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210 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,August,September,October,November,December
Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong is quaint hill-station flanked by pine forests and a few hundred waterfalls scattered ac...
After breakfast today we will visit the famous Elephant Falls and Shillong Peak - to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Shillong later visit Don Bosco Monument, Ward’s Lake where you can enjoy boating, Botanical Garden and Lady Hydri Park. Evening you is free for your personal activities. Overnight stay at Shillong.
After breakfast drive to Jowai 64 kms. from Shillong is the administrative headquarters of Jaintia Hills as well as the commercial centre. Arrive Jowai,check in hotel visit Nartiang Monoliths biggest collection of monoliths or Megalithic stones in one single area is to be found north of the Nartiang market, Durga Temple at Nartiang, Thadlaskein Lake, Stone Bridge at Thlumuwi etc.
I have already seen Shillong. So this time I had breakfast at Madras Cafe (great filter coffee !!), and took 12 pm bus from Meghalaya Transport Corporation bus stand to Guwahati.Nominal price and good connectivity, I reached Guwahati by evening. Took a hotel at Paltan bazaar. Lot of options available. Approx INR 1000/ day.
Picture perfect overcast skies, dramatically green valleys and a hundred or so silvery waterfalls make Shillong a destination beyond definition. This one city will make you realise how you can find beauty at every corner! Whether it is the awe and wonder that captivates you as you enjoy the panoramic views of the city from Shillong hill, or the charm of isolation that draws you in the surrounding groves of tall, evergreen trees of Upper Shillong, every nook, every street, every lane here has a story that is waiting to be unraveled. But if there is one thing in Shillong that is even more attractive than its natural beauty, it is the eclectic mix of cafes and their unwavering bond with music. Is it any surprise, that while the world was enjoying the trance of parties in Goa, or the taste of Israeli food in Dharamshala, Shillong created a niche for itself amongst people looking for unique music and delicious food! Here's a list of the best cafes in town for some delectable bites and soaking in the local vibe.
Next morning we got up and got ready to head back up those 3000 steps. We started walking by 10 and made it to the top by 12. We then tried to find a taxi to take us to Mawlinlong but as it was a Sunday we soon realized none of the share taxis was running.So we went back to Shillong ( share taxis were available for this) and the next morning leave for the village. We made it to Shillong by 7 in the evening all tired and wet. Got into a restaurant, ate dinner after what felt like ages and then decided to start looking for a hotel.MAWLINGLONG VILLAGE
Start early the next morning as there are many attractions in Shillong that you'll not want to miss. First visit the Cathedral Catholic Church, which is built in Gothic architectural style and lies amidst expansive lush lawns. This cathedral was made a shrine in the year 1980. It was constructed atop an emerald-colored hill and has stunning stained glass installations and tall arches.Timing: 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Hotel Recommendation: Nalgre Guest House
Had we set alarms to wake up, we would have been late! The first light of dawn hit our room at 4:45 am in the morning and the view outside was enough to make us leap from our beds and get ready to begin an early first day of our trip.
ShillongShillong, called as 'Scotland of The East', the capital of Meghalaya, is the only hill station in the country that is accessible from all sides. With beautiful roads, crystal clear lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls and impressive mountains, there are several picturesque places to visit in Shillong.
128 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The capital of Manipur, Imphal, is a politically and economically important city in the North East. If you are visiting ...
Sitting at Rita's Cafe, I decided to get to Kohima. I didn't have an ILP and that was bothering me. But I asked a travel operator on my way back to the hotel, and they said that it was no issue at all. I got a ticket for a Winger to Kohima for the next day.The winger took off for Kohima at 6am in the morning. 150 kms of the journey was covered in 5 hrs, given that there were barely any roads anywhere. The roads at most of the places are being widened, and the air was filled with dust. As we came close to Manipur Nagaland border, one could witness the beautiful town of Mao. The landscape was filled with terrace farms, with hills pink with cherry blossoms.We entered Nagaland, and the entire vehicle was scanned. I was thinking of situations in mind when they would ask me for my ILP, and the way out. But despite my non-ethnic face, they ignored me, and the vehicle was allowed to move out after they had checked the luggage.
At 4.30 AM, I was up; ready by 5; and by 5.30, my cab guy had managed to get his tank full. Petrol is an issue in Imphal, and I had found women selling bottles of fuel at the roadside, much late in the night. The sun was up, bright, and people were out, jogging, taking strolls by then. But as we moved out of Imphal, dense fog covered the roads for the next 2 hours, until we were far deep in Manipur. At 8 am, the cab broke down in the middle of nowhere. And we spent a good 1.5 hrs in getting it fixed. Good that the driver knew almost all the drivers who passed by, and got a gang of them to help him out. Meanwhile, I munched on the dried fish snack that I had got at Loktak, enjoying clouds visiting the blue hills below. My phone started showing wrong time, picking up the local time of Myanmar, and I got confused if we had spent 2.5 hrs repairing the vehicle.
