If you haven’t already read my previous blog post, “Bike Trip to Northeast“, then let me take you through the beginning of my awesome – most importantly super-affordable Northeast Road Trip. Some significant specifics of this road trip are:
- Cost – 30, 000 INR (Including Airfare from and to Delhi)
- Duration – 9 days
- Bike – Royal Enfield
- Month – November
Ideal Visits in Northeast Road Trip
On my 9-day long visit to North east India, I covered:
- Living Root Bridges of Nongriat
- Mawphlang Sacred Forests
- Kaziranga National Park
- and Majuli
In my previous blog post, I shared the experience of first 3 days of this journey. You can read the how I kick-started this Northeast Road Trip. Here’s what I did next.
Day 4 – Nongriat – The living root bridges.
Now this was the most interesting day of our trip. We were going to witness the double decker living root bridge (which is soon going to be a triple decker!). We kept our luggage in the hotel and started for Nongriat. It is a downhill road with really good views. At the end of the road is the entry to the village and a tea shop.[caption id="attachment_450" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Tea Shop[/caption] [caption id="attachment_443" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Start of the walk to Nongriat.[/caption]
As you can see below, we had to cross two real scary bridges to reach the actual site. These bridges were a litte wobbly but had turquiose coloured narrow river running underneath very beautifully. It was an adventure you should definitely attempt on your visit to Northeast India.[caption id="attachment_442" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The First Bridge[/caption] [caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Turquoise Water[/caption]
After crossing these bridges and walking a bit, we reached our showstopper for the day. The Double Decker Living Root Bridge.[caption id="attachment_439" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – They are more stable than the previous wobbly bridges we crossed.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_440" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The front view of the Double Decker Living Root bridge[/caption]
Surprisingly, the Nongriat homestay that we had booked was right there at the double-decker bridge. Just imagine living at this beautiful site for a day or two, but we had no bookings and hence we could not stay there.
We returned back to Cherrapunji in the evening and stayed there for one more night. Not before watching these dried up seven sister waterfalls :)[caption id="attachment_455" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Seven Sister Falls[/caption]
Day# 5 – Cherrapunji caves & Journey to Kaziranga
We had to cover a distance of 300kms that day. According google maps, we were to take 6hrs to cover the stretch. Even after adding 2 hrs of tea and lunch breaks we were expecting to reach Kaziranga well in time. So we decided we might as well visit the Limestone caves in Cherrapunji.
There are two major caves here – Mawsmai and Arwah. We were pretty amazed by these caves. Again, take a guide with you and you will enjoy the caves to the fullest.[caption id="attachment_431" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The cave[/caption]
After concluding our visit to the caves, we started for Kaziranga. As we began, the weather became all cloudy and we saw the real Cherrapunji known for its rains. Thankfully, it didn’t rain and the ride amongst clouds was thus fun and dreamy![caption id="attachment_481" align="aligncenter" width="426"] When it got cloudy[/caption]
These clouds slowed us down a bit as the visibility was low. But it cleared soon and after crossing Guwahati bypass. It was a straight highway and was a much needed relief from the curvy roads of Meghalaya.[caption id="attachment_462" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Straight Highways of Assam[/caption]
We were cruising and suddenly my bike chain broke. Luckily, another local bullet rider stopped for us and found us a mechanic in a nearby village. Bullet Bros you see! (Another #RulaayegaKyaMoment on the trip! You know what I am talking about if you’ve read the 1st part of the story.)
If you have any experience with getting a bullet repaired, you’d agree that getting a bullet repaired is difficult even in a city. And this was a remote village. So the guy took his own time and by the time he was done repairing, it was dark already.[caption id="attachment_457" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Bike Repair[/caption]
We still had 2 hours of journey left, and it turned out to be so awesome. Riding on the roads inside Kaziranga National Park in pitch dark and just the “dug dug dug” of my recently fixed bullet. We somehow managed to find our stay and that was the end of this long day.
