There is a saying – The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page, which is a fact. Travel and change of place imparts new vigour to your mind. Twenty years from now when you look back into your life nothing stays but those crazy adventures you have done with the crazy people around you. Nothing can give you a book full of memories except that one trip for life you have traveled.Every college student must be having one such 'A Trip to Remember' in their life. This is one of the pages from my travel diaries.
It was a 2 day trip from Guwahati to Shillong and Cherrapunjee. We were nine in number. We booked a taxi from Guwahati for 2 days. We started off early in the morning itself. It was approximately 100 kms to Shillong, which takes around two and a half hours of time. We carried food packets along with us. Slowly our journey began:
The places we had visited:
1. Umiam Lake
The lake serves as a major tourist attraction for the state of Meghalaya. It is also a popular destination for water sport and adventure facilities. Tourists visit this spot for kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating.This huge lake is also known as bada pani. It is probably the largest man made lake in north east India. The viewing point offers good photo opportunity. It was a pleasant place. we spent some time clicking good pictures and then had lunch. Then we started off to our next destination.
2. Don Bosco Museum
Asia's Largest Cultural Museum and a must visit place for tourists, teachers & students. A part of DBCIC ( Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures). In it the visitor can have an overview of the whole of North East India. Rising into Shillong’s skyline the Museum is a seven storey building with 17 well laid out Galleries containing artefacts, paintings, fibreglass figures – all a feast to the eyes and a source of knowledge. Apart from its amazing galleries, Don Bosco Museum welcomes its visitors to have a breathtaking view of Shillong City from the Museum’s skywalk.
A fascinating and informative collection of cultural and historical treasure of North-East India. I think this is the richest such treasure-house of this type anywhere in the world,exclusively displaying the heritage of the North-East of India.
It is also a perfect blend of information with technology, with information screens, automatic lighting systems, etc. added to augment the experience of the visitors.
3. Elephant Falls
The next day morning we went to the place.Near Shillong’s highest Peak, (i.e Shillong Peak) a small road deviates a little further to the edge of the mountain. Out of nowhere, a stream rises from the higher plateau and sloshes downstream, running on rocks forming the Elephant Falls. These falls are just 12km from Shillong and few minutes drive from Shillong Peak.
The taxi stopped abruptly at a parking lot surrounded by souvenir shops and small tea hotels. We could already hear the sloshing sound of the waterfall; it was close. Steep steps lead down to the waterfall and I am first met by a ticket counter.We had to buy the entry tickets.
The original Khasi name for the falls was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ (three steps water falls), because of the fact that the water falls in three steps. Of course it was the British who named it ‘Elephant Falls’ because of a stone that resembles an elephant near the falls. But the stone was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897. But the name hasn't changed.
The first fall is broad and hidden between trees. The second fall is tamed and almost negligible in winter, when the water level recedes. The last and the third waterfall is the tallest. Elephant Falls is characterized by clear water flowing over dark jutting rocks with no particular forms. The steep steps can be too much trouble for kids and elderly folks.
4. Mawkdok Dympep Valley
Chanced upon a board at Mawkdok (the 1st bridge and maybe the 1st view point) on way to Cherrapunjee, that says they have option of Zip Lining. The place is usually quite popular with tourists for their first stop on way to cherrapunjee and have a look at the beautiful valley underneath the bridge at Mawkdok.
The zip lining was entirely new experience for us. Though currently the route is very short, it was enthralling.At the begining i was really scared but it was an awesome experience. very adventurous and thrilling. All of us took a ride.We had one of the best times.The view was also amazing.
5. Nokhalikai Falls
It is one of the tallest waterfalls in India.It thunders down from a height of 335m, crashing almost brutally on to the rocks below. One of the five tallest waterfalls in the country, it roars, swollen with water, so that you can hear it right at the viewing gallery, a fair distance away. You can’t make a spontaneous visit to the bottom of the falls either. It involves an arduous trek over several days through the forest. The weather adds to the drama, making it almost impossible to see the falls without a layer of fog clinging to the cliff or floating protectively around the drop.There is a story behind this falls.
According to locals, the story starts with KaLikai (“ka” is a local prefix for women) who lived in Rangjyrteh, a village in Sohra (popularly known as Cherrapunjee). Today a ghost town of sorts, the people of Rangjyrteh used to be the most significant manufacturers of iron. Evidence of that is still seen strewn around as Nohsngithiang Falls (also known as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls) is a seven-segmented waterfall l abandoned basins and tools. KaLikai lost her husband almost immediately after giving birth to their first child, and was forced to start work ferrying iron between villages to support her daughter. She remarried later, and this is where the tale takes an ugly turn.
Her new husband was overcome with jealousy at the attention KaLikai showered on her daughter. In a fit of rage, when the mother was away at work, he killed the little girl, and cooked her for dinner. KaLikai, exhausted after a long day, unwittingly ate the child.When she realised what she had done, KaLikai couldn’t cope with the horror, and jumped off a cliff to her death. The cliff and its falls came to be known as Nohkalikai, literally translated as “jump of KaLikai”. Hence the name occured. I was very much thrilled. There we had few small food stalls where we could get snacks and tea.We took rest for a while there.
6. Seven Sister Falls
This was the last place we visited. Nohsngithiang falls (also known as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls) is a seven-segmented waterfall.The water falls from a height of 315m and has an average width of 70m making it one of the tallest waterfalls in India.The waterfalls get illuminated by the sun and the vibrant colors of the setting sun on the waterfalls makes it beautiful.
You can view the falls from the Eco Park which has been constructed on the plateau on top of the falls. There is also a viewing point for the falls on the road to Cherrapunjee. We gave the Eco Park a go by and viewed the falls from the viewpoint on the road. The rainwater fed waterfall presented an enchanting view against the backdrop of limestone cliffs. The falls flows into a stream in the valley down below. There is even a village in that valley. On the hills opposite to the falls, is the Polo Orchid resort which offers a great view of the falls, and the plains of Bangladesh beyond. Even if you are not staying at this resort, you can still visit its cafe to enjoy the scenery.
Also, the best part of the trip was we had alot of fun in our journey.you find many spots which has scenic beauty.The way was amazing.We felt like we were traveling in another part of the world.It was such a beautiful place.In the evening you can see the clouds coming down.It appears as if we are covered with clouds all around.It was a wonderful experience. One must definitely visit the place.Travelling is not about just visiting new places, the surroundings teach you alot. The experience cannot be described in words.One should travel inorder to feel it.It was one of the most memorable trip in my diary, so start filling up your diaries