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Guide To Nongriat And The Double Decker Root Bridge


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Stephani Hopkins



Welcome to the enchanting village of Nongriat, nestled deep in the heart of Meghalaya, India. If you’re looking for a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, Nongriat should be at the top of your list. This hidden gem is renowned for its living root bridges, particularly the iconic Double Decker Root Bridge.


Situated in the East Khasi Hills district, Nongriat offers a breathtaking escape into nature. Surrounded by lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear rivers, this village embodies the raw beauty of India’s northeastern region. The bridges in Nongriat are not your ordinary structures but rather living masterpieces created by nature’s own hand.


What makes Nongriat so special is the traditional art of tree shaping, practiced by the indigenous Khasi tribe for centuries. The locals have ingeniously trained the roots of rubber fig trees to form sturdy bridges that can withstand the test of time. Unlike conventional bridges made of wood or metal, the living root bridges of Nongriat gain strength and durability as the roots continue to grow and intertwine.


Visiting Nongriat is like stepping into a fairytale. The natural surroundings, along with the rhythmic sounds of the flowing rivers and chirping birds, create a serene and magical atmosphere. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply in need of a peaceful retreat, Nongriat has something extraordinary to offer.


In the following sections, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about visiting Nongriat and experiencing the wonder of the Double Decker Root Bridge. From how to get there and what to expect, to tips for an unforgettable adventure, we’ll ensure you make the most of your trip to this hidden paradise.


Getting to Nongriat

Getting to Nongriat requires a bit of effort and patience, but the journey is well worth it. Here are the options you can consider:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Nongriat is the Shillong Airport, also known as Umroi Airport. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Cherrapunjee, which is approximately a two-hour drive. From Cherrapunjee, you can start your trek to Nongriat.
  2. By Road: If you prefer a road trip, you can reach Nongriat by taking a taxi or a private vehicle from Shillong. The journey takes around three hours. Alternatively, you can take a shared taxi or bus from Guwahati, which is approximately a five-hour drive from Nongriat.
  3. By Public Transport: Buses and shared taxis are available from major cities in Meghalaya, such as Shillong and Guwahati, to Cherrapunjee. Once you reach Cherrapunjee, you can hire a local guide or join a trekking group to reach Nongriat.

Once you reach the village of Tyrna, which is the starting point of the trek to Nongriat, be prepared for a challenging but rewarding journey. The trek consists of approximately 3,500 steps downhill, leading you through scenic landscapes and dense forests. Make sure to carry sufficient water, snacks, and comfortable walking shoes to make the trek more enjoyable.


It is advisable to hire a local guide, as they are familiar with the terrain and will provide valuable insights about the region. They can also assist you with carrying your luggage, if needed. The trek usually takes around two to three hours, depending on your fitness level and pace.


Overall, reaching Nongriat requires a bit of planning and physical stamina, but the journey is an adventure in itself. The effort is well-rewarded with the breathtaking sights and the unique experience that awaits you in this hidden village.


Exploring Nongriat Village

Once you arrive in Nongriat village, you will be greeted by a picturesque setting and a warm welcome from the locals. Here are some of the highlights and must-see attractions in Nongriat:

  1. Living Root Bridges: Nongriat is renowned for its living root bridges, which are a marvel of engineering and nature’s ingenuity. Take your time to explore these unique structures, marveling at the intricate root designs and the seamless blending with the surrounding environment. The living root bridges are not only functional but also a testament to the sustainable practices and skills of the Khasi tribe.
  2. Waterfalls: Nongriat is blessed with breathtaking waterfalls that add to its natural charm. One of the popular waterfalls in the village is the Rainbow Falls, named after the rainbow that appears when the sunlight reflects on the cascading water. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools beneath the waterfall and embrace the serenity of the surroundings.
  3. Trekking Trails: Nongriat is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. Take advantage of the numerous trails that crisscross the village and the surrounding areas. Whether you want to hike to nearby villages or explore the dense forests and scenic landscapes, there is something for everyone. The trails offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.
  4. Local Cuisine: Indulge in the authentic flavors of the Khasi cuisine during your stay in Nongriat. Try traditional dishes like Jadoh (rice cooked with meat), Tungrymbai (fermented soybean curry), and Pukhlein (sweet pancakes). The food is prepared using organic, locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a unique and delicious culinary experience.
  5. Village Life: Immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life by interacting with the friendly villagers. Learn about their traditions, customs, and traditional practices, such as the art of weaving and pottery. Engaging with the locals will provide valuable insights into the rich cultural heritage of the Khasi tribe.

