Meghalaya / Travelogue

Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur


Huh! Not sure where to start with. I have been planning this trip to Meghalaya for quite a long time, but couldn’t make it possible due to various reasons. Sometimes due to shortage of budget, sometimes due to shortage in number of days I could manage. But whatever it be, I didn’t wanted to be done with Meghalaya just with it’s common circuit of Shillong – Cherrapunji. When I started planning for Meghalaya, I found that 80% of the tourists restricts themselves to Shillong – Cherrapunji and missing out on the hidden beauty, the state has to offer. Hardly another 10% – 15% of the tourists makes it to Mawlynnong and Dawki which came in limelight from last 2-3 years I believe. But whatever it be, after lot of shifting plans for last 2-3 years, here I’m finally, proudly made it to Meghalaya.

I do understand that every state has a lot to offer, and thus the journey never ends. Everytime I visit somewhere, I always come back saying “Definitely next time“. Meghalaya was no different too!! It leaves me no room to forget that, without this man, Karikor, my Meghalaya trip wouldn’t have been so much enjoyable and successful. Infact he being a local, is the pioneer for anyone planning to Meghalaya. One can reach him at TripAdvisor Forums or at India Mike Forums where he’s a regular contributor. His immense knowledge about the place and minute details would made anyone fall in love with Meghalaya. So yes, if you are planning to something offbeat, non-touristy thing, do get in touch with him and you’d be amazed! The best thing I loved about this man is his eager to help people in a non-biased manner. He being a explorer himself, keeps on exploring various hidden gems and thus for people like me, he’s always a reason to head back to Meghalaya. I still remember one of his saying when we met while in Shillong “After a long day at work, when I come back and contribute on these forums which really help people, there’s a different kind of inner feeling I get. That’s what makes my day. That’s what I call relaxation.“.

Kids at Jakrem

Definitely with his help after lots of corrections, I finally came up with first draft of our itinerary. We booked our hotels, trains and flights accordingly. Thanks to Karikor again, he really ran for me on his bike for numbers of few guesthouses which we were unable to contact or find it’s traces anywhere in the internet. However our onward journey was planned via train but later due to trains being cancelled resulting from North East floods, we had to change our mode of transport to Bus followed by flight. Thanks to Indigo for it’s ever known offers of low fares!! I must say if the Indigo offer didn’t came up at the right time, we’d have to go through a lot of pain and more expenses. As Buses were till Siliguri on such devastated road after flood and from there we’d have to make it to Guwahati by some other means, the cost would have doubled up. But then the Indigo offer came in at right time and saved us!!

However by that time, we had all our hotels booked already, else I’d have flied on 23rd itself and would have covered a hidden gem which I found while scanning through various hidden gems of Meghalaya. The gem I’m talking about here is Lumpongdeng Boat House which immediately caught my eye. But as we had all our hotels booked accordingly, we had no choice other than to miss this rejuvenate experience. As I already said before, there’s always a next time with me πŸ˜›

Well Bornav is another helpfull lad in this sector who can help you with planning for any of the 7 Sisters with his immense knowledge. Though after 11N of Meghalaya plan, I still had 3N left, which I was mostly confused with. Whether to go for Garo Hills or cover any of the other state, if possible, but definitely not like getting done with it anyhow. My plan for travelling is never to tick off places from my list, instead explore it to it’s fullest. However with help of Bornav, it seemed Manipur would be perfect for 3N. Bang on!!

Here’s the final itinerary that we followed…

Day 1 – 24th Sep : Kolkata – Guwahati. Halt at Guwahati
Day 2 – 25th Sep : Guwahati – Mawphlang. Halt at Mawphlang
Day 3 – 26th Sep : Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna. Halt at Mawlyngbna
Day 4 – 27th Sep : Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur. Halt at Mawphanlur
Day 5 – 28th Sep : Mawphanlur – Sohra. Halt at Sohra
Day 6 – 29th Sep : Sohra Sightseeing. Halt at Sohra
Day 7 – 30th Sep : Nongriat Trek. Halt at Nongriat / Sohra
Day 8 – 1st Oct : Sohra – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shnongpdeng. Halt at Shnongpdeng
Day 9 – 2nd Oct : Shnongpdeng – Amlarem – Jowai – Ialong. Halt at Ialong
Day 10 – 3rd Oct : Ialong – Shillong. Halt at Shillong
Day 11 – 4th Oct : Shillong sightseeing. Halt.
Day 12 – 5th Oct : Shillong – Guwahati – Imphal. Ima Market & Local Sightseeing
Day 13 – 6th Oct : Andro Village & Loktak Lake
Day 14 – 7th Oct : Moreh Border
Day 15 – 8th Oct : Imphal – Kolkata

Offbeat Meghalaya & Manipur Series :
Part 1: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur
Part 2: Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls
Part 3: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai
Part 4: Offbeat Meghalaya – Shillong
Part 5: Manipur – The Jewel of India

Before proceeding further, let me introduce you to our group which consisted of Me (obviously!!), my wife Suparna, my mom, my dad, my aunt and my cousin Akash.

Day 1 – 24th September : Reach Guwahati. Halt at Guwahati :
As our day was nearing by, our excitement level seemed to have gone up gradually day by day. However due to last minute work pressure resulting in from a critical project that I had to handle, was making me more impatient. Finally the D Day came. As our flight was at 6:50 AM in the morning, we’d have to wake up at 2 AM in the morning and leave for Airport by 3 AM to make it within time. So that way we’d neither get a sound sleep and would have to rush at the last moment as the Pandal hopping already began by then. And anyone who haven’t been in Kolkata during Puja’s, is surely going to underestimate the crowd even at such wee hours of the day. So Dad suggested to make it to Airport previous night instead and have a sleep there if we want to. So on 23rd Sep, after having our dinner we left for Airport at around 12:15 PM (Technically it’s 24th Sep only). As correctly guessed by dad (experience does matter!!), we faced a huge traffic jam nearby Ultadanga Flyover upto Baguihati, and thus it took us more than around 1:30 Hours to reach Airport even at such wee hours of the day.