Rita Café: A perfect place to lounge in the evening with live Manipuri music being played by a local band. Good options for coffee and mocktail. The chilly cheese toast is a must try here.
Before I left for Manipur, I did my research and wanted to do Dzuko valley trek which can be done from Viswema or zhakama in Nagaland. I tried my best to get ILP by applying couple of weeks earlier to my departure but the same has been sitting "In Progess" State even now. I read few posts saying there is a route from Manipur side opened by MMTA which takes just 5hours which turned to be HOAX.First things first, people who want to enter nagaland from manipur side can do it even without ILP. As I heard from locals, there is no place to get and there is no one to check if you have ILP.I landed in Imphal airport expecting a taxi stand who can help me reach the base camp and as its just 110km, I was not expecting the taxi cost to be more than 1650(110*15rupees). When I reached the airport, I was surprised to see that there were hardly 3-4 taxis and no one even ready to take me. Finally I found a guy who asked 10000/-. I heard its 7000 from Kohima side for pickup or pickup and drop as everyone wants to charge you for both sides/Even the autovala asked for 350/- for 7-8km. So, I took a service auto right outside the airport and headed to ISBT looking at some big hoardings projecting Revival of Manipur transport blah blah blah, but I was surprised to see a very Big Bus stand but no Government buses.
Two days out in the open had tired us out, so we spent the next day resting for sometime in our hotel room. Late in the afternoon we left to explore the city of Imphal, for there were quite a few promising locations here as the map told. Manipur was one of the places where battles of World War II were fought between the British and the Japanese forces, with Indian soldiers feeding the British manpower. Needless to say, Imphal stands testimony to many tales of wartime courage and resilience and pays homage to its martyrs. We visited a couple of these monuments - The Red Hill and Shaheed Minar, while exploring the the streets and markets of this lovely city. One of the interesting markets we came across was the Ima market, where all the vendors are called Ima, or Mother. Manipur is famous for its handlooms, and we made quite a few exquisite purchases to make the folks back home happy.The week had passed so soon that we did not even notice. Soon it was time to say goodbye to this lovely little town and head back to our busy city lives. When we boarded our flight for return, it was with a rejuvenated mind, a spent but fresh body and a contented and happy heart.
Our flight landed in Imphal amidst mild fog. Since it was August the summer was already past and winter was looking to creep in. The monsoons were meanwhile blessing the state amply, and we almost feared our trip would be all but washed out. However, right from the time we landed, the Sun God kept us good company, making the weather remarkably pleasant for outdoor activities. A quick shower and a sumptous breakfast at the Classic Hotel where we had checked in, we were ready to make most of our five day trip. We were very sure that we did not want to visit the usual places that people went sightseeing - monuments, parks and the like. So we directly headed to those places that makes Manipur befit its name.
With two states left in my “to-wander” list of seven sisters, I chose Manipur over Mizoram because of its accessibility from Dibrugarh. Roaming nearby Imphal made me realise that all the states I travelled in NE were far behind in terms of beauty in-front of Manipur. The extraordinary beauty of this place justifies its name – Mani-pur.Traveling here was a completely different experience than other states in NE. Manipuri’s don’t bother about Hindi or English much. They are happy with Manipuri. They have so difficult names of everything. Be it a place, person or something to eat. Girls here are gorgeous and open minded than any other state. Almost 90% of its land is covered with hills. Their local food is so different, tasty and easily available. They take sprouted beans and black tea as evening snacks. Almost all the traffic signals in Imphal had a lady inspector. The local museum will fill you with lot of information about Manipur. There is a market in Imphal called Ima market. Ima means mother in Manipuri. This huge market is run by mothers. Mothers sell vegetables, flowers, dried fishes, groceries, local handloom and a lot more here. A few of the Ima’s here understood and spoke Hindi and English. And interacting with them was a homely feeling.
237 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
More than the land of oranges as its original name Sohra connotes, this 'wettest place on the planet' is a land of water...
We then left to the main taxi stand to get ourselves a share taxi to Cherapunji (It would make life easier if you could rent a bike from here and do the entire journey on it but we couldn't get our hands on any bikes).The taxi cost us around 80 rps only and in about 2 to 3 hours we were in between the clouds. We couldn't see what was 10 meters ahead either.It really was the wettest place on earth and we were there during the wettest season.CHERAPUNJI:Now that we were in Cherapunji our next step was to find a place to stay which turned out to be not too easy as the first place we went to- hostel By the way, we got kicked out as the owner did not like us!Finally, we found one place which agreed to give us a room for 1000 rps a night and we decided to spend the night there.
