The bamboo trek or Mawryngkhang trek

DIY Hiking Guide To Mawryngkhang, Meghalaya; The Bamboo Trek

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Wahkren, the hiking base is the last motorable village and it is a section of the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The Mawryngkhang or Bamboo Hike is an off-beat, less trendy hiking destination for adventure seekers. It is a must-hike trail when you visit Meghalaya.

23 villagers along with 47 additional workers undertook enormous strides in successfully building the bridges and ladders with the bamboo found in the region. The repairs were and are done with fresh bamboo as and when required. The entire trail is through man-made bamboo bridges, all sturdily held together over large chasms, cliffhangers, and rivers with the help of cane ropes and nails. 

Sounds exciting? Read further to learn everything about the hike to ensure you are well-prepared when you undertake this thrilling trail.

Mawryngkhang – The Bamboo Trek

How To Get To The Hike Base From Shillong?

From Shillong, roads are the most ideal means of transport and it is the only way to reach the hiking base, Wahkren. Ride amidst the scenic hills with numerous hairpin bends. Since there are no public buses in the region, the regionals rely on carpooled taxis for commuting. 

The most advised option is to use your personal vehicle or rent one in Shillong. You can also hire a private taxi.

Best Time To Visit

Bamboo trek entrance
The bamboo trek entrance

Although this hike can be undertaken throughout the year, we would recommend you do it during the rainy months of June, July, August, and September. Also, note that the trail is very slippery and extremely beautiful with lush greenery, and flowers in complete bloom, and there is an abundance of scenic water bodies making this unique hike worthwhile undertaking for any adventure lover and adrenaline junkie. The post-monsoon season of October month is hot and humid.

Network Availability

Along the trail, we found moderate to good cellular and data connectivity between Airtel and Jio. At the summit, all network operators offered good connectivity.

ATM Availability

There are no ATMs nearby. Reliable ATMs are located in towns like Pynursla or Shillong. We advise you to carry sufficient cash to pay for the trekking entry fees.

Languages Spoken

The regional language of Khasi is predominantly spoken by the people of this region. We were only able to find very few people who could converse in English or Hindi. 

Be creative. Mime your words, draw, or show pictures. Out of which showing pictures works best.

Parking Availability

There is a small parking lot at the hike starting point where you can park your vehicle. You can also park your vehicles at the end of the motorable road at Wahkren.

Restroom Facilities

No restroom will be available at the base. Come prepared as you will most likely be answering nature’s call in nature.

Where To Eat?

where to eat in Wahren village, Meghalaya

There are a couple of restaurants at the base of the hike. You can have breakfast or lunch, energy bars, and snacks before and after your hike. The price is good and served in a manner that highlights the local cuisine. Regardless of the taste, the monstrous hunger you will most likely feel after the hike makes just about anything taste good.

Where To Stay?

There are a couple of modest stays in the village that act as the base of the hike. The Riz’s Hut Homestay (Contact: +91 8652225785) is located near the starting point of the Bamboo Trail. You can have a guide accompany you for support if you are someone who fears heights. If you are planning to hike over the weekend, you must reserve or confirm your stay beforehand. The other homestay we are comfortable recommending is the Tynning Wahken Guest House

However, the one that we preferred to stay at was the Riverside Resort (Contact: +91 7005190598) located near the Umtyngar Bridge, which is about 25 Km away from the trail. We confidently recommend this place. It offers good North Indian and South Indian-style cuisine. The hospitality and the overall ambiance are great. The only downside is that the place has little to no network availability in the region and the resort does not offer WiFi connectivity.

 

Things To Do In Wahkren

Hiking through the Bamboo Trail of Mawryngkhang is the most popular activity in the region. People also undertake a short hike to the Wahrew Waterfalls located en route to the peak.

Hiking Details

Distance: 15 Km from Pomlum and about 45 Km from Shillong.

Entry Fee: Rs. 100 per adult, Rs. 50 for children, and Rs. 30 for children in school uniforms. Extra charges are applicable should you choose to opt for a guide.

Registration: No registration or pre-online booking is required.

Timings: From 9 AM to 5 PM

Duration: 3 – 4 hours for both the ascend and the descend.

Summit Height: 716 m with the highest elevation at 860 m

Hike Distance: Approximately 3.54 Km overall

Hiking Route:

bamboo trek route information

The hike starts with a descent of 500 m until you reach the Mahrew River. You will see the first bamboo bridge, from the restaurant located adjacent. It was built to help you cross the Mahrew River. It is imperative that you remember that only 5 persons can cross the bridge at a time. There is a very obvious name board kept to warn you the same.

Bamboo bridges enroute

The trail progresses along the river for a few meters with several short bamboo bridges in between. On this trail, it will be very hard for you to not gawk at the crystal clear water that shimmers due to the colorful pebbles at the bottom.