having beer at kolkata airport

Me and Akash went for a smoke (thanks to the Smoking Rooms at the Airports, else it’d have been very difficult to spend such a long night there) and just to pass the time, we sat over with a glass of Kingfisher Ultra (For Rs. 400/- LOL). Later Suparna joined in (Another 400/- huh) too. Now it seems like the long night passed by at a blink of an eye. Finally the display board flashed Security Check for our flight. So we went ahead for our Baggage Check and finally checked in. And we noticed a long queue formed already by the time for the same. Finally after being done with all the required procedures we were waiting for Departure announcement over a cup of coffee.

kolkata airport

Akash was very excited for being a first timer, same as mine while on our Trip To Goa. Finally deperture announcement was made and we were taken to the flight by Bus. Akash took over the window seat. He being a first timer, we let him have it to make his journey more enjoyable. Well thanks to the Web Check in I did timely to grab two of those!!

I must admit, be it first time or whatever, flying is always something excited. Finally we flew towards Guwahati. This was our first time at Guwahati Airport, and the first impression I had about Guwahati Airport was, it was definitely smaller than Kolkata Airport which is something very definite. Our flight was on time and it didn’t took us more than 10 minutes to collect the luggage. Our driver Bimal Da was waiting for us already at the parking.

indigo airlines at kolkata airport

Our plan was to first check in to the hotel, Hotel Mayflower, which we had already booked from Goibibo on a great deal. We had already informed our hotel about our early checkin and they assured us to help, provided the rooms are available. It took us around 1 Hour to reach our hotel. We were informed that our room is ready and we can go ahead with our early checkin. The staffs helped us putting our luggage to the rooms. Bimal Da informed us to be here by next 1 Hour and we can freshen up and have breakfast by then. Our plan for the day was to visit Umananda Temple, Kamakhya Temple and if possible go for Brahmaputra River Cruise in the evening or for dinner.

We started late at around 11 PM. The parking beside Brahmaputra for Umananda was just 10 minutes drive from our hotel. Although the people out there was asking too much at the beginning, but Bimal Da helped us negotiate with the Boat for Umananda. Finally it came to Rs. 150/- per person in sharing or else Rs. 1500/- for private boat (both including the return journey). As we also had to cover Kamakhya, and Bimal Da informed us that, due to the Durga Puja festival going on, it’d take a lot of time even if we opt for VIP Queue. Thus we decided to opt for private boat as the fare seemed justified according to the plans we had lined up next.

Way To Umananda

Umananda Island

It was a 10 minutes boat ride to Umananda. The temple is situated in a smallest river island named Umananda Island in the midst of river Brahmaputra. Though same as like most other temples, I’m sorry to say it felt nothing more than a Business Hub demanding money at every step. Even at one instance, while offering Puja, yes we bought Puja Thali outside the temple, we were asked to donate first in order to touch the Siva Linga. So I’d say other than experiencing the boat ride, we didn’t felt anything else worth to visit Umananda. The boat ride to Umananda and back took us around 1:30 Hour.

Way To Umananda

Umananda Entrance

Umananda Temple

And then proceeded towards Kamakhya. While only my mother was interested in offering the Puja, we were hungry like hell. So we all went ahead for lunch at a hotel, Maa Kamakhya, suggested by Bimal Da, whereas my mom and dad went ahead towards the temple. After a stumptous finger licking bengali lunch, we proceeded towards the temple as suggested by the owners there. They informed us that around 2 Lakh was spent towards the decoration of the temple due to the festival which is something definitely not to be missed. The decoration was definitely eye catching with various species of orchids and other flowers. It was defintiely crowded with lots of more processions coming in on the way. We could spot my mom and dad, and upon enquiring we came to know that, by normal queue it’d would be impossible to make it by the end of the day, even the VIP Queue seemed to take more than 3-4 hours. It was already around 1:30 PM by then and there was no reason to go for any of the queue. Instead we got hold of a priest who agreed to offer the Puja of our behalf for a donation of Rs. 51/-.

Procession For Kamakhya

Kamakhya Temple

  • Kamakhya Temple

Finally we were dropped back to our hotel by 3:30 PM. We decided to take a small afternoon nap (most infamous thing to do among Bengali’s). During the evening, we went ahead to Fancy Bazaar. A Rickshaw ride to the market cost us Rs. 20/- per rickshaw from our hotel. Although it would have been a 15 mins walk from our hotel, but due to slow walking speed of my mom and wife, we decided to take a rickshaw instead πŸ˜›

Whoa!! Believe me, the crowd there was nothing less than what you see in Esplanade or Gariahat during pre-puja shopping season. Although we had plans to visit Paltan Bazaar too, but we knew we wouldn’t have made it after handling this crowd at Fancy Bazaar. It seemed to be one of the most crowded market for shopping clothes among various other things. Our, well actually my mom’s and my aunt’s mostly, main motive was to buy a Mekhela which is famous in Assam. And that I’d say ate up most of our evening time, browsing and scanning through the crowds.

The day being my wife’s birthday, I was planning to have something special. Amongst the various options for Brahmaputra River Cruise, Alfresco Grand seemed to be the most viable and economical option. However considering we were 6 pax, it’d have costed us Rs. 7200/- for a dinner cruise. Sunset Cruise could have been nice though, but our whole evening was spent in this market only. So we thought of trying out some Assamese Cuisine instead, while being at Assam which would also be economical. And thus among all the restaurants suggested by Karikor, same evening, we choose Heritage Khorika for having our dinner. The restaurant being situated a bit far from the Fancy Bazaar, we opted for an Uber Ride to the restaurant. I knew, Karikor can never go wrong. Our first impression upon entering the restaurant was, authentic, exactly what we were looking for. We already had scanned through their menu at Zomato, before choosing the place. My mom, dad and aunt opted for Seasonal Veg. Thali along with Mustard Fish Curry whereas we 3, as suggested by Karikor, opted for Duck Meat Fried, Pigeon Meat Fried, Chicken Curry and Chicken Kebab along with rice and our all-time favourite fried Brinjal.