On the way there are many amazing views and waterfalls. All you have to do is enjoy the ride and do not get tempted for every scenic beauty on the way. We reached cherrapunji around 6 again. Damn, it was dark. As it was wet all around we wanted to take cheap room or camp this time within a compound. Luckily, we met a rider who offered us place with tent. We offered him some drinks in return ;) Now this is where we made nearly 4 very good friends.. sharing their life experiences driving Sumo around meghalaya. Its so good, how few drinks can get you such an amazing conversation with strangers. All you have to do is smile, and there are many stories waiting to be told.
After breakfast, set off for Cherrapunji, well known for receiving one of the highest rainfall in the world. Cherrapunjee is localy known as Sohra and is situated at a distance of 56 kms from Shillong. On the way is the Mawkdok Valley which is a very prominent sighseeing for tourists. Then on the way we visit the Nohsngithiang falls (Seven sisters falls) which is known to be the symbol of the Unity of the Seven States of North East India. After that we head for Thangkharang park, located just besides the Khoh Ramhah rock and offers a 180 degree view of the Bangladesh plains. Later than we visit the Mawsmai cave, a major crowd puller that leaves tourists spellbound. After trekking in the majestic cave we move for Eco Park, which hosts several hybrid and indigenous orchids. It also offers a breathtaking view of distant Sylhet Plains of neighbouring Banladesh.Attractions: Mawkdok Valley, Nohsngithiang (Seven sisters), Thangkharang, Mawsmai Cave, Eco Park.Part 4:
The next morning Ban took me to the tree house of Mawlynnong, managed by Lajong guest house, where one can get a get a glimpse of Bangladesh. After the morning tea, I bid goodbye to the Don Bok family and as arranged by Ban we set out for Nohwet View point, in his friend’s Ambrose’s taxi. The mountains of Sohra are right in front at this viewpoint. I was longing for the waterfalls that lied ahead, their thundering plunge calling out. Ambrose dropped me at the Pongtung cross roads (400rs) from where I got another cab till Pynrsula (50rs) from where another cab helped me reach Shillong (70rs). Reaching Shillong, I went straight to the Police bazaar and had a heavy Chinese cuisine for lunch. I made a mental note, avoid Chinese food before traveling. It made me gastric and sleepy. But then hunger pangs and the foodie in me goes berserk. Even before I reached Sohra (70rs) it started pouring. How wet can God be. From Sohra it was ~13 kms till Nongriat. Being a Sunday, no cabs were available further (in general even). (3pm) I started walking and was prepared mentally to cover the distance in 4 hours; by 7pm I should reach Nongriat. To keep track of distance left, I asked every occasional face I spotted, "Nongriat kitna door hai". People gave such frowning doubtful looks. An old lady deemed it impossible, her voice mocking my spirit. Above that I did two wrong things already, I could have managed to reach early, daylight recedes quickly in such a rainy weather and I was wearing floaters; floaters maybe convenient for short distances, beaches but never for long distance walking, especially if it’s raining. It was only after I crossed the cement factory at Mawmluh, did I encounter civilization and cars started making appearances. I tried my luck asking for lift but nobody seemed to care about a stupid guy getting himself wet walking in the rain. After walking certain stretch, a car stopped and windows rolled; perhaps my luck is back again. Two men with their driver were going towards a border area. They were Bengalis and owned a mining area near the Bangladesh border. Being Bengali helped. After hearing what I embarked upon, they put sense into me that it would had been a futile effort trying to reach Nongriat at this hour. I had my return train from Guwahati next day at 12.30pm. Somewhere, I might have miscalculated my timings. Even somehow if I had been able to reach Nongriat, there was possibly no way I would have been able to enjoy the place per se and make it back to Guwahati station on time. So I tagged along with my newfound saviors. Throughout they took care of me as their own, provided me with dinner on our return way where we stopped somewhere, at a road side eatery. By that time, it was pitch dark, car tail lights glowed devil red. It was still raining heavily, sprayed by winds blowing in full gust; I was trembling. I wished how soon would I return to a warm bed. It was 11pm when we hit Shillong. They wished me luck and I thanked them a lot. I got into the first hotel I could find a room (600rs), as loitering alone at night might not be a good idea; they tend to trouble outsiders. That night sleeping in the hotel room, I could only dream, had I continued on my path how things would have been different. But things not going my way were perhaps a blessing in disguise; another reason for me to come back again and explore the picturesque beauty that lies in Sohra, Nongriat and many such places hidden in Meghalaya's chest.Khublei . Kynduhpat !(Bye, See you again)
If you love the rain, this is the place. A place far from all the hustle of the city and close to the clouds. Carry an umbrella , the weather is unpredictable but you will definitely love this place. Best place for the nature lovers.Norkhalika falls , one of the best scenic beauty.Double Decker Living Root Bridge, a must visit for adventurers.
Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Single Decker Living Root Bridge, Nohsngithiang Falls, Mawsmai Cave
Tourism department conduct one day trip to Cherrapunji which includes waterfalls (Nohkalikai is more famous), a cave, Ramkrishna Mission school and a garden. The high attractions are the waterfalls (during some seasons these get dry, one can avoid then) and the cave. The cave is quite big with some small openings for one to pass through. One should also visit double decker roots bridge for which transport would be through either local taxis or a reserved taxi. One has to walk up and down almost 3000 stairs to get to the place (almost 1.5-2hrs). I also liked spending a night in homestay nearby and visiting the bridge early in the morning again when there was no crowd and the environment was calm.
277 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Tawang has always been in the midst of conflict and controversy. But if you look beyond the controversy, you'll discover...
It was morning rains that decreased the temperature below 8 in Tawang.I was undecided about what next. The previous day had talked with the taxi driver about Zemithang ,8000 to and fro with an eve stay so it was a out of budget.My group had left for the early bus to Bomdila and I was checking the weather forecast of the places around and it was rains everywhere. Then i decided i take an off day with just a walk in the town after 4 days being on the move and slept again.I woke up around 9 and then got ready , had breakfast and then walked upto the Tawang Monastery which is the second largest monastery in the world.I was treated with awesome views of The giant Buddha that towers over the town as well as the beautiful monastery during my walk.
We reached Tawang at around 2:30 pm and then start deciding for the next day trip up to Bum La Pass.2 of us were involved in formalities to get id proofs and ILP copies. Apart from ILP, a separate pass is required to go up to Bum La pass, near Chinese border which gets done by the taxi drivers on the day of travel with both id proof and ILP copies. Meanwhile,i started looking for stay options nearby and luckily got one named Hotel Massang, near the bus stand again.My friends also got stay in the same hotel. I had lunch and was determined to cover at least something nearby the same day.I walked up to the Giant Buddha statue nearby. Tawang has some shortcuts with stairs leading up to higher altitude places. The stairs can be quite slippery, plus the dogs were a bit hostile as well. I fell twice while climbing these shortcuts. But all the effort put in led me to a pretty spectacle.
Bum La Pass (37 km)Early morning ( by that I mean 8.30 am ) we left for another picturesque ride to the Indo-China border at Bum La Pass. A permit from the Army is required to visit this place and can be obtained from Tawang a day in advance.Our first pit stop was the Army Canteen. Every time I meet the Army men I feel this sense of awe at their joviality despite living in such adverse conditions and in such extreme situations. They enlightened us about the tribulations of living at an elevation of around 15,000 ft. It's not just the stress from human sources but the strain of mother nature that they have to endure. Sub-zero temperature, hypoxia leading to dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), and sleepless nights. A big salute to their courage, tolerance, and sacrifices!The army canteen had some mouth-watering samosa (kept us returning for it!), momos, Maggie and brewing chai for us and some awesome army goodies at bargainous prices. Like I got this incredible jacket which managed to keep me warm even in the sub-zero temperature and protected me from the glacial winds. Just for 700 bucks. Deal of the year!The road to Bum la is horrendous. I felt like the roads just kept getting worse and worse with each passing day. The sadistic universe must have been like, "Oh you survived that, let's throw something worse at you."But then again, the universe must be bipolar. Cause it threw at us the most pristine of places which took out breaths away. Quite literally! There are numerous lakes en route. Good luck with counting them cause I lost my count.
