mawpator was also in love with her. That led to a war between the two of them — U Mawpator broke U Mawryngkhang’s left arm but U Mawryngkhang defeated U Mawpator and his head fell off the deep gorge which can be seen even today. Although U Mawryngkhang lost his arm, he won the love of his life!
The experience of this trek is unlike any other in Meghalaya. You will start by descending to the river Umrew below using a rough trail created by the local villagers. This part of the trail is surrounded by paddy fields and gives you a panoramic view of the Wankhen Village. Once you reach the river below, you will come across the first of the bamboo bridges that helps you cross the gushing river. As you make your way up towards the peak of the mountain you will be mesmerized by the natural beauty of the place. On your left will be the river flowing through giant boulders creating mini waterfalls and on your right will be the edge of the mountain beautifully decorated with mother nature’s flora and fauna. There will be several small waterfalls that are flowing right on the edge of the mountains as you trek.
The highlight of the trek without a doubt is the bamboo skywalk right before you reach the peak. This walkway is several metres above the river below and is supported by three bamboo beams cleverly engineered to support the entire weight of the bridge and the people walking across it. There is nothing between you and the river below except the bamboo bridge keeping you up. This is without a doubt the most challenging part of the trek.
After you get across the skywalk you will reach the peak or U Mawryngkhang. When you reach the end you are rewarded by the most hypnotizing view. Lush green mountains on all sides with multiple waterfalls and a crystal clear river wrapping the entire scenery together. The trek is still not on the offbeat map of Meghalaya and the main advantage of that means you will be able to enjoy the serenity of the place all by yourself.
After you finish the trek, do try the local tea and snacks from the shops near the entrance of the trek.
“If you wish to do this guided trek from our Meghalaya trip packages , do join us for our Meghalaya Offbeat Group Departure from 15th September to 21st September.”