  • heritage khorika

The food was great I’d say. Everything was so perfect and we really enjoyed our meal over there. Finally we took an Uber Ride back to our hotel after such fun filled evening followed by dinner.

Same evening, Bimal Da informed us that due to visit of BJP leader, Amit Shah, next day, various of his patrons are seizing the vehicles on his way to Shillong as informed by one of his friend. Thus he suggested us to start early tomorrow so that we can enter Shillong by early morning within 8-9 AM to avoid any such issues. We agreed definitely and planned to start by 5:30 AM in the morning. Accordingly we completed all the checkout procedures last night only to avoid any surprises next morning.

Day 2 – 25th Sep : Guwahati – Mawphlang. Halt at Mawphlang :
Our day started very early at around 4 O’ clock in the morning. Thanks to the Irish Rooms we opted for which comes with Complimentary Tea Packs, without which we’d have faced real problems continuing with our morning chores!!

Guwahati Shillong Highway

We started at around 6 AM and drove through the beautiful Shillong highway. Jiva Veg is the most famous option along with highway to have breakfast. But we being strict non-veg, opted for a small roadside food joint named “Khasi Tea Stall” or famously known as “Kong Da” instead as suggested by Karikor. The food is good there. So if you are looking for non-veg options (or strict non-veg like us πŸ˜› ) or plan to try out local Khasi dishes, definitely hop into Kong Da instead.

Khashi Tea Stall - Kong Da

Finally again we were back into the smooth Shillong Highway and on the way we came to know that Amit Shah’s visit have been postponed to 8th October. Although it’s a good thing that we started early as we could now make use of the full day light. This part of the country gets early sunset at around 5 – 5:30 PM. So starting early is definitely going to help you make use of the full daylight. The sunset’s are more earlier as you move towards Arunachal. Finally we reached our first point for the day, Umium Lake, also popularly known as Barapani, at around 9:30 AM.

Umium Lake

After spending sometime there we proceed towards Shillong. Due to being late last night, we missed to buy our poison for next few days. So that was the first task Bimal Da helped us achieved after struggling through the infamous traffic jam one had to face while entering Shillong. Our next point for the day was Beadon Bishop Falls.

We’d also have gone for Shillong Peak today, but Bimal Da informed us that entry is restricted from Laitkor Gate and thus we’d cover it on Shillong Sightseeing day when we come back to Shillong. We also skipped Sohliya Strawberry Farm on the way to Shillong, as there wouldn’t have been much to do during this season.

And next was Air Force Museum, but upon reaching there we came to know that they were closed on Monday. I must say, throughout our trip to Meghalaya we came to follow this unique thing. Each spot is closed on atleast on one of the day. Mostly it’s Wednesday, but there are some on other days too. We were not much disappointed as we’d come back to Shillong again and have a proper day allocated for Shillong Sightseeing which is Wednesday. So we moved on to Elephant Falls.

Elephant Falls

As we reached Elephant Falls we were welcomed to Meghalaya by it’s famous rains which we have always known for, in our childhood. We were definitely carrying proper rain gears i.e. Umbrella for light showers and raincoats for everyone for heavy rains!!

So we started proceeding towards Mawphlang. Again, as suggested by Karikor we halted at Susie’s German Restaurant for Lunch at Mawkriah just before reaching Mawngap. The food was just awesome there. Though the owner, Susie is a bit moody, but she can be very nice once you know how to get along. She even promised us to gift few saplings from her garden on our way back. Ahh I forgot to mention, my mom and aunt being a botany student is very fond of greeneries and have their own garden which is something unique on their own. They are like fond of collecting interesting saplings and bring them to Kolkata. Believe it or not, she have made all of them survive at this environment in Kolkata which most people suggest otherwise. Infact saplings from Shimla to Bhutan to Sikkim to now Meghalaya, all of them are alive. It might not be flowering or producing fruits as it should in correct environment, but atleast they didn’t died. And man…I tell you, hurt a greenery in front of her, and only god can save you. Needless to say, my wife has also been admitted to the gang after her marriage πŸ˜›

Susie at Susie's German Restaurant

  • Susie's German Restaurant

Finally after having finger licking lunch as Susie’s we proceeded towards Mawphlang. Though our plan was to cover Sacred Forest on Day 5, but having a lot of time in our hand, both Bimal Da and Karikor suggested us to cover it today only.

One needs to hire a Guide here and have options to go for Half Trek or Full Trek accordingly. Although everything is covered in Half Trek only but one can go for Full Trek for doing a round walk if interested. Although I mention the word “Trek” here, but it’s just more of a trail along the Sacred Forest. So don’t worry if you have kids or elder persons with you, anyone can go for this walk. Alfred, our guide, was good in explaining things to us. Light showers welcomed us as we entered the Sacred Groves. We loved walking through the forest as it felt so natural.

Alfred at Sacred Forest

Sacred Forest

I specifically mentioned my aunt and mom to not to take anything out of this forest as it’s sacred and it’d a sin to do such thing. Although one should not always try to judge logically the reasons behind everything, so it’d be a foolish’s task I’d believe to judge the same in case of Sacred Groves too. Moreover I liked the idea of protecting the forest during such age of demolition everywhere. You see, if the outcome of a belief is positive, then one should definitely support the same. Besides, questioning one’s belief can hurt the local sentiments and traditions.

Sacred Forest

Sacred Forest

Besides the Guide fee of Rs. 300/- for half trek we donated another Rs. 100/- for the cause. Finally after having Tea and some some snacks at local shop we went ahead towards our shelter for the day, MaplePine Farms. It’s setup by James, a Canadian by origin who came over here and got settled down after marrying a Khasi girl. Let me warn you, MaplePine is not like another hotel or resort or homestay as you might have experienced. It’s very different in every nature, as they are off the grid and at every step you can experience them embracing the nature. So if you want to stay there, make sure to go through each and every page of their website.

