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To The Hills

Tanya Brooks

Meghalaya- the Scotland of the East is definitely a favourite for all who live in the North East. The rolling blue hills, the envelope of clouds, the perfect curved roads are just too enticing to miss. Meghalaya is a heaven visited to enjoy the drop in temperature even if by a centigrade and the plain-folks on quite a regular basis head towards Shillong city, Cheerapunji, stop by Umiam  or venture out to Dawki , the place of pristine water and Mawlynnong, also referred to as ‘God’s Own Garden”.

For me, Meghalaya is like second home. My visits are quite frequent but then every visit has something new to offer and a new adventure always awaits. The small villages, towns and hamlets that are on the way, not much explored are the true treasure thrones of nature lovers and adventure seekers.  Through this piece this issue, I would like to share a few of such treasures that  I and my beau have explored over the last few months of this beautiful year.

 

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Nongblai, a magical hamlet 5 kilometers to the North- West of Pynursla, East Khasi Hills and 49.1 kms from Shillong, a 1 hour 37 mins drive approximately. This hamlet is a hub for the adventure seekers and hikers. Know as ‘the village of the Gods’, it’s guarded by towering mountains, this mystic place is home to 3 ancient living root bridges. Located some 2000 feet from the rim of the mountain top, access to this village is gained only by a grueling hike as there are no motor able roads.

Langkawet, 48 kms from Shillong city and about a 2 hours drive. This village is blessed with rocky hills, vast grasslands and several natural and manmade water bodies. Long walks and cycle rides are perfect to explore this place and enjoy its beauty.

The foodie in me loves this place. Right from the smoked meat to the momos, Mylliem is awesome. This village is 17.3 kms from Shillong and is about a 36 mins drive from Shillong city.The world renounced Elephant Falls is located in this village and the small churches are a must visit.

Umsning, 69.2 kms from Guwahati and it’s a 1 hr 39 mins drive. The strawberry farms of this village are just mesmerizing. The Sohliya Strawberry Farm is must visit as the seven hectares strawberry production in the rolling hills is just a sight. The climate of this place makes it a perfect zone for strawberry cultivation and I must agree the strawberries are delicious.

The Boat House at Umiam. How about an island to yourself? Interesting! The boat house at Umiam gives you just that. The entrance to this place is from The Orchid Water Sport Complex. The adrenaline rush when approaching the boat house in a country boat and the tranquility attained when one steps in, is just beyond measure. This experience of the boat house is definitely one in a lifetime and there’s no chance one should miss it.

As the festive fervour is quite gripping and we make plans for some relaxation Meghalaya in all it’s rustic beauty is a must visit. Let’s break free from the monotony and explore the un-ventured.

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