After two days of transit riding we were starting for the first “destination” of the trip. We had a comfortable start from Bomdilla and enjoyed the views of the Himalayas. However, the road was a mixture of broken tarmac and unforgiving off roads which made us cover distances at a very slow pace. About 100 kms from Bomdilla we reached the highest point of the trip at Se La at 13700 feet above sea level. We spent considerable time at Se La by enjoying the ride around the paradise lake and clicking loads of pictures and videos of the milestone boards and the gate welcoming us to Tawang. When we were having a cup of tea at the cafeteria at Se La, a biker coming from Tawang came to us with a very grim and tensed look. He gave us a very stern warning about a patch of black ice about 2 kilometers before Jaswantgarh and advised us to be very cautious at that stretch. This made us a little worried and we immediately started towards Tawang without wasting any more time. We counted down the kilometers to Jaswantgarh and the warning turned out to be true! There was a stretch of around 250 meters of very slippery and very dangerous black ice on the road. The condition was so bad that it was even difficult to walk on that stretch without slipping. Thankfully, we had the company of Tejas who helped me to push the heavy Royal Enfield step by step across that stretch of black ice. It was a physically exhausting experience! We thought that the worst was over and we were relieved and continued towards Tawang. This turned out to be a big mistake as there were many other small but invisible stretches of black ice all along and we weren’t as cautious as we should have been. At one such descent, there was a small stretch of black ice right before a turn. I braked to slow the motorcycle down to take the turn and before we knew it, BAM! We found ourselves on the ground with the motorcycle on top of us and the cliff only a couple of few feet away! In spite of all its flaws, one of the advantages of the Royal Enfield is that one can add large sized crash guards. Fortunately for us, the team at Destination Adventure had installed these large crash guards which were covered with a rubber mesh which along with the panniers helped us walk out of the crash with minor bruises. We were startled to say the least and then started to ride extremely cautiously. Our tensed nerves were relieved when we reached the Nuranang waterfalls at Jang. Since it was winter we could not see the waterfall in its full glory but it was beautiful nevertheless! We finally reached Tawang, the town which we had been dreaming off, at around 7 PM. It was already dark and there was not much to do. At dinner Tejas and Shashank gave us valuable tips about our onward journey to Meghalaya. They also advised us to not take too much stress as it was supposedly a “honeymoon ride” and not a test of endurance. To which we jokingly replied that we have had our share of relaxed holidays and we wanted to have a honeymoon unlike anyone else’s. We had a satisfying sleep that night.
I spent a day in Tawang exploring its famous monastery. It's massive, to say the least. The Tawang Monastery is said to be the largest in India and the 2nd largest in the world.
The picturesque town of Tawang. It is known for its tranquil beauty and vibrant soothing energy. Talk of the hospitality or the amiable nature of the residents, the towering mountains overhead or the speeding thundering valleys. Tawang touches your soul in every amazing way.Rediscovering Northeast. 'Tawang', A MUST visit.
I somehow knew that my scars would continue to fester until I embraced a geographical change. Well, recruiting friends for company is difficult with most of them busy with their jobs, some were broke and a few simply not the game for it. I faced with the dilemma of whether to sulk in unhealthy dose of self pity or travel without a company. It didn't took me long to recognise that travelling made room for much needed self-reflection and a decluttering of the mind. I was pretty much impressed by Buddhism on my earlier trips to Ladakh. My Boss was kind enough to give me a 7 day break to reboot and refresh my mind for I had not taken a vacation in the past 6 months. Tawang was a natural choice for me, though the region is prone to heavy rains and landslides during May-June. I was skeptic about the whole idea initially, but the vision of beautiful valleys and lakes for photography was too exciting. How to reach Tawang?The nearest airport is Tezpur which is about 300 km away. In addition, there are a very few flights to Tezpur from rest of India. The best option, therefore is Guwahati which has one of the busiest airports in the entire northeast. Guwahati is located 480 km from Tawang and is connected to all the major cities in India. One can drive down to Tezpur from Guwahati Airport, which is about 4 hours away. Tata Sumo, Mahindra Bolero or Maruti Eeco are easily available for hire from Tezpur to Tawang. Taxis charge approximately ₹ 7k-8k. It's a 16 hours long journey from Tezpur to Tawang which holds you tight with its unparalleled beauty and the gift of nature displayed in every inch of the land. On the way, you would be able to see the beautiful Tenga Valley, Bomdila, the spectacular Sela Pass and lake, the Jaswantgarh Memorial and the famous Nuranang or Jang falls. While at Tawang A lot of good hotels are available in Tawang which provide comfortable stay and great food as well with charges ranging from ₹ 1000- 3000 per night. It gets extremely cold at night so carrying woollens and warm clothes is a must. The hotels generally have tie ups with local travel agents to provide vehicles to visit in and around Tawang. They charge around ₹4000-5000 to take you to all the places around Tawang which includes the Tawang Monastery, Tawang War Memorial, Bum La, Taktsang Gompa, Shongatser Lake and Pankang Teng Tso. The journey from Tawang to Shongatser lake is a mesmerising one with a number of isolated lakes and beautiful valleys. The best time to visit Tawang is Feb-Mar, Oct-Nov and Apr-July. You got to watch out for extreme cold and unhygienic roadside food. And hey, the civilians require something known as the Inner Line Permit (ILP), as Tawang is located near the international border with China. ILP can be easily obtained from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Tezpur and the Tawang district headquarters It takes approximately 10-12 hours for the process. It's the best to apply for it at Tawang itself as you can plan a day out there itself. For more details you can visit the Arunachal Pradesh tourism website. Tawang is a heaven for photographers and nature lovers out there. Don't forget to carry your medicines for motion sickness, sun-tan lotion, sun hat, goggles, raincoat and an umbrella. For all you hesitant solo travellers, don't let your fear stop you. Travelling solo allows us to know ourselves a little better. And, remember you hold the power to your feelings and being your own doesn't equate with loneliness. So, chuck that damn phone away and strike a conversation with yourself. Bon Voyage!
