Wahkhen Hills and Bamboo Trail Trek: India’s own Hawaii in Meghalaya

Updated on: 06/03/2023

Wanderlust is such that having seen a photo on the internet, we can’t resist but visit the place; the charm and uniqueness draw us to it. Seen and heard enough, I travelled 16 hours from Duliajan to Wahkhen Whistling Village to witness the mind-blowing Bamboo trail. That’s right, Kongthong isn’t the only Whistling Village in India.


The final ascent of U Mawryngkhang rock, Wahkhen
Bamboo trail meghalaya, Mawryngkhang trek, Mawryngkhang trek guide

7 Reasons why you must trek the Bamboo Trail Meghalaya

  1. The entire Bamboo Trek involves trekking on a trail of Bamboo attached to the steep surface of beautiful gorges and a river stream below it.
  2. Though people say that the Mawryngkhang trek is the scariest trek of Meghalaya, I recommend you to do this trek because you love adventure and challenging yourself.
  3. The trail was built by the sole effort of the villagers. Thus, signifying their unique craft, engineering, and the ardent bond between their culture and natural surroundings.
  4. The ‘HILLS’ resemble the ‘mountains of Hawaii’. I will definitely be seeing them again; I mean, why not?
  5. It is an off-beat destination and less crowded than other tourist places.
  6. It is home to the National Award-Winning traditional musicians Komik Khongjirem and Rojet Buhphang.
  7. Like the Kongthong Whistling Village, Wahkhen Villagers too have a definite tune dedicated to everyone through which they communicate. Whoa! Surprised? Read about Wahkhen’s Musical Legacy.
Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Wahkhen Whistling Village, Mawryngkhang trek guide
Mawryngkhang Trek Guide, 7 reasons why you must trek the bamboo trail meghalaya, wahkhen trek

Why is the Bamboo Trail Meghalaya unique?

For me, the Mawryngkhang trek in Wahkhen Village of Meghalaya is unique in two ways-

  1. Culture and Folklore
  2. Nature’s gifted paradise


‘U Mawryngkhang’, the humungous, cylindrical, shiny rock standing tall among its surrounding hills is known as the King of Stones.

As the folklore goes, the two rocks Mawryngkhang and Mawpator battled for ‘Kthiang’ a damsel with whom both were in love. Though Mawpator had broken off the left hand of Mawrykhang, the latter emerged as the winner as he chopped off Mawpator’s head.

The Mawpator rock can be seen in front of U Mawryngkhang on the other side of the stream. The curved scar of U Mawryngkhang is also visible.

Mawryngkhang Rock from Mawmoit View point. Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang
Legendary U Mawryngkhang with the scar of victory

Stories combined with nature and culture are my favourite. Above all, culture is what human’s way of survival is maintaining harmony with nature.

Like the Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya, the bamboo trail of the Mawryngkhang trek signifies the rich cultural techniques of the Khasis’ balance with nature. However, the first was the cultural adaption to natural calamity (floods), and the latter is a collective effort of the village community to promote their way of life through tourism, making people aware of the pristine beauty of the place and their divine folklores.

The Khasis of Meghalaya are true nature lovers. In Wahkhen, the villagers have been the keepers of rich traditional Khasi music and folk instruments. The reason why it is the home to two National Award winners. Not only, they have been teaching folk music but also how to create traditional musical instruments for the younger generation.


While the destination is important, the journey is where the magic actually happens. In the same way, my personal favourite was the 2 hours of hike to the U Mawryngkhang Rock.

Wahkhen is India’s own Hawaii in Meghalaya. The hilly terrain resembles the picturesque Hawaii Mountains. The hike starts from the parking spot beside a Bamboo Hut (also a shop) in Wahkhen Village.

As we commenced the Mawryngkhang trek and descended towards the Umrew river, the range of hills to the right – their shapes and clouds embracing the peak brought peace to me. The beats of drums echoed in our ears accompanied by crickets welcoming us along the way. The beats were from the traditional music school at Wahkhen village, a community initiative to teach the youngsters to play and build folk instruments.

Wahkhen Village, Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya
Wahkhen Village , Bamboo trail Meghalaya , Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya,
Hills of Wahkhen Village, Wahkhen trek, Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya, Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Shillong to Mawryngkhang Trek
 Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya, Bamboo Trek Meghalaya- Wahkhen Village

Reaching the river and crossing the first bamboo bridge is where the actual hiking starts to U Mawryngkhang. Dipping my face into the stream, I refreshed myself with nature’s own face wash, haha!

Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek, Umrew River which is also known as Wahrew River located in the Wahkhen Village of Meghalaya
Umrew or the Wahrew River
Bamboo trail trek, meghalaya

The river flow guided the direction of the trail. Stepping ahead on the tied bamboos, mini-waterfalls sliding down the vertical gorges and pretty violet flowers greeted us to our right. To the left and below was the stream progressing straight with more strength, while we gained height by climbing beyond.

Bamboo Trail Trek which is also known as the Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya
The Blue waters of Umrew River
Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya which is also known as the Bamboo Trail Trek, Shillong to Mawryngkhang Trek
In Meghalaya Trekking is always beautiful and thrilling.
Bamboo trail Meghalaya , Mawryngkhang Trek. Flowers of  Wahkhen Village
Flowers radiating Happiness!
Mawryngkhang Trek of Meghalaya. Also known as the Bamboo Trail Meghalaya,
Scariest Trek of Meghalaya

Mawmoit viewpoint is where the legendary King of Stones ‘U Mawryngkhang’ reveals himself. Traversing through a cave passage, we eventually reached another curved bamboo bridge alongside few more small waterfalls. I could literally sense a tiny version of the waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia.

