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I am a wedding photographer by profession and most of the weddings I shoot allow me to travel to different places. And I love to travel. This was certainly not my first trip to Meghalaya. I have been to Shillong a couple of times before but did not get a chance to do any sightseeing as I was there mostly for wedding assignments. I just enjoyed the aura of the place and always planned to come back and see what Meghalaya had in store for me.

On June 13th, 2015, I finally managed to go on a very short trip (five days) to Meghalaya. I decided to drive all the way from Chandel, Manipur to Shillong and I must say this was absolutely the best way to see the place - driving your own car and setting your own pace for the journey. Travelling through the mist and rain at such an altitude is something you must experience. The places I saw were mostly in Cherapunjee and towards the Dawki River, which borders Bangladesh. At one point in our journey, we stopped at Khoh Ramhah in Sohra, Meghalaya and overlooked into Bangladesh. The view was incredible with acres and acres of lush greenery.

This trip was entirely to explore and see Meghalaya and I believe I went at the perfect time, as it was one of the rainiest weeks recorded and most of the waterfalls were in abundance. The rain enhanced the greenery. The mist created a surreal beauty all around. And the falls were beautiful not just by sight but the roaring sound of the water falling added to the excitement. I was able to see a few of the waterfalls like the Elephant Falls and Nohkalikai Falls, but trekking to the Brydaw Falls was one of the highlights of the trip.  It’s not as famous as the other waterfalls and is still unknown to tourists since it is out of the way, but it was worth it.

On reaching the spot where you are supposed to park the car, I started my trek up to Brydaw Falls for about 10-15 minutes and then the path headed downwards. On taking my first step down the path I started to hear the roaring sound of the waterfall. I walked down for few more minutes and then the path took me right up to the waterfall, where I was able to literally stand right behind the fall and the water was flowing above and beyond where I stood. It was a total thrilling and out-of-the-world experience. Everyone visiting Meghalaya must go and experience this.

Another thing that was in my bucket list was to visit ‘The Living Tree Root Bridge’ and this time I was able to see the one at Riwai Village, a few minutes’ walk from Mawlynnong Village, which is the cleanest village in Asia. The bridge to me was a masterpiece. It looked so majestic and the organic mesh work woven to make the bridge is what I would call eco-friendly engineering at its best. Also the location made me feel like I was in a set of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. With the mist swirling around me, it just felt like a dream.

Meghalaya is such an enchanting place and a mere five day trip was not enough to see all the places. I intend to go back again, and the next time for a whole month and a backpack.

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See more of John Monsang’s photography here and here and follow him on Instagram.

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