Khublei Mawlynnong

5th Nov 2015
Traveling to North East India was always my dream. So I picked Meghalaya for my solo trip. It was unplanned, spontaneous, budget trip with lots of surprises. I flew from Pune to Guwahati. And real journey started when I took Yellow Sumo to Shillong. Which is most popular and cheapest way of traveling. Shillong was a little disappointing with a traffic. So I didn't stay there and continued my journey to Mawlynnong-Asia's Cleanest Village. The journey was beautiful itself. I couldn't keep my eyes off from the green khasi hills and valleys and the turns on the roads and the small hamlets hidden in the trees. I met Henry the guide when I reached Mawlynnong. He organised a homstay for me.   Next day I took a round of the village. For me Mawlynnong is, beautiful colourful gardens and perfectly finished bamboo fences around bamboo houses which are built 2-3 feet above the ground, A church with a British look, small and clean streets, well mannered and confident kids, always helpful khasi people. And I decided to stay there for all eight days and cover places nearby.  
"Living root bridge" best example of using available natural resources. I also admire the generation who had a vision of making their next generation's life easy. Because It must have taken many decades to grow roots to form a bridge. Salute. This bridge connects Riwai and Nowhet villages. " Nowhet view point " was a quiet place with a nice view. I could imagine the view in rainy season when the river down in the valley and the falls on the hills across are running. I could sit there for days reading my favourite novels. I took a walk to these places. "Dawki" a must must visit place with a breathtaking river view. I took a boat ride through the crystal clear waters with my travel buddy. I also got a bullet ride with him from Mawlynnong to Dawki. "Shnongpden" the place I have thought only exist in romantic novel. But it's real and only 7kms away from Dawki. Magical view this village has. It is based on the slopes of khasi hills, clean and clear river like a mirror, and a lonely planet. Where locals are fishing and offered me a ride in fishing boat. I was mesmerised by seeing the reflection of hills on the water. The water was so clear I could see the fishes and stones clearly. I also walked through rivers and wandered in the jungles 3 days with tribals. They showed me beautiful winter waterfalls, bamboo bridges and living ladders interior inside the woods. I met few travel buddies from all over the world and our range of discussion was from World politics to  Bihar elections from Women empowerment to solo traveling. I opted traveling by hitchhiking and sharing yellow sumos so that I could talk to as many local people.  One of the best part of my trip was my homestay. Nangroi(best cook and best host ever), her kids, her sister in law and few neighbourhood friends and me would talk around the fire every night after dinner. I learned more about Matriarchy and khasi language. I tried to know their views on rest part of India. We would take after dinner tea. Smiles,laughters and making fun of each other would make me forget that I was tired of walking. One of my travel buddy rightly said I had become a citizen of Mawlynnong and Nangroi's family member in my eight days stay. I was happy not making plans and take every moment of the trip as surprise. 

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