Though this might sound horrible, but believe me, it’d be a lifetime experience. James and his family is very friendly and welcoming but that doesn’t mean they are there to fulfil your wishes (or should I say your demands). The road on the way to MaplePine Farm is not achievable by general vehicles thus his son picked us up by the Jeep from nearest point. We had booked the Twin Cabin Room 1 and 2 both. We were offered Tea and some Snacks accordingly.

Twin Cabin 1 and 2 at Mawphlang

Rest of the evening we spent on the drinks, chitchatting among ourselves.

Day 3 – 26th Sep : Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna. Halt at Mawlyngbna :
Our day started a bit later than last day. Breakfast was complimentary at MaplePines Farm, but you need to tell them previous night what you’d like to have. Please also make a note of it that, Breakfast is complimentary only if you take it before 8:30 AM, else it’s chargeable. So we started our day at around 7:30 AM after bidding goodbye to James and his family. His son dropped us to the parking point by the jeep.

Our first point for the day was Mawjymbuin Cave at Mawsynram. Mawsynram is also known for being the wettest place on earth. Previously it was Cherrapunji though, as we used to read it in Geography back in our school. Upon reaching there we found no one at the ticket counter and the gate was closed too. Luckily there was a plate hanging on the gate with 2 numbers written on it. We called up the numbers and within few minutes one person came running opening the gate and counter for us. May be they didn’t expected visitor so early in the morning. Though it’s a cave but seems more of a temple. The cave houses a Shiva Linga formed naturally by rock and surprisingly water is droppping due a pointed rock just on top of the Shiva Linga. It is totally a natural formation. Bimal Da told us a story behind it. Several years ago, it used to be milk falling on top of Shiva Linga, but Britishers trying to find it’s source, made a hole and from then water started flowing instead of milk. Also one can hear the sound of waterfall throughout the cave but surprisingly it’s being said that no one could found the source of water there.

Mawjymbuin Cave

Mawjymbuin Cave

After spending some time we headed towards Mawlyngbna. While crossing Welloi on the way to Mawlyngbna, Bimal Da told us another story of having a belief of not eating anything at Welloi. There was a man who once on his way through Welloi, being tired, ate something there. Then the same night he was surrounded by snakes demanding to return for what he had taken from the place. Obviously he couldn’t return anything and he had to pay the debt with his life. And thus it’s still believed that if you have something at Welloi, you would have to return it by any means.

Way To Mawlyngbna Traveller's Nest

Way To Mawlyngbna Traveller's Nest

We reached Mawlyngbna at around 10:20 AM in the morning. The road to Mawlyngbna is so clean (seems like newly constructed or well maintained) that we couldn’t resist ourselves clicking pictures lying on it.

Mawlyngbna Traveller's Nest

Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest have only 2 cottages as of now and we had booked both of them. The cottages are amidst the forest offering a natural surrounding. Perfect place to enjoy the tranquility. Mr. Lever the owner cum manager of the place already shared the number of our Guides for the day, Chester and Welbert. They are more of like staffs and double up as a local guide. I took out some time to discuss our planned points for the day with them, and accordingly as we still had lots of time for lunch, we went ahead on exploring and enjoying Kayaking at Umkhakoi Reservoir.

Rocks at Umkhakoi Reservoir

Umkhakoi Reservoir

Umkhakoi Reservoir

Kayaking at Umkhakoi Reservoir

It was a great experience Kayaking for first time. Then we went ahead for Split Rock.

Split Rock

After exploring Split Rock, before heading back to Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest, we made a brief stopover at Pitcher Plant Park. This is the first time we were experiencing a Pitcher Plant. Before this we have only read about it in our Geography classes back in school.

Pitcher Plant

Post lunch, me and Akash started for the most highlighted part of the day, Trek to Iew Luri Lura while rest went ahead for some rest. A trail through canopy along with Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest leads to a plateau of rock and grass that extends endlessly towards open blue skies and following the trail further leads to Iew Luri Lura which is famous for animal footprints erupted from the actual volcanic lava. Iew Luri Lura is said to be the animal marketplace, from the time when animals could speak. One can spot various fossils along the way.

Mawlyngbna Scenic Beauty

Mawlyngbna Scenic Beauty

The trek took us around 3 Hours with various rests in between and was totally unique experience for us. Although due to the mud, we had to dismiss our socks, boots and jeans, but we are glad that we did this trek. Thanks to Karikor for helping us clearing the confusion with Guides we had in the first place. And special thanks to Welbert without whom we haven’t made it there. As there was lots of muds, due to last night’s rainfall on the way, he took up the charge to spot the best way we can walk through. Also our shoes betrayed us with it’s grip and Welbert took it upto him to made us pass through the slippery steps. But remaining 60% of the steps we walked bare foot as suggested by him, to avoid any accidents. You see this is another reason why I always try to promote the locals. The business mentality is still miles away from them and guests becomes like family in a moment to them. Definitely guests too needs to perform their role by not being a jerk, of their so called city life. The trek ends at Pitcher Plant Park via Umdingkain Waterfall. Those who can’t go for the trek, can reach the waterfall from the Pitcher Plant Park end, as the rest of our group did. Chester too helped my family too, making them to the waterfall by literally carrying them where he could.

Welbert at Iew Luri Lura

  • Way To Iew Luri Lura

Umdingkain Waterfall

Finally, after meeting them, we went ahead at Mih-Um-Spring, and headed towards Lawbah Market.

Insect at Mawlyngbna

It was already evening by then, else we’d have definitely covered Phantom Waterfall. But the same being situated out of the town and a long distance drive, we had to miss it considering the sun was already down by then. Instead we had some Tea and Snacks at Lawbah Market. Bimal Da was in mood to cook fish for us today, and thus he went ahead to made his arrangements accordingly. Finally we headed back to towards Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest. It was a completely different experience staying amidst the forest I’d say. We enjoyed the evening over the drinks after Bimal Da was done with his preparation.

Flower at Mawlyngbna

Day 4 – 27th Sep : Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur. Halt at Mawphanlur :
Today also we started our day a bit early. Actually my mom and dad being an early riser, always keeps us knocking early in the morning. Though it’s a good thing, as sun sets a bit early in this part of the country, so starting early is always recommended and helpful to make use of full day light.

