Mawlynnong was on top of our travel list for last couple of years . Had to hold our plans earlier for various reasons .Finally came the day when the time was right as everything was perfectly placed. We were on a five day trip to Shillong.My mother -in-law and dear Suniti ( our housekeeper Dulal's wife) offered to look after my kids for the day so that Chandan and i could visit the place. Pranab ,Chandan's childhood friend and Dulal accompanied us to this unforgettable journey. Mawlynnong is an over hundred years old village situated in the pristine East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya ,India. In the year 2003 it earned the distinction of being the 'Cleanest Village Of Asia ' declared by Discover India Magazine .Though this beautiful and little village attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year i would still prefer to call it under explored . A large part of North East India still remains undiscovered and there are very few travel guides to help the visitors coming to these parts .I will be posting my travel experiences through my pictures as a
|Beautiful paddy fields in outskirts of Shillong|
series. In my view Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful , peaceful and safest place in India. No inner line permit is required to travel here. The nearest airport and railway station is approx. 128 km away in Guwahati . The state capital Shillong is well connected to rest of India through regular buses/taxis from Guwahati(Assam) .Mawlynnong is situated about 90 km from Shillong. Except for Sundays ,rest of the days it is well connected from Shillong through private taxis/sumos (at Khasi Hill Sumo stand Bara Bazaar). It takes about two and half hrs to reach there . We had our own vehicle and it took us about three hours to reach there as we stopped at many places throughout our journey.The drive was extremely picturesque.
We started our journey at 8.30 am .Being the most wettest place on earth Meghalaya is known for its unpredictable weather .Raincoats or umbrellas are must.We carried along drinking water ,some fresh local fruits and a good stock of snacks like biscuits ,sweets ,dry nuts and chocolates .The scenic drive from Shillong to Mawlynnong offers a spectacular view of changing landscapes .
|Meghalaya has many rivers. Most of these are rain fed and are therefore seasonal|
|The road diversion : right goes to Cherapunji and the left to Mawlynnong|
|cloud covered mountains|
|Beautiful waterfall cascading down hill slop|
The state possess numerous waterfalls with mesmerizing surroundings .The heavy rainfalls have created many natural rock formation and waterfalls ..Meghalaya has some of the thickest surviving forests in the country and therefore constitutes one of the most important ecotourism circuits in the country today.
|A small but beautiful church|
We came across numerous churches on our way .I clicked this picture from moving car.The state has a Christian majority with 70% of the population practising Christianity .One of the unique features of the State is that a majority of the tribal population in Meghalaya follows a matrelineal system where lineage and inheritance are traced through women.
|Rock textured hill|
|The Church At Wahlyngkhat|
|Road to Pontung Villge|
The road which leads to Pontung village also is the road towards Dawki .The road was under heavy construction .It was bumpy but not uncomfortable but same could not be said for private taxi/sumos who follow a faster speed.
After driving another 15 km we reached to this diversion .The way straight was towards Dawki and the right lead to Mawlynnong .Now the road ahead was very narrow . Both sides of the road were covered with ferns and thick shrubs.
Crossed this rusty old bridge over a small river .
Another breathtaking view .
The road had many diversions and with no sign board we took a wrong turn .We met these two good men who explained us the direction in fluent English.Throughout our journey whenever we asked for direction ,the response was in English.I almost forgot to mention that these gentlemen(don't go by their clothes) were here for fishing and they had the most advanced fishing equipments with them.
Finally we were about to touch the prettiest village we had heard so much about .
As planned we decided to see the Living Root Bridge of Riwai first.It was one of the most amazing thing that i had ever seen in my life
|the one way distance between Shillong and Mawlynnong as per our car meter|
To Be Contd. Click on the links below for next parts :