Exploring Nongriat village is a journey of discovery and appreciation for nature’s beauty and the local community’s resilience. Embrace the tranquility, indulge in the local cuisine, and let the charm of this hidden gem captivate your heart.


Living Root Bridges in Nongriat

The living root bridges of Nongriat are the main attractions that draw visitors from around the world. These extraordinary bridges are not built with bricks or stones but rather with the ingenious technique of tree shaping. The indigenous Khasi tribe has mastered this art, manipulating the roots of rubber fig trees to create sturdy and durable bridges that can withstand the test of time.


What makes these bridges truly remarkable is that they are alive and continue to grow and strengthen over the years. The roots of the trees are carefully guided over bamboo scaffolding, forming a unique network of natural bridges. As the roots grow and intertwine, they become stronger and more robust, creating a resilient structure that can withstand heavy rainfall and even earthquakes.


The living root bridges are not only functional but also harmoniously blend with the surrounding environment. Walking across these bridges is a surreal experience, as you can see the lush greenery above and the crystal-clear water flowing beneath your feet. The bridges provide scenic viewpoints and make for excellent photo opportunities.


There are several living root bridges in Nongriat, each with its own character and charm. The most famous and iconic of them all is the Double Decker Root Bridge. This remarkable bridge consists of two layers, with the lower level acting as the base and the upper level serving as the actual bridge. Walking on the Double Decker Root Bridge is like stepping into a fairytale, with the sound of birds chirping and the gushing water melodies surrounding you.


Visiting the living root bridges is not only a visual treat but also a lesson in sustainable architecture. The Khasi tribe’s traditional practices of tree shaping and maintaining these bridges without the use of modern materials showcase their deep respect for nature and the environment.


As you explore Nongriat, take the time to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of these living root bridges. Their existence is a testament to the ingenuity of human beings and the ability to coexist harmoniously with nature.


The Double Decker Root Bridge

The Double Decker Root Bridge in Nongriat is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring natural wonders you’ll encounter during your visit. This unique bridge consists of two levels, hence the name “Double Decker.” It is a masterpiece of nature and an architectural marvel created by the ingenious practices of the Khasi tribe.


The lower level of the Double Decker Root Bridge acts as a sturdy base, while the upper level forms the actual crossing. The upper level is often covered with thick foliage, providing shade and creating a surreal atmosphere as you walk across the bridge. This makes it an enchanting experience, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the lush rainforest.


To reach the Double Decker Root Bridge, you’ll need to navigate through the scenic trails and descend a multitude of steps. As you make your way, you’ll be rewarded with glimpses of vibrant greenery and the mesmerizing sound of the river flowing beneath you. Upon reaching the bridge, take a moment to admire the intricate weaving of the roots and capture the beauty of this natural marvel.


Walking on the Double Decker Root Bridge is a unique experience that evokes a sense of wonder and awe. The bridge sways slightly under your weight, reminding you of its living and breathing nature. It serves not only as a practical means of crossing the river but also as a symbol of the harmonious relationship between humans and nature.


While the Double Decker Root Bridge is a popular tourist attraction, it still maintains an air of tranquility and serenity. Take your time to soak in the surroundings, listen to the sounds of nature, and appreciate the incredible craftsmanship of this living bridge. It is truly a testament to the resourcefulness and sustainable practices of the Khasi tribe.


Visiting the Double Decker Root Bridge is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a photography enthusiast, this unique bridge offers something extraordinary to everyone. Prepare to be captivated by its beauty and amazed by the wonders of nature.


Trekking to the Double Decker Root Bridge

Trekking to the Double Decker Root Bridge in Nongriat is an exhilarating adventure that offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Meghalaya. The trek takes you through dense forests, across gushing streams, and along picturesque trails, allowing you to connect with nature every step of the way.


The starting point of the trek is the village of Tyrna, which is approximately 8 kilometers away from Nongriat. From Tyrna, you’ll descend a series of around 3,500 steps, winding your way through lush greenery and enjoying stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The steps can be steep and challenging, so it’s important to go at your own pace and take breaks as needed.


The trek to the Double Decker Root Bridge typically takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on your fitness level and pace. Along the way, you’ll encounter other beautiful living root bridges, waterfalls, and streams. These natural wonders provide perfect spots to rest and recharge, allowing you to appreciate the serene surroundings and capture memorable photographs.


It’s recommended to hire a local guide who is knowledgeable about the area and can provide valuable insights into the local culture and biodiversity. They can also share interesting stories and legends associated with the root bridges, enhancing your overall experience.


As you approach the Double Decker Root Bridge, the anticipation builds. Finally, as it comes into view, you’ll be amazed by its intricate structure and the seamless integration with the surrounding environment. Take the time to explore both levels of the bridge, marvel at the natural craftsmanship, and capture the incredible moments on camera.