After having our breakfast, we started by around 7:20 AM. We headed back towards Welloi. Last day we missed Symper Rock on our way to Mawlyngbna. Although Karikor tried to help us a lot but even after asking the locals we couldn’t spot it. Even our driver Bimal Da was not aware about the spot. Today was no different, we couldn’t spot the same even after asking the locals.

snake at mawlyngbna

Thus without wasting much time we took the right turn from Mawkyrwat – Shillong junction, towards our first point for the day Hot Water Spring at Jakrem. We took a small smoke break after reaching Pongkung Village at around 8 O’ clock. Finally we were at Jakrem by 9 AM. We took a bath there which healed the aches resulting in from last day’s hike to Iew Luri Lura.

Kids at Jakrem

Finally after having a cup of tea at local shop there we started proceeding to Markasa through Pariong. The route through Pariong is full of scenic beauty however the road condition is something which govt. should plan to improve. It took us around 1:30 Hours to reach Pariong from Jakrem and another 30 minutes drive to Markasa through beautiful smooth highway.

Way To Pariong

Way To Pariong

Transis, the owner of Mawphanlur Traveller’s Nest, was in Shillong to attend a seminar on World Tourism Day. But he assured us that after reaching Markasa, to give him a call and he’d arrange a Jeep for us to Mawphanlur. The road from Markasa to Mawphanlur is in devastating state and thus only a Jeep can accommodate through it. Generally Transis do that himself by his Marshal, but as he was away he arrange a jeep for us. While we were waiting for the Jeep, Bimal Da suggested us to have lunch there. Well one thing we noticed here is, people mostly have Jadoh (Rice and Meat) at their breakfast with Tea. Yes it may sound a bit odd for people from different part of India, but it seemed to be their cuisine. And in lunch too, they have Rice ad Meat, but the way it’s served is a bit different. They mix Rice with Sabji and Chicken (or any other meat as you’d like to have, mostly Pork though).

lunch at markasa

NOTE : At this point, I’d like to mention, if you are planning to head to these part of the state, better hire a local Khasi driver or atleast someone who can speak Khasi fluently. Generally I always like to promote local options whenever possible due to various reasons. But here, in this case, most people here can’t speak or understand Hindi or English and can only speak their native language whereas very few handful of people can speak manageable Hindi and English. Bimal Da being spending his entire lifetime here can speak Khasi fluently and always came to rescue for us throughout Mawphlang, Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur and various other remote areas later in our trip.

As we had a lot of time in our hand, we could have easily covered Kyllang, even the same was in our plan, but accordingly we discussed to proceed to Mawphanlur first. Seldom I knew, we wouldn’t have time to accommodate the same next day and also it won’t be possible to come back to Markasa again once we reach Mawphanlur. So ideally one should cover Kylland before heading over to Mawphanlur or else next day after checking out from there. Finally after having our lunch, we proceeded towards Mawphanlur. Whoa!! What a journey it was!!

But as we all know “kuch pane ke liye kuch khona padta hai” (To achieve something you must lose something). And when we reached Mawphanlur, it was simply breathtaking, splendid. My dad exclaimed “I can spend rest of my life just by sitting here over a cup of tea”. It took us around 1 Hour to cover the 5KM road from Markasa to Mawphanlur. It was stil 1 O’ clock and we had entire day to just sit by and embrace the nature.


High Hill Lakes at Mawphanlur

Restaurant at Mawphanlur

There’s not much activity at Mawphanlur, so it’s kind of spending the day in the lap of mother nature. There are various high hill lakes, where one can choose to do Boating and Kayaking. The same is arranged by the guys at Mawphanlur only.

Boating at Mawphanlur

Kayaking at Mawphanlur

Later during the late afternoon we went ahead for a walk and rest of the evening we spent enjoying and chit-chatting amongst ourselves with our poison!! Later at around 8 PM Transis came and straight away went ahead to us and welcomed us warmly. He felt very sorry that he was not there to attend us himself. Suddenly, weather took a small turn around and it started lightning.


Finally we called off the day after having our dinner at around 9 PM.

Points To Remember :

  • These are very remote places and thus one must understand the facility is very limited and infrastructure is very basic. But warm and beautiful if you can embrace the same.
  • The most popular option for accommodation at Mawphlang is MaplePines Farm and Traveller’s Nest at Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur respectively. There might be some other local homestay / camping opton, but I’m not aware of the same. Traveller’s Nest have been setup by the village co-operative society in accordance with the locals, in order to promote tourism and opting a livelihood for the locals.
  • MaplePine Farm at Mawphlang have 4 Rooms and Traveller’s Nest at both Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur have 2 rooms each. So if you are planning to be there, better book the accommodation beforehand.
  • Please try to keep your patience while booking the Traveller’s Nests, as telecom insfrastructure is not that reliable there and so it can be easily frustrating, but things will work out if you can hold your horses.
  • Once you are done with the booking, make sure to remind them, or atleast keep in touch with them every one week for Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur. Else they easily tend to forget πŸ˜› But don’t worry, mistakenly they won’t allot the rooms on same date to other person, as they maintain records of the same. But if you contact them after a long time, you’d have a hard time reminding them that it was you who had the booking, which is the exactly same happened in case of me. Being done with the booking in April, when I contacted them in 1st week of September, it was all like out of the blues!!
  • Try to maintain the peace and traquality of the place and be a responsible traveller. Please do not try to disturb the nature there.
  • You might have language problems with the people over there, but you need to understand that, they are also trying to co-operate with you. So unlike so-called city jerks try not to get irritated easily and always keep smiling and things will work out. The people over there are very friendly and welcoming, unless you get into their way.
  • Definitely try to hire a local Khasi driver or if you are hiring Guwahati based driver, then make sure he has already been to these regions before and can speak Khasi fluently.
  • As the sun rises and sets early in this part of the country, better try to start early and make use of the full daylight, as much as you can. As pretty much you’d be confined into your room unlike Shillong, once the sun sets down.
  • Being remote areas, unlike other hotels in Shillong and Cherrapunji, you are expected to complete your dinner by 8:30 PM or at max by 9 PM. I’d suggest to maintain the same considering the local lifestyle. So don’t try to make things according to your own way, as in case of most of the main stream tourists I have experienced in reputed tourist destinations. IN some cases I have noticed tourists treating the hotel staffs as their own servants. Try not being a jerk here.
  • At various places you are recommeded to hire a Guide (if not mandatory). I’d suggest to hire one, as that would help you a lot, as a tourist to understand various things and to scan through the places. Also feel good for contributing to the cause of developing local livelihood through tourism.
  • Last but not the least, throughout our journey through Meghalaya, we noticed that Aircel works best, and most locals thus have Aircel connection. Jio is good too at various places. But Vodafone and Airtel mostly doesn’t catch signals once you head over to remote regions. However BSNL worked perfectly fine.