Since I had to return the next day, I got in touch with the one of the local tour operators for my return to Tezpur. Next day morning I boarded the cab from the guest house and said good bye to our beautiful host Dehra Lama and he wished me all the best in his own unique gesture of folding the hand. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture with him (forgot to take one).Being a curious guy myself to know more about the places and people. I had good interaction with the migrants here (mainly Bengalis and Biharis) and how they have come to be here and doing business. Also, interacted with ITBP personnel and his experience. All these talks gives us a fresh perspective into a life outside ours and changes our thinking in some way or the other.I stayed overnight in Tezpur at one of the guest house nearby the bus stand. Next morning, I took the Volvo to Guwahati and then reached airport in a cab to board my flight in the afternoon.My journey ended with lots of beautiful memories which I have tried to put above. I would suggest to go out and explore. Life is meant to be enjoyed and experienced and what better way than travelling and meeting people.I am now locating a new place to visit. Signing off. Inbox me for contacts and any suggestions if you want visiting these places.
TawangAfter 5 long hours of driving through the hilly terrain we reached our elusive destination Tawang. Tawang is synonymous with the Tawang Monastery, the mammoth structure very easily visible from far away in the hills. It is the soul of the Tawang hill people. Spirituality flows from here. The monastery is the 2nd largest in the world after the Potala palace in Lhasa.
After Sela you will pass the Jaswant Singh War Memorial. He fought the Chinese in the Sino-Indian war of 1962. You can google more on this place. Jaswant Singh has been elevated to the position of a saint and the local believe that he protects the valley from disaster. This war memorial has on the outside beautiful quotes engraved on the walls and the stones. One thing in Buddhism is that they have heart touching quotes.
218 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - NA
Dibrugarh is the passage to Arunachal Pradesh. You will get all varieties of Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, mainland and near...
Head to Dibrugarh on the morning of the 10th day for your return journey back home. Getting to Arunachal PradeshBy air: Arunachal has three airports in the state – Ziro, Along and Tezu, but these are usually served by connecting flights from Guwahati and Kolkata. The closest airport that is well-connected to the rest of the country is Guwahati. But depending on where you're going in Arunachal, you can also take flights to Tezpur and Dibrugarh.For this itinerary, we will use Guwahati as our base, which is 311km from Itanagar, the state capital, and is our first stop.By train: Around 43 km from Itanagar, Harmuti railway station in Assam) is the nearest train station connecting Arunachal Pradesh to other major cities of India. From there you can take a bus or hire a cab to reach the state.By road: The state is most accessible by road and easily approachable by all nearby states and cities. There are a number of state transport buses that run within Arunachal as well as connect it to the neighbouring states. The network of taxis is also well developed and preferred by most tourists as it is more reliable than the buses.Getting around Arunachal PradeshArunachal Pradesh State Transit (APST) runs regular buses across the state, but they mostly operate in the plains because of the condition of the roads in the more remote areas. And because of the terrain, the buses can sometimes be infrequent and unreliable. The main mode of transport is shared Sumo taxis for the locals and other cabs for tourists.The road network in Arunachal is not overly developed and it is often not possible to move directly between smaller towns and villages. You will often have to return to the plains instead of going directly from town to town.Best time to visit Arunachal PradeshBecause of the varied terrain, Arunachal is subject to a diverse range of weather conditions. The summers are usually warm, with temperatures going up to 35ºC, while the winters are cold and chilly with sub zero temperatures in several places. The monsoons receive a heavy dose of rainfall, so it is advisable not to visit during that time. Peak summers are from May to June, monsoons from July to September, and winters from October to February.Spring (March-April) and autumn (early October) are usually the best times to visit as the temperature is moderate and most of the places are accessible.Which is your favourite place in Northeast India? Write about your experiences here on Tripoto and check out our YouTube channel for some amazing travel inspiration.