Go off the path to visit the Mawphen Stone and Wahrew Falls. The gates to both these places are open between 9 AM and 5 PM. There is a separate entry fee collected to visit these places:

  • Rs. 50 per adult
  • Rs. 30 per child
  • Rs. 20 for children wearing school uniforms

After reaching the 1.25 Km leg of your journey, you will reach the Mawkhlieng Cliff and with it, the scariest part of the hike finally comes to pass. The bamboo pathway starts with a steep drop on the left. The tourists refer to them as Chinese Bridges. This is in reference to the Glass Bridges in China. The cliff walk is truly beautiful but also dangerous. Walk slowly and steadily holding the railings on either side built for support. Gently progress if you are nervous or scared of heights. Despite the fear, the trail is safe, it just requires attentive navigation.

Walk further for about 300 m, you’ll reach a small shop that offers snacks, cool drinks, and fresh fruits grown and sourced organically. Behind the shop, there is a viewpoint named Mawmoit 

Viewpoint. From here, the summit is clearly visible. You will see bamboo trees sprouting upwards in all their glory throughout the hiking trail.

A 15-minute walk from the shop will take you to the summit. Cross a waterfall with the help of bamboo bridges, here the freshwater stream is a great point to refill your water bottles. Going past the waterfalls is the more exhilarating part.

The scariest last leg of the trekking trail of the bamboo trek

There is an exposed suspension bridge where there is an open view on both sides. This incredible view is jarring enough to leave your legs trembling in fear. We were able to feel and ride the adrenaline rush for more than a couple of minutes. Next, climb the ladder to reach the peak.

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult – highly subjected to your fitness level.

Terrain: Rocks, boulders, and bamboo bridges.

At The Mawryngkhang Summit:

The Mawryngkhang trek summit

The vast “U Mawryngkhang Rock” crowned as “the King of Stones” stands alone amidst the river valley imposing its mightly presence around the surroundings. There is bamboo fencing around the Mawrynkhang Rock. The visitors can also soak in the 360° views of the surroundings.

At the top, the flags fluttering in the wind mark the summit. From the peak, a small clean waterfall flows as a river to the other end of the valley. All of this is very visible from the peak. You can also see the Mawmoit Viewpoint and the prominent red rooftop house in Wahkren.

The return to the base is the same route. From doubting whether the bamboo can withstand human weight during ascent to walking casually during the descent, we did it all! The bamboos were very sturdy and more importantly so was our will to successfully complete the trail.

Twin’s tip: After the trek, we were curious and went to the Wahren bus stop. From the Wahren bus stop near the same prominent red rooftop house, you can spot the Mawyngkhang Summit.

Important Things To Remember

  • If you weigh more than 100 Kg, you’ll find it a real challenge to walk on the bamboo bridges. Also, this trek is not suitable for persons who have a fear of heights (Acrophobia). But, this is a good place to face your fear and calmly navigate it.
  • Only 5 people at a time are allowed to cross the bamboo bridges at any given time. Please be patient and cooperate with your fellow trekkers.
  • The use of plastics and smoking is strictly prohibited. As a hiker, it is incumbent on you to be responsible and not litter. Collect and bring back the waste with you and dispose of it in dedicated bins.

Essential Things To Carry

  • Ensure you carry at least 1L of water per person.
  • Take sufficient snacks and energy bars. There is one shop near the Mawmoit Viewpoint.
  • Cap, sunscreen & sunglasses are essential to ward off the summer heat.
  • Carry a poncho or raincoat in case of rain.
  • Above all, ensure you wear comfortable shoes with good traction and grip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a guide required for the Mawryngkhang trek?

A guide is not mandatory to hike the Mawryngkhang Peak. You can do this hike by yourself as the trail is a straight route. Just follow the dustbins and the bamboo bridges until the very end. The probability of getting lost on the trail is nill.

Is camping allowed in Mawryngkhang?

You can set up camp near the Mahrew River, depending on the water flow. Get proper permission at the ticket counter if you are planning to camp for the night.

What are the places to visit around Mawryngkhang?

You can trek the Living Root Bridge in Wahkren and the Suspension Bridge in the valley.

Is a GPS file required to hike Mawryngkhang?

It is not required. Specify the subject and drop us an email (hello@twinsontoes.com) to request a GPS file should you feel the need to acquire one.

Is Mawryngkhang or the Bamboo Trail too scary?

If you have a fear of heights or happen to have a low tolerance for adrenaline-pumping activities, then this might be a challenging one for you. Although Mawryngkhang is considered to be the scariest trek in Meghalaya, we can confidently say that it is safe, and built with railings for support wherever needed throughout the hiking trail. It is all about balancing your feet on the strongly built bamboo bridges and ladders and moving consciously and with certainty.

If you find this blog helpful in planning your trip to Mawryngkhang Peak, comment below. For more extensive hiking guides such as this and helpful travel tips stick with us, the adventurous twins.

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