Just if you are wondering, why most things starts with Um and Maw, Um means water in Khasi and Maw means Rock.

This post is continued at Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls

Reviews :
Hotel Mawflower, Guwahati : We booked it from Goibobo at very good deal. The hotel looked like 3* hotel for us, so it was way more than enough of what were looking for πŸ˜› The staffs were always smiling and very courteous. The rooms and washrooms are extremely clean and well maintained. They also have a beautifully maintained lawn, though small, but one can enjoy his evenings there. Tea Packs are complimentary and provided in the room itself, so you can have tea as and when you need.

  • Reecption at Hotel Mayflower, Guwahati

MaplePine Farm, Mawphlang : MaplePine is the most famous and most probably only accommodation available at Mawphlang. There might be few other homestays, but I’m not aware of the same. It’s setup by James, a Canadian who is now settled down here after getting married to a local Khasi girl. The rooms and the place is extremely clean and well maintained. They have only 4 rooms as of now, besides tents, if one choose to do camping under full wrath of the sky. However by his website, it might seem like hostel with strict rules, but believe me James and his family is very friendly and welcoming. However as they live off the grid, tourists should co-operate with them too. One must understand, the same being disconnected from the hustle bustle town of Shillong, the infrastructure is very basic. One must inform them about the food preference beforehand, atleast a day or two in advance. They can definitely prepare you the items you want given the adequate time to hosts to arrange the same. Please note that if you are opting for any of the Twin Cabin 1 or 2, the Bathroom is detached and common. However the cabins have attached latrine with washbasin. You’ll get all these informations at his website, so make sure to go through Cabins, Meals and specially the Understanding section. BTW, car cannot reach there except winters maybe, so after reaching the nearest point, you may call James and his son will pick you up by his Jeep.

  • Twin Cabin Room 1 and 2 at MaplePine Farm, Mawphlang

Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest : Traveller’s Nest throughout Meghalaya has been setup by Village Co-Operative Society in accordance with the locals to develop tourism and for livelihood of the locals out there. The place is extremely clean and well maintained. They have only 2 cottages as of now which can accommodate 3 pax with a extra bed. The cottages are amidst the forest offering a natural surrounding. Perfect place to enjoy the tranquility I’d say.

  • Dining at Mawlyngbna Traveller's Nest

Mawphanlur Traveller’s Nest : To reach here, one need to park their vehicle at Markasa, as only a Jeep can navigate further to Mawphanlur due to the pathetic road ahead!! Transis and his family is extremely warm and welcoming. They have 2 cottages as of now and another one is being built. There’s pretty much nothing to do at Mawphanlur except to enjoy the serene beauty of the place lying in the map of mother nature. Otherwise one can choose to do boating or Kayaking at the high hill lakes which is arranged by the guys there at the Traveller’s Nest only. The rooms and the place is very clean and extremely well maintained.

Rooms at Mawphanlur

Washrooms at Mawphanlur

NOTE : If you are planning to stay at MaplePine at Mawphlang or Traveller Nest’s at Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur, you must understand that these places are very remote and markets are generally more than 5KM away or so. So please let them know about your food preference to allow them adequante time to arrange the same beforehand. Atleast informing them in 1 or 2 days in advance would do. Generally they serve Rice, Dal, Alu Bhaji, Sabji and Chicken (if you are non-veg). Food is nothing fancy but homely and definitely tasty.

Contacts :
Hotel Mayflower, Guwahati : 0361-2970777 / 0361-2970888 / +91-91270-16700. Website : Hotel Mayflower

James, MaplePine Farm, Mawphlang : +91-98560-41205. Email : / Website :

Alfred, Guide for Sacred Forest : +91-96158-84327 / +91-82588-83298

Bakha Lever Totih, Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest : +91-80140-49039

Welbert, Guide at Mawlyngbna : +91-85751-17622. Both Welbert and Chester was more than a guide to us. They have became our buddies in such short time, specially Welbert. Without him, we wouldn’t have made it to Iew Luri Lura safely. He literally carried us through the slippery steps and crossing the streams where our shoes failed with it’s grips.

Chester, Guide at Mawlyngbna : +91-82589-63656

Transis Syiemlieh, Mawphanlur Traveller’s Nest : +91-89743-18450 / +91-96150-43847 / +91-87877-86081

Co-Operative Society for Traveller’s Nest’s : Village Gateaways

Bimal Modak (ML 05P 2532) : +91-96137-75855. Bimal Da drives white Enjoy. He’s actually Pradeep Modak’s brother. Pradeep Modak is very well known in Meghalaya specially for offbeat circuits, but as he drives a small vehicle himself, he handed over this tour of us to his brother and assured us his full assurance!! Bimal Da is a very jolly person and quickly can be a great friend of yours. He has great experience in cooking. On three instances he cooked himself for us and it was finger licking. I must say, without Bimal Da and Pradeep Da, our trip wouldn’t have been such enjoyable.

Pradeep Modak : +91-98630-87418 / +91-82599-64634. Pradeep Modak is the person you need if you are venturing out to Meghalaya, specially any offbeat circuits. He being an explorer himself, keeps exploring various destinations. He’s the one who keeps exploring places and guides his brothers. Above all, the person is very honest and speaks his heart out. Money is not the first thing that matters to him. On various instances we found his responsibility for his guests is something to salute for. Believe me, with him around, nothing can go wrong. They are in total 6 brothers, but 3 of them are in this driving line and without him his other brothers wouldn’t have been what they are now.

