The spectacular Mawryngkhang Trek is considered one of the scariest treks of Meghalaya. Starting from a small hamlet in the East Khasi Hills, it takes places over a series of connected bamboo bridges that are laid out by the villagers over mountain ridges, over broomstick farms, and above roaring rivers.
This trek also takes you to the legendary King of Stones of Meghalaya in Wahkhen Village and is quite famous for the story behind it.
The Legend Behind Mawryngkhang
U Mawryngkhang was known as the “King of Stones”. He is said to have fallen in love with a girl from another kingdom, Kthiang. However, Mawpator had also fallen in love with her and this resulted in a battle between the two. Mawpator injured Mawryngkhang, but he, in turn, hit Mawpator with such immense force that Mawpator’s head fell off in the deep gorge below.
From the viewpoint on top, it is said that you can still see the head of Mawpator in the deep gorge. You can also see the stones of Mawryngkhang and Kthiang who stands behind him.
Where does the Mawryngkhang Trek take place?
The Mawryngkhang Trek starts from Wahkhen Village, which lies in the Pynursla Tehsil of East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. It is just 42 km from Shillong, and the closest village is Pomlum.
To reach Mawryngkhang from Wahkhen, you have to walk down the mountain. Eventually, you will reach a rickety bamboo bridge that gradually takes you over a series of natural pools and past the ridge of the mountain with deep valley down below. The bridge is the result of hard work on the part of the locals and is perched on the side of huge solid rock.
After walking right at the ridge of the mountain you will reach Mawryngkhang from where you can see deep valleys and high green mountains at a farther distance. It is a sight to behold and every step will seem worth the effort over here.
How to Reach Wahkhen Village
The availability of public transport to Wahkhen Village is next to none. There are a few shared taxis that run here, though they will only drop you off later in the evening. However, there are other modes of transport that you can use, such as:
Renting a scooter
This is probably the best option, especially if you are travelling solo. Leave early in the morning from Shillong and drive through Myellium and until Pomlum. Here, you will find a signpost which will show you the direction towards Wahkhen Village
You can easily rent scooters from the Police Bazar of Shillong. The roads till Pomlum are very smooth; however, after Pomlum the road becomes really rough and rugged but nothing that cannot be driven on.
Hiring a private taxi
Another option is to hire a private taxi. This is the best option for group travels due to which cost can be split amongst the group. A private taxi might cost you about INR 4,000 to INR 6,000. You can easily take a taxi from the Police Bazar of Shillong.
Booking a tour
There are a few companies that organize tours to Mawryngkhang. You can also opt for these tours for a hassle-free travel experience. I have travelled with Our Guest Diary to Mawryngkhang and they specialize in offbeat travels and ensured that we had the best experience in this place.
Where to stay near Mawryngkhang
Sadly there are no options for accommodation in the village closest to Mawryngkhang – Wahkhen. If you’re very lucky you might get permission from the villagers to stay for one night at the village’s Music School. Everyone else will have to go back all the way to Shillong or Cherrapunji to stay. Hence it is very essential to start for the trek early in the morning.
All about the Mawryngkhang Trek itself
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Too happy walking at the edge with @OurGuestDiary, on these bamboo sticks that run along the mountain cliff. Due to rains and peak monsoon season the entire pathway was extremely slippery. The people here sustain their livelihood by cultivating broomsticks and are hopeful that with the visit of tourists it will establish their area. Legend – The King of Stones – Mawryngkhang and Mawpator, fell in love with a girl from another kingdom. A battle ensued between the two where Mawryngkhang beheaded Mawpator. His head fell down in the river gorge, that can still be seen from the view point. And Mawryngkhang, today stands as the famous rock with her maiden standing right behind him. ☺️ . Can't wait to show you this place on YouTube, visually! . ? @SayujSuresh clicking like a boss at the edge.
This trek can be completed from Wahkhen to Mawryngkhang and back within just three to four hours. Of course, the time taken will also depend upon your physical fitness and the number of breaks you wish to take.
The trek is not difficult at all. It is all about balancing your feet on the bamboo trail which is quite strongly built. Although if you are afraid of heights then you should not opt for this trek. There is a part that runs for about 10 minutes right at the edge of the cliff, due to which this trek is considered the scariest trek of Meghalaya.
Even though the trek takes place over many narrow bamboo bridges for a good one to two hours, after reaching the top, the entire journey seems worth it. At the end of the route, you will find yourself standing on a 100-meter tall rock where the light creates beautiful dappled shades of green.
In fact, in the middle of the trek, you can also chill in the natural pools which are very refreshing.
Things to carry while you’re on the trek
Meghalaya is among the wettest regions on the planet, so come prepared. Get raincoats or ponchos to use during the trek. Also, carry rain covers for your backpacks and especially for your camera bags.
A Good Pair of Hiking Shoes
A few patches in Mawryngkhang are quite slippery. It is essential to trek here with hiking shoes. Plus, it will be better if you have waterproof shoes as there are running streams here.
Carry your water along with you as on treks you get thirsty easily. You can also a few energy bars as well. Although please remember not to litter.
Also Read: Visit Meghalaya’s Sacred Grove in Mawphlang
The Mawryngkhang trek is considered to be one of the scariest treks in India, and for a good reason. However, the hike and the story behind the Mawryngkhang trek makes the entire journey very thrilling. This is one of those places that you should not miss in Meghalaya. And if you are looking for a perfect offbeat place to visit in Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang trek is for you.