While trekking, it’s essential to come prepared with comfortable walking shoes, sufficient water to stay hydrated, and energy snacks to keep you fueled. Also, be mindful of the weather conditions and dress appropriately. Remember to tread carefully and respect the natural surroundings, ensuring that you leave no trace of your visit.


Trekking to the Double Decker Root Bridge is not only an adventure but also an opportunity to connect with nature and challenge yourself physically. The breathtaking landscapes, the sounds of nature, and the sense of accomplishment make it a truly memorable experience. Embark on this trek and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Things to Do in Nongriat

Nongriat offers a variety of activities that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this village. From exploring natural wonders to experiencing local culture, here are some of the top things to do in Nongriat:

  1. Visit the Living Root Bridges: The living root bridges are the highlight of Nongriat. Take the time to explore these incredible structures, including the iconic Double Decker Root Bridge. Marvel at the intricate designs and learn about the traditional techniques used to create them.
  2. Chase Waterfalls: Nongriat is home to several stunning waterfalls. Visit the Rainbow Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, or the Seven Sisters Falls, and bask in the beauty of these natural wonders. Swim in the crystal-clear pools beneath the waterfalls and let the cascading water refresh your spirits.
  3. Trekking and Hiking: Embark on the various trekking trails that surround Nongriat. Explore the dense forests, discover hidden viewpoints, and enjoy panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes. The trek to the Double Decker Root Bridge is a must-do, but also consider venturing further to other nearby villages.
  4. Experience Local Culture: Interact with the friendly locals and learn about the rich culture and traditions of the Khasi tribe. Engage in conversations, visit local homes, and witness traditional practices such as weaving and pottery. Immerse yourself in the local way of life for a deeper understanding of the community.
  5. Indulge in Local Cuisine: Sample the delectable flavors of Khasi cuisine. Try traditional dishes such as Jadoh (meat with rice), Nakham Bitchi (dry fish chutney), or Dohneiiong (pork with black sesame). Savor the authentic tastes of Meghalaya and relish the farm-fresh ingredients used in these local delicacies.
  6. Relax and Unwind: Nongriat provides a peaceful and serene atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. Take a leisurely stroll through the village, find a quiet spot along the riverbank to read a book, or simply immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings. Let go of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace the tranquility of this hidden oasis.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a serene escape, Nongriat offers a range of experiences to suit every traveler’s interests. Embrace the natural beauty, connect with the local community, and create lasting memories in this enchanting village.


Where to Stay in Nongriat

Although Nongriat is a small village, there are a few accommodation options available for visitors looking to spend the night. It’s important to note that the village is quite remote and offers basic amenities, so it’s recommended to manage your expectations accordingly. Here are some accommodation options in Nongriat:

  1. Homestays: Staying in a local homestay is one of the best ways to experience the authentic culture and hospitality of Nongriat. The local families in the village open their homes to guests, providing a comfortable and welcoming environment. You’ll have the chance to interact with the locals, taste delicious home-cooked meals, and gain a deeper understanding of the Khasi way of life.
  2. Guesthouses: There are a few guesthouses available in Nongriat that offer modest accommodations for travelers. These guesthouses typically have basic amenities such as comfortable beds, shared bathrooms, and common areas for relaxation. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, as the number of rooms is limited.
  3. Camping: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, camping is a popular option in Nongriat. You can pitch a tent in designated camping areas and enjoy the serenity of the natural surroundings. Be sure to carry your own camping gear, including a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, and other necessities. Camping allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature and wake up to breathtaking views.

It’s worth noting that the availability of electricity and internet connectivity in Nongriat may be limited or unreliable. It’s recommended to bring portable power banks and plan accordingly to disconnect and embrace the rustic charms of the village.


When choosing your accommodation in Nongriat, consider your preferences for comfort, interactions with the local community, and the level of adventure you seek. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty and warm hospitality that Nongriat has to offer.


