A journey into the surreal world

Meghalaya and Bhutan have a lot to offer for those who seek adventure.

We decided to travel to one of the most beautiful places in North India — Meghalaya. During the last leg of the trip, we also visited Bhutan. Considered as a traveller’s paradise, Meghalaya is full of adventure, while Bhutan is a mix of architecture and adventure. Both the places were surreal — while one place has rains 24x7 and the other with puffy clouds and scenic drives. Such picturesque landscapes followed us through our entire journey.

Krang Suri waterfallKrang Suri waterfall

Just when we thought one location was amazing, the next proved to be better and it only impressed us over time. We went for two major treks — double-decker root bridge at Cherrapunji and tiger’s nest trek at Paro. Both were quite a test of endurance, a feast to the eyes and a memory so good that it felt like a dream.

The most interesting fact that we came to know about Meghalaya was that their languages had no regional script and followed the Roman one. Also, it was interesting to know that the locations that took hours for us to trek were the only way for locals to commute to work and head to school every day — uphill/downhill over slopes and mountains, for two to three hours every day in the rain. It was no wonder their calf muscles were so lean and supple.


Bhutan surprised us with their respect for culture, tolerance for law and order, belief in striving for happiness, the humility of the King (Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) and knowledge every localite had over their culture and history. All the people were kind and helpful beyond comparison. The language barrier was hardly an issue with most of them speaking English.

In Bhutan, it is an interesting anecdote to note that even if you miss your ATM card at the machine, you would find it even a week later, neatly stacked with every other ATM card forgotten, waiting to be picked by the rightful owner. Every stranger is so genuinely nice and helpful — initially, we were constantly suspicious of their ulterior motive (not that they had any) because it was just difficult to digest that people can be that nice!

City view of ThimphuCity view of Thimphu

Meghalaya had the best of fresh veggies and fruits at throwaway prices. Their beef and pork dishes are the best I have tried in India. The local favourite alcohol at Bhutan was peach wine — it’s so light and pleasant in taste. The sweet liquor just elevated the state of happiness that the city already promised. The national dish of Bhutan — Ema Datshi — was my favourite. It is a gravy made of cheese and chillies.

(As told to Merin James)

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