Cost :
Day 1 :
Accommodation at Hotel Mawflower : Rs. 4752/-
Boat for Umananda Temple & Return : Rs. 1500/-. (One can also hire it on sharing for 150/- per person.)
Parking for Umananda Temple : Rs. 40/-

Day 2 :
Toll Tax (Guwahati – Shillong) : Rs. 60/-
Entry Fee for Elephant Falls : Rs. 160/-
Entry Fee for Sacred Forest : Rs. 100/-
Guide Charge for Sacred Forest : Rs. 300/- (For Half Trek)
Accommodation at MaplePine Farm, Mawphlang : Rs. 3400/-
Food Bill at MaplePine Farm, Mawphlang :Rs. 2500/-

Day 3 :
Entry Fee for Mawjymbuin Cave : Rs. 70/-
Accommodation at Mawlyngbna : Rs. 3000/-
Food Bill at Mawlyngbna : Rs. 6120/-

Day 4 :
Entry Fee at Jakrem : Rs. 120/-
Pickup From Markasa : Rs. 700/-
Accommodation at Mawphanlur : Rs. 3000/-
Food Bill at Mawphanlur : Rs. 2800/-
Kayaking at Mawphanlur : Rs. 100/-
Drop To Markasa : Rs. 500/-

NOTE : I have omitted costs of personal nature for easy information.

Special Thanks To :

This post is continued at Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls

Offbeat Meghalaya & Manipur Series :

Offbeat Meghalaya & Manipur Series :
Part 1: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawphlang – Mawlyngbna – Mawphanlur
Part 2: Offbeat Meghalaya – David Scott – Cherrapunji – Double Decker – Rainbow Falls
Part 3: Offbeat Meghalaya – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Jowai
Part 4: Offbeat Meghalaya – Shillong
Part 5: Manipur – The Jewel of India

About Author

Hi, I'm born and bought up in Kolkata in the midst of what bongs are best known for - Eating, Sleeping and Travelling. A developer by profession and a traveller by passion. As I was facing a lack of budget-friendly information on the internet while planning my travel, I started drafting my travel experiences here to help you all having a pocket-friendly smooth travel experience.


  • aninda de
    October 22, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    Thanks for this detailed post, Krishnandu Da! We’re visiting Maghalaya in December and this itinerary will be very helpful. Do you any local dishes we must try?

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 22, 2017 at 1:37 PM

      Hi Aninda, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

      The other parts would be up by next few weeks!! Yes I’ll come up with a list of Local Dishes. But as of now, here are some for your referene…

      Jadoh – It’s rice cooked with either meat pieces or meat stock

      For Meat, the various meats are…
      Doh Syiar is Chicken
      Doh Sniang is Pork
      Doh Blang is Mutton
      Doh Masi is Beef
      Doh Kha is Fish

      For Rice too, there are various forms…
      Ja – Plain rice
      Jastem – Rice cooked with haldi
      Janeiiong – Rice cooked with black sesame seeds
      Jashulia – Sticky rice (mostly eaten as a snack)
      Jasnam- Rice cooked with blood of meats

      As for meat preparations there are few basic cooking styles…
      Dohkhleh – Meat boiled and then shredded into pieces mixed with onion and ginger and served as salad
      Dohsyrwa – Meat cooked as a soup along with potato and few vegs
      Dohkylla – Meat cooked as curry with minimum spices, like turmeric, pepper, onion and ginger
      Dohthad – Smoked meat either deep fried or cooked as a curry or with dal
      Dohshain – Minced meat, most of the time rolled into balls

      Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    October 24, 2017 at 1:03 AM


  • Fetchie r. marak
    May 20, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    For your information only ….. that the road from Markasa to Mawphanlur has been black-topped recently. Now you can easily take any vehicle there without spending extra bucks for pickup and dropping.

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 21, 2018 at 10:20 PM

      Wow!! Great!! Thanks a lot for the update πŸ™‚

      I’m sure, this would now help boosting the tourism to Mawphanlur.

    • Zeeshan
      August 3, 2018 at 9:40 PM

      Thank you so muchfor the road update. This is very helpful for travellers.

  • Jayanti
    June 26, 2018 at 2:40 PM

    Thank you for your detailed itinerary and post, it helped and made my trip to Meghalaya very enjoyable. Thanks a lot.

  • REshmi Pal
    September 8, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    A very helpful write up. I have 2 queries :
    1. What was the car rental price for Bimal-Da’s car?
    2. Could you please mention whether the entry fees and accommodation costs you’ve mentioned are per head or not? (If not, then cost for how many people?)

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 8, 2018 at 6:36 PM

      Hi Reshmi,
      Thanks a lot & I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

      1. Vehicle (Chevrolet Enjoy) : Rs. 4000/- x 12 = 48000/-

      2. Entry Fees are Per Head. However Accommodation Cost is the whole group i.e. 6 people.

      • Reshmi Pal
        September 8, 2018 at 6:49 PM

        Thank you Krishnendu. I would like to know the guide charge of Mawlygbna.

        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          September 8, 2018 at 6:53 PM

          Hi Reshmi, It should have been there in the blog. However now that you are asking, I found that I missed to put that information. And unfortunately, now I can’t even find it. I’m really sorry πŸ™

  • Debayan Gupta
    November 6, 2018 at 11:17 PM

    Thanks Krishnandu for again inspiring me to take a trip to less traveled places of Meghalaya after doing the same for Bhutan by his excellent writing.

