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Shaili takes us on a picturesque tour of Shillong, known as Scotland of the East. She also shares her trekking experience, A Different Truths exclusive.
Shillong, the abode of clouds, is an incredibly graceful and beautiful valley of enchantment and green harmony. The pine groves, the breeze, gentle hills, the lanes and by-lanes have an exquisite beauty of dreamlike quality. This pine trees-clad township is at about 5000 ft. above the sea level in the cradle of the Khasi hills. The late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had very thoughtfully said, “While it grows, as it must, we should ensure that it does not lose its special beauty and its tranquil harmony.”
Even though Shillong has transformed into one of the fast-growing small towns, with the hustle-bustle of daily life, it has definitely retained its natural beauty, standing tall in its entire splendor.
There are many nature lovers and adventurists, who have explored and gone deeper into the valley, discovering routes, age-old traditions, natural heritage…
There are many nature lovers and adventurists, who have explored and gone deeper into the valley, discovering routes, age-old traditions, natural heritage and people having a warm hearth and warmer hearts! Such is the lifestyle of this enchanting valley.
Arriving here is a treat to the eyes of all nature lovers. Undoubtedly, the valley of Shillong is known as Scotland of the East! Thousands of tourists visit Chirapunjee each year to get a glimpse of nature at its best. An excursion along the David Scott track (discovered in the nineteenth century) is what is the highlight of a trip to Chirapunjee. Our trekking team reached Shillong via road from Guwahati or one could also take the Helicopter service to Barapani and by road there on.
Many tourists and trekking enthusiasts visit Chirapunjee, trekking the hills and walking along the trails.
Many resorts and hotels are available suitings every budget. A trip to Chirapunjee
is something that is not to be missed once in Shillong. Many tourists and trekking enthusiasts visit Chirapunjee, trekking the hills and walking along the trails. Most tourists prefer to do their trekking as teams, setting off with their trekking tents, sleeping bags, first-aid kits, umbrellas, raincoats, ready to eat food packets, instant tea, and coffee bags and chocolates for the villagers and children they met en route! Be sure to befriend many!
Our trekking team started from Upper Shillong, following the David Scott Trail from Mawphlang and Lad-Mawphlang, reaching our destination, Chirapunjee. Chirapunjee has one of the most beautiful and exciting trekking routes in the country today. Any trekking team will have a lifetime experience while trekking from Shillong to Chirapunjee. When I travelled from Guwahati along with my friends for trekking, it was our unique interaction with the local people that was noteworthy and the highlight of this entire trip. The excursion was planned with an objective to have a cultural interaction and to cultivate healthy relations with the local crowd along with breathtaking sight-seeing views.
We not only followed the David Scott Trail, which is about two hundred years old, but our trekking was also within the interiors of this route.
We not only followed the David Scott Trail, which is about two hundred years old,
but our trekking was also within the interiors of this route. We were amazed to see small villages in the middle of no-where! The local people were extremely happy to meet us, and their hospitality gladdened our hearts! We greeted each other with ‘Kubeli’ meaning ‘Namaste’. We relished the refreshing cups of ‘Dishasaw’ or the ‘lal- chai’ and the local biscuits. We also had ‘putharo’ made from rice. The response from the local villagers was what was heartwarming!
Even a little boy of five years, would stop on his way, wave and smile at us!
Well, the ideal way to start your trekking expedition to Chirapunjee would be to reach Mawphlang. Here one would find some of the best schools of the region, like White Orchid, Little Flower, RCLP School, Govt. LP School and Singhasi School. One could employ guides here too to accompany you ahead.
During local festivals, one could encounter many villagers here, tapping their feet away on various Hindi and Khasi songs! They even perform the bamboo dance.
The next stop was Lad-Mawphlang. During local festivals, one could encounter many villagers here, tapping their feet away on various Hindi and Khasi songs!
They even perform the bamboo dance. It is best to night camp at Lad-Mawphlang to absorb the tranquility around. We did so and were rejuvenated!
The next day, we were off on the trekking track. It would normally take about four hours to lead you towards Sohra, Chirapunjee to flag-in. Apart from the beautiful and picturesque view, the fine weather and the heartwarming receptions, one would see some priceless structures and places. Our trekking trip was truly successful because of the interpersonal interaction with the local people of this amazingly beautiful valley! Adventure, beauty, and wonder, all rolled into this one trekking trip!
- The weather-beaten David Scott trail
- Interaction with villagers
- Halts at Mawphlang and Lad-Mawphlang villages.
- Elephant shaped mountain, on the David Scott trail.
- Two hundred years old cemetery at Chirapunjee.
- Presbyterian Church at Nongsawlia (1848).
- About one km. away from David Scott trail is this beautiful carving on a tombstone…Camilla, soft, silken Primrose, fading timelessly. (1843)
- The words will haunt you for a long time…
- A village, Laitsohma, with only twenty-six houses, in between Mawphlang and Lad-Mowphlang.
- Snakes slithering away in the forest.
- Amazing talents of the youngsters of the villages and their fascination for aircraft and the Uniform.
Photos from the Internet