Day #6 – Kaziranga and Journey to Majuli
The lodge owner in Kaziranga arranged for our elephant ride in the National Park for the next morning. You can get it on your own as well, but then you have to stand in queue and reach the park half an hour in advance. There were 10-15 elephants for one safari slot. Riding an elephant was fun with an added thrill of watching Rhinos real close.[caption id="attachment_438" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Watching a Rhino from our elephant[/caption]
There is a Jeep Safari as well, but other people told us that they found the Elephant Safari much better. So we didn’t do the Jeep Safari. Instead we started for Majuli, the largest river island in the world. It was a 5 hour distance, out of which more than 1 hr was on boat.
Yes! on a boat. With all the bikes and cars and passengers on the same effing boat, with no regulations. The boat starts from Nimati Ghat (14 km from Jorhat).[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Our bullet waiting for its turn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Cars, bikes, humans – All on this one boat.[/caption]
After an hour of terrifying boat ride, we touched land in Majuli.[caption id="attachment_460" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Back on land[/caption]
It was a real calm place, with some really nice picturesque views.[caption id="attachment_475" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Majuli[/caption] [caption id="attachment_459" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Sunset in Majuli[/caption]
Majuli was probably the best part of my Northeast road trip. Even though I arrived there via a boat but forget technicalities and just enjoy the view! :)
There are many Satras here, which are basically monasteries of the neo-vaishnavite culture. We didn’t visit them. We bought some cool bamboo artifacts from Majuli though. For night stay, we found a cool place to stay; but the mosquitos almost killed us in the night :D[caption id="attachment_463" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Huts in Majuli[/caption]
Day# 7 – Back to Kaziranga – National Orchid Park.
Our Northeast road trip was now to come to an end and we needed to return to Guwahati. The ride straight to Guwahati was 9 hours and it did not seem feasible to us. We broke it down into 2 days with Kaziranga as the pit stop. After all, there were somethings left in Kaziranga to explore. We visited the National Orchid Park after reaching Kaziranga. This park is being run by a NGO and showcases Assamese culture as well apart from plethora of Orchids.[caption id="attachment_479" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Dancing Girl Orchid[/caption] [caption id="attachment_476" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Lady’s Slipper Orchid[/caption]
They have tree houses, cultural dance performances , so many rice varieties and Bhoot Jalokia – the fiercest chili on earth. We bought bhoot jalokia pickle, but I wont recommend it :)[caption id="attachment_451" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Tree House[/caption] [caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Another tree house.[/caption]
We finished rounding up the lush park by evening and then started looking for a room to stay. Eventually, we found a budget hotel and spent the night there.
Day# 8 – Kaziranga to Guwahati
Next morning, we started for Guwahati. While we were still crossing Kaziranga, we saw some people on the roadside. We stopped and found out that they were offering binoculars to see the rhinos at a distance. So if you happen to miss spotting rhinos during the Elephant Safari, you can see them just like that, here![caption id="attachment_466" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Rhino in Bino[/caption]
The biking culture is not so prevalent there and hence we didn’t see any other biker on our whole trip. But we were getting a lot of attention from the people. The best experience for me on this Northeast road trip was when a whole bus full of school kids cheered for us while we crossed them. Ah that feeling !
Eventually after a long journey, we reached Guwahati and stayed in the same NTPC guest house, saving some money. This marked the end of my Northeast road trip. But to give you a more realistic picture, I will include my flight back to Delhi as the 9th Day of the whole road trip.
Day# 9 – Back to Delhi
Nothing interesting happened, just a boring flight back to Delhi. And then back to work the same day. :)
Here is the video :
I get it that it was a long one; so if you are still reading and liking this account of my Northeast road trip then drop a comment and let me know if you liked it. Also, take a look at my other Road Trips and select one for your next holiday. :) Also if you want to share experiences from your own road trip, do drop a comment below. We might even feature your story on our blog!