Taking International Waterfall Day as an occasion, we talked to a few travellers about the beautiful Rainbow waterfall in Meghalaya, where the rainbow emerges in the morning, and here’s what they have to say!
Going up hurridly on the terrace to catch and capture a glimpse of rainbows during monsoon used to be an enthralling and satisfying experience in childhood for most of us. While a rainbow in the sky would content the mind, could we ever think of coming across a rainbow waterfall in our own country? Thanks to the boost in tourism in the secluded cities and states that many such places have come into the limelight including the Rainbow waterfall in Meghalaya.
As the name suggests, the waterfall is linked with the rainbow as one can view it in the fall due to the sun’s rays falling on it. But, the glance is hard to catch as it is mostly visible between 9 to 12 P.M., which means one-hour trekking in the morning. The Tyrna village marks the starting point of the trek to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat village, from where the rainbow waterfall is accessible.
When the journey is beautiful
The existence of multiple homestays in this area, especially in the Nongriat village makes it a plus point for those who prefer to go for the trek in shifts. On the other hand, these homestays are also convenient as after the long trek back, there is no need to further travel to spend the night. Lalitha Mahaadevan, a traveller from Chennai stayed at one of those homestays in the Tyrna village to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds the village and says that the homestays are the best option to reach the fall on time.
Since her friends had recommended about the natural pools that are present on the way to the fall, Mahaadevan was ready with her clothes to take a dip. Walking to the woods was a very different experience for her as could sense the drenched paths even on a sunny day. Not that it was raining as she went there in June/July, the environment was still calm and soothing like on a usual rainy day. On her way, she came across algae beneath her feet along with some beautiful butterflies around that took her heart away. A few unique insects that, as per her, were hard to be seen in a city were also visible over there. She was also mindful of the snakes as her guide had told her about their possible presence on the route. Once, seeing a big wild monkey had frightened her but as soon as she gathered it was not a bear, she sighed in relief.
She felt delighted seeing a few children, mostly locals, who were taking bath in the river streams near the double-decker root bridge and recounted the time when she would go to the Marina beach on weekends. On the way to the falls, she also met a few travellers; some of who had come from nearby countries like Bangladesh. It is obvious that the exchange of stories made the trek easy for her and the companions. However, Mahaadevan says, the trek is not that hard as there are stairs and clear pathways even in the jungle, except for the last part of the trek which involves climbing up and down. Nevertheless, she states, it is easy for any healthy person.
Mahaadevan was amazed to see the waterfall on arriving there. Although she could not see the rainbow in it, she loved to see how the water was so clean and therapeutic. The cleanliness of the lakes and the fall leads her to urge people not to use any sunscreen or products that could harm the water. She says, “Always go for the natural products if you like or avoid otherwise.”
The only thing that surprised Mahaadevan was the presence of very few female travellers throughout the trek. As much as she urges the female travellers to see the beauty, she also wishes to go there again, but this time, to see the waterfall with the rainbow.
When the rainbow outshines
Back in April 2019, a solo traveller, Yogesh J, who is also a surgeon, decided to travel to the place with his new bike from Guwahati. Hardly did he know that neither was he going to get the parking nor the facility to reach the majestic waterfall by pucca roads. However, it was one of the best road trips he ever had with the sight of cherry blossoms all around. The next morning, he started the trek to the waterfall by parking his bike on the road.
It was raining throughout the time, which made the entire trek path appear much more beautiful for Yogesh. He took a big leaf to cover his head and followed the route. After 3 hours, he reached the double-decker root bridge with a river flowing beneath it. On the way, he took a bath in the blue water lagoon, which appeared no less than an artificial and unreal place.
Moving ahead from there takes one for various ascends on the route and a small shop from where the Rainbow waterfall is quite visible. What Yogesh remembers is the walkthrough of various handmade bamboo ladders. It took him one hour to reach the waterfall, the base of which could only be reached through the steep descends. “Not only was it a steep byt was scary too,” he says about moving down.
Not missing the chance to take a bath in one of the cleanest waters, Yogesh took a dip in it and waited for the sight of the rainbow. And after one hour, he finally managed to see the seven colours appearing in front of the waterfall. He says, “Choosing the apt time to visit the waterfall is a must to enjoy its beauty.”
‘Difficulties are worthy’
However, the waterfall is a lesser-known place for the tourist, and as another traveller, Jayanth says, it is primarily because of its location, which is difficult to be reached by many. He, who went there in August 2020, also mentions that the trek can be tiring. A walk through the forest with many waterfalls and crossing several human-made bridges can be exhausting, although, he doesn’t forget to mention that the tiredness is all the worth.
“The rainbow in the waterfall is cherry on the cake and the trek towards the falls also makes a unique experience,” the Hyderabad resident says, adding that one can easily spot a rainbow on a sunny day. As per other documented experiences, it is also quite evident that the water, even if falls from such good height and force, does not carry mud and pollutants after reaching the base!
The existence of multiple homestays in this area, especially in the Nongriat village, makes it a plus point for those who prefer to go for the trek in shifts. On the other hand, these homestays are also convenient as after the long trek as you return back, as there is no need to further travel and you can spend the night at these homestays.
Even though very few travellers visit the Rainbow waterfall, it is one of those gems in Meghalaya that should not be missed. And, probably, the less tourism in this part has kept its beauty alive and like it always was – pure, clean, and soothing.