You Won't Believe That This Quaint Village in India Only Speaks English!

Photo of You Won't Believe That This Quaint Village in India Only Speaks English! by Namrata Das Adhikary

Nestled in the bosom of Meghalaya, lies a little-known village with a name as quaint as its landscape - Nongjrong. You must be wondering, "Where is this charming village?" or "What makes it so special?" Well, dear reader, let me take you on a pilgrimage of words to this hidden gem of a place that holds within it the secrets of a simple and contented life.

You'll be surprised to know this about Nongjrong!

Nongjrong, with its population of a mere 1440 inhabitants, is a world in itself. The villagers, with their bright smiles and warm gestures, are the true embodiment of the age-old saying, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Their native language is English, and they speak it proficiently, giving the village a unique identity as the only English-speaking community in the district. As you interact with the villagers, you will be mesmerised by their stories, their culture, and their way of life. You will be transported to a time when life was uncomplicated, and human connections were genuine and meaningful.

Where is Nongjrong located?

Nongjrong is located in the picturesque East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, a state blessed with unparalleled natural beauty and abundant cultural heritage. Hidden deep within the folds of lush greenery, this quaint village is one of the best-kept secrets of the state, known only to a select few adventurous travellers. It falls under the Mawkynrew Tehsil and is nestled roughly 30 km away from the sub-district headquarters and 60 km from the district headquarters, Shillong.

Here’s how you can reach:

By train: You can hop on a train to the Guwahati Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Nongjrong Village, which is around 100 kilometres away.

By bus: Travelers can also opt for state-run or private buses that operate between Guwahati and Nongjrong Village. The journey takes approximately 4 hours and is a convenient and comfortable option.

By car: Another option is to rent a car and drive from Guwahati to Nongjrong Village, taking around 4 hours. This allows for a scenic journey and the opportunity to explore the stunning landscape along the way.

What’s so special about this tiny hamlet?

Nongjrong is a tiny hamlet that exudes simplicity and charm in every corner, offering a glimpse into the traditional way of life of its inhabitants. Here, the locals thrive on agriculture and their sustainable practices, growing a variety of crops such as rice, maize, millet, and an assortment of vegetables.

The village is also home to a host of domestic animals, with cows, goats, pigs, and chickens being reared in every household. A visit to Nongjrong is a journey back in time, where one can truly disconnect from the chaotic world and immerse themselves in the tranquillity of this idyllic paradise.

Things to do in Nongjrong:

Here are some of the best-kept secrets and some interesting things to do in Nongjrong.

Visit Nongjrong View Point

Set your sights on the stunning splendour of Nongjrong from atop its majestic vantage point. An early morning hike to this hilltop haven will reward you with a breathtaking sunrise spectacle. Gazing upon the rolling hills, blanketed by a sea of clouds, and witnessing the golden rays of the sun gently caress their peaks is a sight to behold. And as if this natural masterpiece isn't enough, the glistening river Umngot flows serenely below, further adding to the ethereal atmosphere. With a short hike from the village, this viewpoint is not to be missed – a true feast for the eyes.

Explore Nongjrong Falls

Nature lovers, brace yourselves for a delightful discovery in Nongjrong Falls – a cascading beauty nestled amidst a verdant forest. Immerse yourself in the serenity of this enchanting waterfall, as you take in its rhythmic flow and diving pool. To reach this hidden gem, embark on a trek through the lush foliage for about 3 km. And in the monsoon season, the falls come alive with a vibrant charm, making it the perfect spot to unwind in nature's embrace.

Go Kayaking

For those seeking a thrill of adventure, the river Umngot offers an exhilarating experience through kayaking or rafting. This pristine river is renowned for its crystal clear waters and is considered one of the cleanest in all of India. As you navigate the rapids and curves of the river, soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and forests. Don't miss the opportunity to paddle your way through this exciting water adventure, just 10 km away from Nongjrong.

Indulge in local shopping

Take a slice of Nongjrong home with you by purchasing some authentic local products from the villagers. From organic honey and aromatic spices to fresh fruits and vegetables, you'll find a diverse array of goods to choose from at reasonable prices. Don't forget to pick up some traditional attire like the colourful jainsem and jymphong, to truly immerse yourself in the local culture.

Savour delectable dishes

No visit to Nongjrong is complete without indulging in some mouthwatering local cuisine. Head over to Jadoh War stall on Stadium Road in Jowai for a tantalising jadoh (rice dish), bursting with a flavorful blend of indigenous spices. For a taste of the best Chinese food in the area, check out Jong I Mei Restaurant in Laitdiengsai. Don't miss their succulent pork momos – a must-try delicacy. And if you're looking for a unique dining experience, Yutran Restaurant in Lathadlaboh is the place to be. Or, experience the warmth and hospitality of the homestays, where you can savor fresh and scrumptious traditional dishes like jadoh, tungrymbai, dohkhlieh, and pukhlein. Nongjrong will delight your taste buds like no other.

Best places to stay in:

There are several idyllic abodes waiting to welcome you in the charming and quaint village of Nongjrong and its neighboring areas. he rustic yet cozy Amaara Homestay, perched on the serene Circuit House Road in Jowai, Meghalaya, is a perfect retreat for families. Another delightful option is the charming Tyrchi INN, situated in the picturesque Khliehtyrshi area, offering a true taste of country living.

For those seeking a more intimate experience, HeiJo's Homestay, nestled in the quiet Iongpiah Loompyrdi, offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. And if you yearn to immerse yourself in the unique local culture, the CTC Orchid Inn, located in the Jaintia Hills District, provides a delightful blend of comfort and authenticity. Furthermore, if you are looking to truly immerse yourself in village life, the hospitable villagers offer comfortable homestays, providing a perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into their daily way of life.

When should you visit Nongjrong?

The best time to visit Nongjrong Village and take in its breathtaking beauty is between October and May. With the village buzzing with life, the weather is perfect for exploring the surroundings and taking in the stunning sights. From lush greenery to vibrant flowers, every corner of Nongjrong Village is a feast for the eyes during these months.

As you leave behind the quaint village of Nongjrong, with its picturesque landscapes, warm hospitality, and unique cultural identity, you can't help but feel a sense of calm pervading your soul. In this fast-paced world, Nongjrong offers a refuge of simplicity and contentment, reminding us of the joys of a life lived in harmony with nature and community.

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