Friday, September 20, 2019 | ePaper

Enjoy the Meghalaya

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Priya Srivastava :
rimming with some stunning natural wonders, some of the tourist places in Meghalaya are unique to the state and absolutely magical. Renowned as ‘abode of clouds,’ Meghalaya is every travellers dream stoppage and why not! What Meghalaya has, no other state in India can offer to any traveller. From the living root bridges and the crystal clear Umngot River, this Northeastern Indian state has surprises planned by nature at every nook and cranny.
Here are some of the experiences only Meghalaya can offer, and if you want to quench the thirst of your traveller soul, Meghalaya must be you next stop.
Get drenched at the wettest place on the Earth, Mawsynram
Rain rain, go away come again… a poem we all must have heard and sang as little kids. But do you know that you can actually live this poem at Mawsynram in Meghalaya?
Mawsynram is a lovely little village tucked in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, and is also one of the wettest places on the Earth and India. The destination is inhabited by people belonging to the Khasi tribe of north India, and they've certainly made rains their best friends. The aroma of wet soil mixed with the smell of green grass is something that will fill your heart with a different kind of satisfaction. Little kids splashing in mud-filled roads, young boys playing football, and women carrying out their daily chores is a common scene here. Mawsynram has a unique charm and it will be hard for you to bid adieu to the sound of pouring rain so soon!
Spend a day in Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village
There is a reason why the North East is on every traveller’s list. The region is nature’s bounty, waiting to get explored. Tucked away from the maddening crowd, there’s a tiny village called Mawlynnong in Meghalaya, which has also been awarded with the title of the Cleanest Village in Asia. And indeed, the place is so clean that you can actually lie down on the road anywhere and take a nap if you want! It's an extremely tiny hamlet that can actually be explored in an hour's time but we suggest that you spend a night here and allow villagers to welcome you with their delicious food and interesting mannerisms. There's not much to do here but this is an experience like never before. You'll see little kids playing football in the premises of an old church inside the village. Tourism brings money and people here sell handmade items at decent prices that are worth a buy. You might just get envy of people's relaxed and slow yet happy life, and wish if you too can have a home at someplace quiet like Mawlynnong.
Trek to Double Decker living roots bridges at Nongriat Village
Now, this is one of those experiences that capture a big corner of your heart and stays there forever! A visit to Meghalaya won't be complete without discovering the underground world of the Nongriat Village in the East Khasi Hills. The village is home to unique Double Decker Living Roots Bridges that are nothing less than natural marvels. You won’t find these anywhere else in the world. Located about 60km away from Shillong, the destination remains covered in
 rains most of the time; reaching these bridges is not everyone's cup of tea.
To reach here, traveller’s need to trek down around 3,500 steep stairs. Though it’s a little tiring, the journey is totally worth it; what you'll get to see after such a long journey will be no less than nature’s magic.
Take a boat ride in Umngot River at Dawki
Calling Umngot River the cleanest river in India won't be an exaggeration. The river flows through the small town of Dawki in the East Jaintia Hills district, close India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. Around 95km away from Shillong, this is a must-visit attraction in North East region. Moreover, Umngot is also one of the prime fishing areas for fishermen living in nearby regions. Around its crystal-clear water, you'll see several fishermen and women with their fishing nets sitting for hours on their boats. There will also be boatmen offering you a ride of the entire river and will take you to a stunning pebbled island where you can spend some alone time. The place is absolutely gorgeous and might be one of those places that you will want to revisit!
Meet soldiers at the India-Bangladesh Border
Located close to the Umngot River is the Indo-Bangladesh Border. A number of Indian and Bangladeshi soldiers are posted on the border for security reasons. Despite heavy rains, the soldiers stand and guard the gates of their country. You'll find several tourists clicking pictures near the border area while minding their steps. Apart from soldiers and tourists, you’ll see goats and cows grazing around. While the rules are pretty strict for people, animals certainly don’t understand the boundaries and keep crossing the border, which is quite ironical. However, meeting and greeting and getting clicked with Indian soldiers here is quite fun for travellers and soldiers alike.
Visit Meghalaya’s heart, Laitlum Grand Canyon
You might not want to go here if you have a phobia of height or/and edges because Laitlum Grand Canyon is high up, almost nestled amidst clouds! A trekker’s paradise, a nature lover's dream and Meghalaya’s natural amphitheatre, the Laitlum Grand Canyon is one of the hidden secrets of Meghalaya and thank God for it! This lesser-known and unexplored spot will offer you views that you won't forget for long.
The steep, winding stairway, uneven terrain, and the white blanket of clouds will definitely make your heart skip a beat. But then, who cares till your eyes can rest upon such ethereal mist swirls of cloud and sprawling meadows. You might find it a little difficult to locate the place and Google Map might mislead you, but then don’t get beaten up. Passer bys and locals are the perfect guides here. With some luck, you will definitely land up at the right place! n

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