The Mawryngkhang Rock , Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya
View of the U Mawryngkhang from Mawmoit.
Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya, Wahkhen Village
A relatively longer bamboo bridge connecting two gorges

The penultimate vertical bamboo stairs are the most thrilling of all. Rejoicing the spectacular view of the ascent amidst the background of the hills, we reached our final destination – the peak of U Mawryngkhang. I sat, watched, and embraced, what was around me – the panoramic scenery, the exuberant river flowing by through the tiny natural pools, blue and clear down the U Mawryngkhang rock; the tranquil blue and green colours of nature. Ah! The gurgling of Umrew sounded like the chirpings of the birds composing a lullaby of the river stream.

Mawryngkhang Trek of Meghalaya, Bamboo Trail Meghalaya
Scenes of jubilation of climbing U Mawryngkhang Meghalaya
Wahrew River, Umrew River of Bamboo Trail Meghalaya
The view of the river from U Mawryngkhang
Viewpoint Mawrynkhang , Bamboo Trail Meghalaya, Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya
Moments connecting with mother nature atop the U Mawryngkhang

On a distant hilltop lies Kongthong, the Whistling Village of Meghalaya, where people have their own distinct ‘melody tune’ instead of their names. I could literally visualize the mix of their tunes, kids playing up there, and the soothing river sounds below. Comforting right?

Mawrynkhang Viewpoint, Kongthong Village
Guess the hill among these, where Kongthong Whistling Village is located.

Suggested Read: Phe Phe Falls | Sua Ludong Water Falls| Meghalaya – 2 Unexplored Paradise.

Back to Umrew river – the starting point of the hike, we jumped into the water, swam, splashed and whatnot. I even let myself be carried away by the flow. I felt free, alive and cuddled by mother nature.

Bamboo Trail Trek - Mawryngkhang Trek Meghalaya- Water Activity
Mawryngkhang trek, bamboo trail -Diving, Swimming, dipping in Wahrew/Umrew River in Wahkhen during
Becoming one with mother nature. (the one submerged is me, haha!)

Rain and Meghalaya are indeed the best of friends. Overcast clouds faded the Hawaii-like Mountains. We had enjoyed the rain at first but rushed as soon as it started pouring heavily.    

Dusk turning into night and the rain falling with all its might;

A bowl of Maggi and egg whites, as I glanced through the window of the hut,

The Hawaii Hills of Meghalaya imprinted a lasting impression onto my heart.

Ah! I hope every trek and trip enthuse the poet in me.

Related read: Mawlyngbna Meghalaya| Mawsynram Tourism-8 fun things to do!


Have you added the Mawryngkhang trek to your bucket list yet?

Where is Mawryngkhang Trek or Bamboo Trail located?

Popularly known as the Bamboo Trail Trek, the Mawryngkhang trek is in Wahkhen Village of East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya in Northeast India.

How to get to Mawryngkhang or Wahkhen?

Sign board at Pomlum showing wahkhen village distance and Mawryngkhang trekking destination

You can hire or rent a vehicle from Shillong to Wahkhen which is located at a distance of 48 km. Shared sumos are available only till Pomlum which is at a distance of 15 km from Wahkhen. The following Signboard directs you to the village.

Where to Stay in Wahkhen?

As of 2023, you can book your accommodation at Riz’s Hut Homestay in Wahkhen during your Bamboo Trail Trek

What is the starting point of Bamboo trek?

The Bamboo Trek starts from Wahkhen Village of East Khasi Hills District in Meghalaya. Wahkhen is located about 48 km from Shillong town.

Is Mawryngkhang Trek Open?

The Mawryngkhang Trek is open since September 10, 2022 after repair. You can refer to this article by East Mojo.

Things to do in Wahkhen

1. Go for the Bamboo Trail Trek
2. Swim in the river
3. Visit Siengriti Wahkhen – the traditional school of Khasi Music in the village.
4. Visit the Living Root Bridge which is about 2 hours trek from the village.
5. Trek to the Suspension Bridge.

How long is Bamboo Trek in Meghalaya?

The entire Bamboo Trek in Meghalaya can be completed within 4 to 5 hours.

Things you may want to carry for the Mawryngkhang Trek

1. As Meghalaya and rain are best friends, carrying a poncho or a raincoat will save you from the dilemma.
2. Water bottle (Reusable) – Let us not pollute what we love.
3. Extra pair of clothes if you want to dive into the Umrew (also known as the Wahrew river)

Is Mawryngkhang trek Safe?

Yes, the Mawrykhang trek is safe. The local guides make sure that the trek is completed safely.

Whom to Contact?

I went with This Travel Company which is based in Guwahati, Assam. Feel free to contact them. You can also contact me on my social media handles.

Updated Covid Protocols 2022

The state of Meghalaya in northeast India has reoponed its doors for tourism from the 1st of September, 2021. Refer to the following for the latest update (February 17th, 2022) regarding covid-19 restrictions or SOPs from Meghalaya tourism.

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Photo of author
Joydeep Phukan is a travel writer & a certified mountaineer. He is on his mission to travel to the depths of Northeast India and share his stories and travel tips for you through the blog- The Gypsy Chiring

12 thoughts on “Wahkhen Hills and Bamboo Trail Trek: India’s own Hawaii in Meghalaya”

  1. Excellent guide! I love the folklore, nothing sweeter than battling for love. You are so brave to climb all those bamboo steps. This seems like an amazing way to enjoy the mountains without mountain climbing.


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