What to Pack for Nongriat

When preparing for your trip to Nongriat, it’s essential to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here’s a checklist of items to consider when packing for your adventure in this remote village:

  1. Hiking Shoes: Nongriat involves a fair amount of trekking and walking on uneven terrain. Invest in a good pair of sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes or trekking sandals to protect your feet and provide ample support.
  2. Appropriate Clothing: Pack lightweight and breathable clothes suitable for the tropical climate of Meghalaya. Opt for comfortable and quick-drying fabrics that allow moisture to evaporate. Don’t forget to pack a rain jacket or poncho, as Nongriat is known for sporadic downpours.
  3. Insect Repellent: The lush greenery of Nongriat also means the possibility of encountering mosquitoes and other insects. Carry an effective insect repellent to protect yourself from bug bites.
  4. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by packing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. The trek to Nongriat involves walking in exposed areas, so sun protection is essential.
  5. Water Bottle: Stay hydrated during your trek by carrying a reusable water bottle. Fill it with purified or filtered water before you start your journey to ensure you have a sufficient supply.
  6. Snacks and Energy Bars: While basic food options are available in Nongriat, it’s a good idea to carry some lightweight snacks and energy bars for the trek. These will provide a quick boost of energy and keep you fueled throughout the journey.
  7. Portable Power Bank: Electricity supply in Nongriat may be limited, so carrying a portable power bank is recommended to ensure that you can charge your mobile devices and camera batteries during your stay.
  8. Basic Medical Kit: Carry a basic medical kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and any personal medications you may need. It’s also advisable to carry a small first aid guide for any minor emergencies.
  9. Cash: There are no ATMs or card payment facilities in Nongriat, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover your expenses for accommodation, food, and any other necessities.

Remember to pack light and avoid unnecessary weight, as you’ll need to carry your belongings during the trek. It’s advisable to use a comfortable backpack or day pack to carry your essentials.


By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your time in Nongriat, taking full advantage of the natural beauty and adventure that awaits you.


Tips for Visiting Nongriat

Visiting Nongriat provides a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. To make the most of your trip and ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Nongriat is a remote village, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance. Research the best time to visit, make accommodation arrangements, and prepare a rough itinerary to maximize your time there.
  2. Get in Shape: The trek to Nongriat involves descending thousands of steps, so it’s important to be physically fit. Engage in regular exercise and build up your stamina before your trip to ensure you enjoy the journey without exhaustion.
  3. Use a Local Guide: Hiring a local guide is highly recommended as they can provide insights into the culture, assist with navigation, and ensure your safety. They have extensive knowledge of the area and can make your experience more enriching.
  4. Respect the Environment: Nongriat is a pristine natural environment, so it’s crucial to practice responsible tourism. Respect the surroundings by not littering and leaving no trace of your visit. Take extra care while crossing the living root bridges to avoid causing any damage.
  5. Carry Cash: There are no ATMs or card payment facilities in Nongriat, so ensure you carry enough cash for your stay. It’s advisable to carry small denominations for easier transactions.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water during your trek to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at available water sources. However, make sure to purify or filter the water before consuming it.
  7. Respect Local Culture: Nongriat is inhabited by the Khasi tribe, and it’s important to respect their culture and traditions. Dress modestly, seek permission before taking photographs of the locals, and be aware of cultural sensitivities.
  8. Embrace Simplicity: Nongriat is a remote village with limited amenities. Embrace the simplicity of the surroundings and adapt to the rustic lifestyle. Be prepared for intermittent internet connectivity, limited electricity, and basic facilities.
  9. Carry Essential Supplies: Pack essential items such as insect repellent, sunscreen, a rain jacket, and a basic medical kit. These items will help protect you from bugs, sunburn, and unexpected weather changes.
  10. Experience Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to savor the local Khasi cuisine in Nongriat. Try traditional dishes and indulge in the unique flavors that the village has to offer.

By following these tips, you’ll enhance your experience in Nongriat and ensure a memorable and enriching journey. Embrace the serenity of the village, appreciate the natural wonders, and forge connections with the welcoming local community.



Nongriat, with its living root bridges and captivating natural beauty, is a destination that offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. The remote village tucked away in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, delve into the local culture, and embark on thrilling treks through lush forests.


From the iconic Double Decker Root Bridge to the breathtaking waterfalls and serene hiking trails, Nongriat is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. The living root bridges, created by the skillful techniques of the Khasi tribe, leave visitors in awe of nature’s ingenuity and sustainable engineering.


When planning your visit to Nongriat, it’s important to come prepared with suitable attire, comfortable footwear, and necessary supplies for the trek. Hiring a local guide will enhance your experience, providing insights into the culture, ensuring safety, and creating a deeper connection with the community.


While the journey to Nongriat may require some effort, the rewards are plentiful. The peaceful atmosphere, breathtaking views, and warm hospitality of the locals make Nongriat an ideal destination for those seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure.


Remember to embrace the simplicity and rustic charm of the village, respect the environment, and leave nothing but footprints. Engage with the locals, savor the flavors of the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the wonders of this hidden gem.


Visiting Nongriat is more than just a trip; it’s an opportunity to reconnect with nature, discover the artistry of the living root bridges, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, embark on this extraordinary journey, and let the magic of Nongriat captivate your heart and soul.