Exploring the Enchanting Umngot River: A Jewel of Meghalaya

17th May 2023
Photo of Exploring the Enchanting Umngot River: A Jewel of Meghalaya by Junmoni Kalita
Day 1

Nestled in the mesmerizing terrain of Meghalaya, India, the Umngot River stands as a sparkling gem of natural beauty. With its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking landscapes, this river has garnered a reputation as one of the must-visit destinations in the country. If you are seeking an escape into tranquility and wish to witness nature's wonders, a journey to Umngot River should be on your travel itinerary.

How to Reach Umngot River:

To embark on an adventure to Umngot River, the nearest major city is Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. From Shillong, you can opt for a private vehicle or public transport to reach Dawki, a small town located near the river. The distance between Shillong and Dawki is approximately 80 kilometers, and the journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the road conditions.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Umngot River is during the winter season, which spans from November to February. The weather during this period is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. The river's water is exceptionally clear during these months, providing an incredible opportunity to witness the riverbed and the marine life beneath. However, if you prefer to experience the river during its most vibrant period, plan your visit during the monsoon season (June to September), when the river swells with heavy rainfall and attains its full glory.

Where to Stay:

Dawki offers a few accommodation options for visitors, ranging from budget guesthouses to mid-range hotels. If you are looking for a comfortable stay, there are several hotels and resorts in nearby towns such as Shillong and Jowai, which offer a wider range of choices. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to ensure a hassle-free stay.

Total Cost of Journey:

The cost of a journey to Umngot River can vary depending on your preferences and travel arrangements. Here is a rough estimate of the expenses involved:

Transportation: The cost of traveling from Shillong to Dawki can be around INR 1,500 to INR 2,000 (approximately $20 to $30) for a round trip by private vehicle from Shillong. Public transport options like buses or shared taxis may be more economical, with prices ranging from INR 300 to INR 500 (approximately $4 to $7).

Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Dawki can range from INR 1,000 to INR 3,000 (approximately $15 to $40) per night, depending on the type of hotel or guesthouse you choose. Prices may be higher during peak tourist seasons.

Food and Activities: On average, expect to spend around INR 500 to INR 1,000 (approximately $7 to $14) per day on meals and additional expenses like boat rides and sightseeing.

It's important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on your travel style and preferences.

Nearby Places of Interest:

While Umngot River itself is a mesmerizing attraction, there are several other places of interest in the vicinity that you can explore:

Mawlynnong: Known as the "Cleanest Village in Asia," Mawlynnong is renowned for its pristine surroundings and remarkable cleanliness. It is a short distance from Dawki and offers an opportunity to experience rural life in Meghalaya.

Dawki Bridge: Spanning across the Umngot River, Dawki Bridge is an architectural marvel and offers a splendid view of the river and the surrounding landscape.

Shnongpdeng: Located just a few kilometers from Dawki, Shnongpdeng is a picturesque village that offers a range of outdoor activities. You can indulge in river rafting, kayaking, and camping along the banks of the Umngot River, immersing yourself in the serene beauty of the surroundings.

Krang Suri Waterfall: Situated approximately 30 kilometers from Dawki, Krang Suri Waterfall is a hidden gem tucked away in the dense forests of Meghalaya. With its turquoise pools and cascading waterfalls, it offers a refreshing and rejuvenating experience for nature lovers.

Jaintia Hills: If you have more time on your hands, consider exploring the Jaintia Hills, a region known for its captivating landscapes, ancient caves, and sacred forests. The Krem Mawmluh Cave and the Nartiang Monoliths are popular attractions in this area.

Exploring these nearby places of interest will add depth and diversity to your Umngot River experience, allowing you to delve deeper into the natural and cultural wonders of Meghalaya.

In conclusion, a visit to Umngot River in Meghalaya promises an unforgettable journey into nature's wonderland. From the crystal-clear waters to the breathtaking landscapes, every moment spent here will leave you in awe. By planning your trip during the best time to visit, securing suitable accommodation, and considering the estimated costs, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. So, pack your bags, set off on an adventure, and let the mesmerizing Umngot River captivate your senses like never before.

Photo of Dawki by Junmoni Kalita
Photo of Dawki by Junmoni Kalita
Photo of Dawki by Junmoni Kalita
Photo of Dawki by Junmoni Kalita
Photo of Dawki by Junmoni Kalita