Dibrugarh, AssamYou know how you crave that cup of tea to start your day, or at the end of a long hard one, or sometimes, just to wake up? Forget all of that. Welcome to Dibrugarh, the Tea City of India. Take a Tea Tasting tour and open your senses to the taste, the feel and the fragrance of the beverage your day depends on. Besides this, find exotic flora and fauna at Namdapha National Park or visit the Tilinga Mandir (also known as The Temple of Many Bells) for little adventures that the quaint town offers.
I landed at the Dibrugarh Airport to kick-start my journey. Dibrugarh is renowned as India’s tea capital. The finest tea in the world is grown here. This place essentially lies in the neighboring state of Assam with a few parts falling in Arunachal Pradesh. Dibrugarh is home to miles and miles of tea estates and the lush greenery brings many tourists here. There are a few national parks and botanical gardens to explore like the Jokai Botanical Gardens and the Saikhowa National Park and some Vaishnavite temples as well. This is one of the highly urbanized places, with universities and decent transport facilities. One of the few places in this part of the country where you can find a decent internet connection.
After two days at Mon we drove to Dibrugarh which was 200 kms or 7 hrs away. Situated in the northernmost tip of Assam, Dibrugarh is the gateway to Aurnachal Pradesh. Famous for tea, it has world’s largest area covered by tea gardens. After the long drive, all we could do is rest and prepare for the journey ahead.
218 Kms from Dimapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,September,October,November,December
The road towards Mawlynnong passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Meghalaya. You'll see forests, cliff...
After spending 2-3 hours at Dawki, I decided to go to Mawlynnong. I couldn't find any bus to Mawlynnong from Dawki, so hitchhiked with a nice couple from Hyderabad as they were going to the same place. You can book a taxi for approx INR 1000-1500.There are a lot of homestays available at Mawlynnong village. I stayed at Ha la tyngkong Home Stay and found the people there really hospitable and down to earth. In my overnight stay there, I enjoyed home-cooked food and their lovely company. The room cost is INR 500-700 pp.
By afternoon we reached the Asia’s cleanest village which bragged this title in 2013 by Discover India. As the name suggests God’s own garden is truly a heavens places as we witnessed. The lush green and clean road of village was simply mesmerizing. The village looked so beautiful and well disciplined. All the houses have dustbins made of bamboo which they decompose and make their own manure out of which organic vegetables are being produced. One can book homestay within the village and get the experience of locales of the village life of khasi tribe.
Next morning a friends mom arranged a bus to Mawlinlong and Dawki which we thought was a public bus but it was an arranged tour. After our adventures until last night, this was a very dull day.
Mawlynnong is roughly 80 Kms south towards the Bangladesh border from Shillong and very well connected by road. You can take a cab from Shillong or Guwahati to enjoy the beautiful scenic ride.
In 'Yarrow Unvisited', William Wordsworth wrote about his fear of visiting Yarrow; thinking of how devastated he would be if the real Yarrow river and it's valley do not match up to his imaginative one. Believe me, it is quite easy to feel like Wordsworth too when you're about visit a place like Mawlynnong . Rated by Discover India, then again, by BBC Travel as 'The cleanest village in Asia', a quick Google search will make you excited enough and your heart will set off racing in anticipation as you drive through fog to head to the famous village.A fellow traveller on the next seat and this writer were talking about our 'Yarrow Unvisited' situation as the Meghalaya State Transport bus we were on climbed down East Khasi Hills with fog-lights on, courtesy our late start from Shillong. On hindsight, we were being over dramatic because a couple of hours later we were setting foot there. But since it was already dark, I couldn't form any impression. And that was left for the next morning, as I slithered into the camping tent set up for the younger and more adventurous among us.The weather was damp, humid and boy, it was hot. Bah Risot, our host for the stay at Mawlynnong poured us a strong brew of local red tea as we try to familiarise ourselves with the environment. He speaks impeccable English and for my first impression of this famous village, this was quite good. He, like most Khasi men, have moved here since his marriage to a local woman. For the uninitiated, Khasi society is a matrilineal one. Unlike the rest of world (mind you, there are only a handful of matrilineal society), men move into their women's house in marriage and inheritance are given to the daughters. Probably, one of the deciding factors in making Mawlynnong the cleanest village in Asia, considering the fact that women are by nature much more particular about cleanliness. Skyview, a treetop view of Bangladesh or rather the swampy upper plains of Syllhet district of Bangladesh, came free (much like complimentary breakfast with hotels). He would charge 20 bucks for others who would like the opportunity to climb the bamboo walkway. The view is nothing to write home about but the sky does look good in