“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” –John Muir
Photographer Dimpy Gogoi spends most of her professional life capturing weddings and travelling to different parts of the country to capture stunning visuals that has given 3700 followers on Instagram. Her Instagram account @bhataktiphotographer is a visual travel journal. Her a few of her past work has featured in @natgeoindia and @loneyplanetmagazineindia.
We asked her to tell us which was her favourite trip of 2019 and why?
“2019 November during the Diwali break, my trip to Meghalaya was one of a kind. I went with my friends to Shnongpdeng, Dawki, Mawlynnlong and Krangsuri fall.
We appreciated everything about Meghalaya from the beautiful landscapes, the road conditions to the clean villages. The weather was so good, so soothing to my soul. The place is an ideal tourist destination even for solo travellers.”
“We didn’t use local guides…my friends from Shillong, they guided us.”
The trio, Angashikha, Bandita and Dimpy met their friends Anshu and Rima at Guwahati railway station. The two girls had come by train from Jharkhand and they hired a taxi for the ride up to Shillong. In Shillong Iai, Bounty and Nikita joined them. The local knowledge that the three girls shared with the rest of the group was a big advantage to them. They had planned the destinations, activities and mode of transport.
Travelling with best friends always has many advantages. Everyone shares common interests, good vibes and positive energy. Their focus was on experiencing the outdoor adventure sports that the state had to offer. Catch up on some down time and bond with each other was also part of the agenda.
Destinations and activities they did over 5 days –
Boating and kayaking in Shnongpdeng village.They were charged INR 50 per person for a ride on a traditional boat over the crystal clear waters of the Umgot river. There are many companies that offer a variety of water sport activities here but please check their safety measures before signing up. Fuel based boats are banned here and in the month of March – April the locals hold a boat race festival here.
Swimming at Krangsuri falls.They were charged INR50 per person to rent life jackets for this activity. Please note without life jackets the local authorities do not allow anyone to swim here.
Trekking and climbing a bamboo sky bridge near Mawlynnong village. The highlight for the girls wandering around the cleanest village in India was climbing up a unique bamboo bridge with sharp steps for a sky walk that some of the locals have built for additional income. Once you reach the top the view is breath taking and provides clear vista of Bangladesh, the neighbouring country.
A trek to the Riwi living root bridge located nearby provided the girls with good photo opportunities. Over a 100 years ago the local villagers took the roots of the Indian rubber trees and plaited them to form bridges to cross the cliff side. Now these bridges have matured and are used by the locals daily, little children to go to school, people to go to work, carry supplies etc. As an outsider these are a delight to explore. The south Khasi hills are famous for these examples of human ingenuity and it is worth visiting one.
Tips that Dimpy shared for those interested in doing a similar trip to Meghalaya.
* Be humble and polite to the locals.
* Respect their way of life and keep the place clean as a tourist.
* Check the weather forecast before you travel because Meghalaya has the highest rain fall and rain gear is a must.
* Take a local guide if possible, it will enhance your experience.
Images shared by Dimpi Gogoi in conversation with Julie Kagti.