Sinchita Mitra

Where the grass is always green, and the trees are always in full blossom. Where the ethereal rivers flow, and the aroma of tea fills the air. And Where the valleys never end, and the air is always clean. Where the trails never stop and where the serenity engulfs the entire mind. Such is the place, that will give you true tranquillity and help you take a break from the hustle-bustle of the polluted urban life. Such picturesque places are often located in the most remote and isolated places in India. One such idyllic hamlet is Mawlyngot located in Meghalaya.

Often called the tea destination of Meghalaya, this little village is covered with rolling green meadows, and is nestled at the foothills of the East Khasi Hills.

While North East has some really stunning locations, Mawlyngot is definitely the one to beat. While it is still relatively unknown in the mainstream tourism circle, it has gained a considerable amount of popularity among the tea lovers.

A lot of people believe that this village is about centuries old, and that tea has been growing here forever.

As of today, Mawlyngot has a lovely tea industry which is completely run by the locals. It is also a great place for nature lovers and peace seekers since the village is away from the noisy city life. You can feel the serenity radiating from the place.

Location

Mawlyngot has located about 40 km from Shillong, and you can also come here for just a day trip. However, it is strongly recommended that you stay here for a night to enjoy all that this hamlet has to offer. It is located at an altitude of 4800 ft.

Things To Do in Mawlyngot

The Tea Gardens

Tea Garden Mawlyngot
source: Open Magazine

Witness acres and acres of lush green tea plants. These tea plantations look absolutely surreal from a distance. A misty veil covered the plants and you can barely make out the faint green shrubs. It looks quite enchanting. The tea gardens surround the entire village, and you will usually find the locals plucking tea leaves and going about their day.

When you first reach here, you will be greeted by a faint yet lingering aroma of the tea leaves. This itself will set the mood for you. Take a nice lovely stroll through the garden and witness the different techniques that the locals apply to harvest the tea leaves. The villagers gently pluck the leaves and look after it with utmost care. It cannot get more organic and gorgeous than this.

After your soulful walk, enjoy some delicious hot tea. Mawlyngot is famous for its Urlong tea, so make sure you sample that. With every sip, you will feel the love and care taken by these villagers. You can also buy packaged tea leaves and take them home with you, both as a souvenir and as a gift that will remind you of your time here at Mawlyngot.

Watch The Process

After you are done sipping on to some hot tea, you can head off to the Urlong tea processing factory. Here you can witness the entire process of tea leaves being processed and packaged. It is quite an insightful and knowledgable experience. You can also take part in a tea tasting experience, which is truly enriching.

Hike Through The Enchanted Forests

Trekking in meghalaya
source: Amal

If you are looking for some relaxing yet thrilling adventure, then just head off on a rejuvenating hike through the thick forest that surrounds Mawlyngot. This beautiful forest is lined with dense trees, rare birds and even some mountain animals. It is quite something to be walking through these captivating forests.

You will be completely in the midst of nature, and you will be able to feel the serenity and tranquillity around you. Just walk around, and take in everything that nature has to offer- the melodies of the birds, the rustling of the leaves and the whooshes of the wind.

The forest is located on the hills of the North East, thus the terrain can get a little slippery and rough, which makes the trek even more exciting. The trek will take you a whole day, and it is best to start as early as possible. At the end of the trek, you will be rewarded with the ethereal Umsong riverbed, which looks so magnetic and charming. Just sit by the riverbed and witness the beauty of nature unfolding in front of you. It a really cathartic experience, and you will have enough time to introspect once you reach the stunning Umsong.

Find The Villages

villages of mawlyngot
source: Wikimedia Commons

There is no better way to spend a day at Mawlyngot than to spend time with the locals. These are the people who make Mawlyngot as enchanting as it is.

There are many pathways that will take you to little villages. The trails pass through serene rivulets and canopied forests, making them all the more alluring.

These villages are still far away from modern technologies and follow a simplistic, yet a wholesome lifestyle. It is quite different from the world we are used to, yet it is something so humble.

The locals are quite hospitable and welcoming, and you can easily talk to them. Just sit with them and engage in some heartfelt conversations. They will also tell you about their customs and cultures, and how they live their lives. You might come back with some interesting folklore, tales, and anecdotes as well.

You can also have a bonfire night with the locals and tuck into some local dishes like roasted chicken. The experience is something so personal and mystical that you just cannot miss it. Just sit by the flaming hot fire, dig into the delicious roast chicken and spend the entire night hearing local folktales.

Day Trips From Mawlyngot

Mawlyngot itself is surrounded by some measuring places that you should surely visit while you are there. Some of these places are:

  1. Laitlum Canyons: These hidden beauties are essentially deathly gorges and curvy staircases. They look quite beautiful and thrilling at the same time. The gorges are horrifying deep, and the staircases lead to some of the most remote villages.
  2. Smit: Known for its Nongkrem festival, Smit is a heritage town. You should come here in November to witness this vibrant and colourful festival.

How to Reach Mawlyngot

If you are coming by airplane then the nearest one is the Umroi Airport located in Shillong. If you are coming by rail, then Guwahati is the nearest one. From there you need to reach Shillong, and then take a cab to Mawlyngot. You might also get a bus from Shillong to Mawlyngot.

Mawlyngot quite a wonderful place to visit, especially for those looking for some peace and quiet away from the hustle-bustle of daily life. It has everything as you could ever ask for- adventurous trekking trails, breathtaking locales, and exceptionally rich culture, making it perfect for your next vacation.

February 23, 2020
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