Meghalaya: The Abode of Clouds and Waterfalls
Md Hatem Ali :
Meghalaya, also known â€˜the Abode of Clouds,â€™ is a hilly state in the north-eastern India. The state is bounded to south and west by the Bangladesh and to the north and east by state of Assam. During the British rule in India, they named it the â€˜Scotland of the Eastâ€™ for its highland, fog and scenery.
Meghalaya offers many adventure tourism opportunities in the form of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking and hiking, caving and water spots.
For exploring of natural beauties and adventures of Maghalaya, we, six friends (Hatem, Manee, Shazid, Akib, Pulock and Ovi) made a four-day tour. We started our journey from Dhaka to Sylhet. Then we entered into Dawki of Meghalaya through Tamabil-Dawki border. After reached the Dawki bazar we hired a car to explore of Meghalaya.
At first, we went to Living Root Bridge which near to Mawlynlong Village. About fifteen minutes walked down from the top we saw the marvellous magic of living root bridge which made by the villagers. After that we went to see the beauty of cleanest village of India, called Mawlynlong. Itâ€™s also known as â€˜Godâ€™s Own Garden.â€™
In 2003, Mawlynlong was awarded the title of the cleanest village of Asia. After that we moved to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya and stayed at night in there.
The next day we started our journey early in the morning for exploring different spots of Shillong. At first we went to enjoy the beauty of Umiam Lake. Locally this lake called Boro Pani. The lake has a water sports complex with facilities of kayaking, scooting, boating and natural beauty mixed with water and sky. Later we explored the Don Bosco mesuem.
The museum provided a glimpse of the rich and multi-cultural lifestyles of the indigenous people of North East India. The rooftop of museum building also provided a beautiful view of the city of Shillong.
After that we went to most adventurous place called Laitlum Canyons. The scenery of Laitlum was terrific.
The scenic hills slopes of Laitlum often called the Amphitheatre of Maghalaya. After that, we went to see the beauty of a falls called Elephant falls. Actually this falls consist of three sections in succession that is why itâ€™s also called three steps falls. Of the three steps of fall, the bottom ties were most impressive. At last, we moved to Cherapunji from Shillong and booked a homestay for night and ended our second day journey.
On third day, we visited many places of Cherapunji. Most of them were falls and caves. At first we went to see the falling beauty of seven sistersâ€™ falls which symbolises the seven states in India. But unfortunately we didnâ€™t see it due to heavy clouds. After waiting for a long time, we left the place with a broken heart without seeing the falls and came to Mawsmai Cave. Mawsamai is a most adventurous place and has so many amazing structures and formations in small length with water dropping from roof. It was dark inside and you have to mind your head and watch your steps to enjoy adventure.
After enjoyed the adventurous place we went to the most beautiful falls of Cherapunji called Nohkalikai. Itâ€™s the tallest plunge water fall in India. Below the falls, there has formed a plunge pool with unusual green color water. In one word, the beauty of Nohkalikai is mind-blowing.
After the Nohkalikai we went to Dainthelen falls. Dainthelen is unique because you can stand on the top of the falls right at the edge where falls starts.
After that, we explored most thrilling place called Weisawdong. It's also a three steps falls. Twenty minutes walked down in the forest, about 300-metre of steps with 75 to 90 degrees trek without any proper stairs we reached the bottom of the falls and we saw the beauty of falls which canâ€™t expressed with words. If one is physically fit, he should be in must visit it otherwise not.
We also saw another falls on that day called Wakaba falls. In Wakaba, we wore the traditional dress of Khashi. From Wakaba we moved to Shnonopdeng, a village of Dawki locked in Jaintia Hills. A river called Umgot, passed through the village. For adventuring, on that night we stayed at Tent on the river bank.
On the next day early in the morning, we jollified the beauty of clear water of Umgot. A suspension bridge also connected between two hills over the river. After that, we explored our last destination which is called Krangshuri Water falls. Krangshuri is simply breathtaking. After fifteen minutes walked to cross a forest amidst slippery stone steps we reached the ends of the giant Cascade. And we took a bath with green color crystal clean water. And finally we said goodbye to Maghalaya and returned home.
[Md Hatem Ali, Former President, Bangladesh Agricultural University Journalists' Association (BAUJA)]