the early hours as the sun rises up. Maybe that's why Bah Risot had named it Skyview, instead of Bangladesh view.So, how does this village manage to bring in over 200 tourists everyday? We're about to find out. The roads are properly tarred; with flowers of every kind lining its streets, complemented of course by trash bins made out of split bamboo. One can't call it dustbin because it's more of a basket. You'll find the womenfolk pulling weeds from their garden and if you ask around enough they'll tell you that the village has been like this, way before it was discovered. It wasn't like one day they decided to compete for the title of the cleanest village by overhauling themselves or as one might assume adopted by an NGO to be a model village. They say it's a traditional thing. Bijoya Sawian, also wrote in a book I picked up from Shillong, that cleanliness is an inherent Khasi trait. I'll take his words for it.Mawlynnong with all the modernisation around it, is still a village. And this place carries the charm of a virgin bride. It was ages ago since I last saw so many crabs in a brook. One morning, we managed to find about enough crabs for lunch in under 20 minutes. Mind you, crabs come out at night and we were only picking up the ones who stayed out late in the morning. Living Root Bridge, a bridge formed out of tree roots is a spectacle. It is perhaps the only living and breathing bridge.Sukher, a young local lad who also speaks decent English walked me through the history of Mawlynnong. He organise trekking trips to the outer part of the village and with all his enthusiasm told me of a place reminiscent of James Cameron's Avatar. To my regret, I couldn't club the foray in the schedule of my short stay. He also told me of how unfortunate it is that tourists who visit the place litters. It's ironic because one will have to assume that you go to a village famous for cleanliness to learn something about it. Unfortunately, in India it's the photo ops that matters. The photos of you standing near a monument/statue/bridge with which you can brag about to friends and relatives that matters.Mawlynnong is not just another tourist spot. It is not even a hill station. The village essentially remains a village. The only bit of commercialisation you see here in a tea-shop. And that, I believe is the most endearing part here.Having left Mawlynnong and then Shillong, I sat down at my hotel in Guwahati and thought about Wordsworth's fear. Was I disappointed? Far from it! "The things of reality are far more beautiful than things of imagination.", he wrote in Yarrow Visited. Forgive me if I sound like a parrot but I feel that way too.P. S: 'Bah' is a Khasi honorific used to address older male members. Much like 'Da' in Bengali and Abung in Rongmei.Looking for crabs in the early hour at Mawlynnong reminds me of the many fishing trips with my old man when I was younger. The experience made me miss him. Even more so, on a day like today. Happy Fathers Day.
The morning brought a fresh dose of enthusiasm with the hen’s clucking at sunrise and localites starting for their jobs early. It’s aptly declared the cleanest Asian village as we could see every native conscious of keeping the place squeaky clean, not allowing even fallen leaves to be left scattered on the roads. The village dustbins are made from jute instead of plastic and there’s no sign of dump/waste in the open anywhere in the village. We walked through the village and took a path which was leading inside forest for an early morning walk:
Mawlynnong:Mawlynnong village is known as the cleanest village in Asia. We could see there were bamboo dustbins all over the village, plastic bags are banned, and smoking is also prohibited. Also, do try to have the lunch there as it was mouth watering.
On our way to Dawki, we came accross a village at Mawlynnong. This is truly the cleanest village. The artifacts and hand crafts are made of wood and bamboo, the homes are constructed with Bamboo, even the dust bins are made with Bamboo. I couldn't even see a paper piece in the streets, let alone the plastic!
Nongriat to Mawlynnong via Tyrna (4.5 kilometers trek and 100 kilometers ride)Yet again, the day started with a trek. The walk back to Tyrna comprised of ascending 3000 steps but we reached there early in the afternoon. We loaded our bike and bid adieu to the beautiful kids of Tyrna village. Our route to Mawlynnong was via the same road to Shillong but the weather was totally different this time. There was dense fog all around and we finally got a sense why the state is called “Megh-Alaya”. We unfortunately missed the turn to the famous Nohkalikai falls in the fog and realized it only after going a long distance so we continued forward. A few kms before Mawlynnong the road became really narrow with dense banana trees on all sides making it difficult to anticipate the oncoming vehicles. We found it very difficult to find accommodation at Mawlynnong as even basic hotels were priced upwards of 2K for a night. Finally after wasting a lot of time we found a room in the attic of an under-renovation hotel which fit our budget. We then decided to explore “Asia’s cleanest village” and found it to be as clean as all the other villages of Meghalaya. By 7 pm everything was shut and we had a basic dinner at the only restaurant of the village. Overall we were a little disappointed with Mawlynnong and we would not recommend a night halt there.