    This time I have chalked up an itinerary purely based on your writing as follows-

    Day 01: Kolkata – Guwahati by G8 532.Scheduled Arrival at 10:35 hrs. Departure for Shillong(120 kms/3 hrs). En route view of Umium Lake(Barapani). Visit Don Bosco Museum & Wangkarkha Butterfly Museum .Check In at Hotel. Evening Visit Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians followed by Laitumkhrah CafΓ© Street(Walk). N/s at Shillong(El Dorado Guest House/Aerodene Cottages at Dhankheti)

    Day 02: Shillong Local Sightseeing. Places to see:
    1st Half: Rapleng Peak, Laitlum view Point, Sweet Falls & Ever Living Museum
    2nd Half: Wards Lake & Botanical Garden, Golf Course, Jitbhumi (Tagore House),Lady Hydari Park. Stroll at Shillong Market/Police Bazar .N/s at Shillong(El Dorado Guest House/Aerodene Cottages at Dhankheti)

    Day 03: Shillong to Mawlyngbna(95 kms). En route visit Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls. Also see Mawjymbuin Cave at Mawsynram. Post lunch Trek to Iew Luri Lura, Split Rock, Pitcher Plant Park, Umdingkain Waterfall. Experience Kayaking at Umkhakoi Reservoir. N/s at Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest.

    Day 04: Mawlyngbna to Mawphlang(51 kms).Explore places like Krem Puri Cave,Phantom waterfalls & Symper Rock before reaching Mawphlang.. Post Lunch Sacred Forest trek at Mawphlang(If not possible, then shall do the next day). N/s at Maple Pine Farm,Mawphlang.

    Day 05: Mawphlang to Sohra(Cherapunjee)(80 kms).Early Morning Scared Forest Trek(If not possible the previous day).Post breakfast,depart for Sohra. En route visit Air Force Museum (If not possible on Day 02), Garden of Caves at Laitmawsiang, Wah Kaba Falls. Arwah Caves, Ramkrishna Mission, Nohkalikai Falls & David Scott Memorial Stone at Sohra Bazar. N/s at Sohra/Cherapunjee.(Coniferous Resort)

    Day 06: Sohra Sightseeing. Places to see:
    1st Half: Nohsngithiang Falls (popularly known as Seven Sisters Falls), Mawsmai Cave, Thangkharang Park, Khoh Ramhah, Kynrem Falls and then break for Lunch.
    2nd Half: Waterfalls Trek(from Wei Sawdong Falls to Khasid-U-Rai falls nearby Laitryngew PHC involving Lyngngai Falls,Mawsawdong Falls,Janailar Falls,Mawsawa Falls & DaiΓ±thlen Falls) N/s at Sohra/Cherapunjee.( Coniferous Resort)

    Day 07: Sohra – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shnongpdeng(170 kms). En route visit Mawryngkhang Rocky, Mawjngih Lapynshongdor View Point, Nohwet View Point, Single Decker Living Root Bridge at Riwai Village,Balancing Rock, Mawlynnong(Cleanest village in Asia), Borhill Falls,Bydrow Falls,Tamabil(Bangladesh Border Viewpoint) N/s at Shnongpdeng Camps/Halatong Tourist Homestay.

    Day 08 : Shnongpdeng – Amlarem – Jowai – Ialong(120 kms). After Umngot River View and Kayaking/River Boat,visit places en route like Krangshuri Waterfalls, Syndai Cave and Ruparsor Bathing Ghat, Thlumuwi falls and stone bridge. N/s at Jowai/Ialong Park(Pine Breeze Guest House/Lalong Traveller’s Nest)

    Day 09:Jowai/Lalong-Guwahati Airport(210kms). En Route Visit Tyrshi Falls, Thadlaskein Lake,Nartiang Monoliths & Durga Temple).Lunch at Umiam.Post Lunch departure from Umiam Lake to Guwahati Airport to catch 9W 982 at 18:10 hrs back to Kolkata.

    None of the accommodations are booked nor are the flight tickets as I am planning to visit only in April 2019,a good 4 months away. I have also taken help of Mr. Kari Kor for preparing this itinerary through India Mike. This time, we will be travelling in a group of 04.

    Now,these are my queries-

    (i) As you have suggested Mr. Pradip Modak drives a small car,so do you by chance happen to know the rate for that as for us 4 people I think a 4 seater vehicle will be enough.Did you pay for Bimalda’s Food as well like you did in case of Raj in Bhutan?

    (ii)The food cost that you mentioned at Sohra,does it include 3 days all 9 major meals’ costing?Although on the day of Nongriat Trek,You must have taken Packed Lunch with you but your family members might have taken lunch at Coniferous Resort itself.

    (iii)Do I need to send money by electronic transfer to book the Traveller’s Nests at different locations?DO they include breakfast also in the room rent? DO I need to pay the whole amount in Cash when I reach there?

    (iv)Can you suggest some good economical stay options at SHillong other than Police Bazar but not too far from the City Centre? Dhankheti is an excellent choice as it is quite close to SHillong Cafes but other than El Dorado GH, I am unable to find any economical conveniently located accommodation option there. Can you suggest any?

    (v) At the Traveller’s Nests, DO I need to tell them over phone beforehand what dinner I would like to have? I understand that these places are remotely located and the people must be informed in advance to arrange for a proper meal.

    (vi) Please suggest some good non veg restaurants located along this circuit where we can have our Lunch and Dinner.

    (vii) Lastly, as now you have seen my tentative itinerary, do you think it is quite hectic?If yes,then what measures should be taken to make it a bit relaxing?

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 9, 2018 at 8:56 AM

      Hi Debayan, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that my bloged helped you planning a trip πŸ™‚

      Yes Kari is one gem of a person. If he’s guiding you there’s nothing else to look at. The itinerary is perfectly fine.

      Regarding the queries…

      1. Well Driver’s TA/DA is included in the daily charge. So there’s no expectation to pay for their food seperately. However as we generally get be-friendly with the driver, can’t ignore the fact that we’d be having lunch together and he’d be sitting seperately and having his lunch. Thus we generally share the meals. But again, that’s not the expectation. Pradip Modak is again one gem of a person and have a lots of vehicles which either he or his brothers / partners drive. A small vehicle is charged somewhere around 3000/- per day. You may call him and tell my name. He’d be happy to assist you. Knows me very well.

      2. Yes the food cost includes everything. During the day of Nongriat Trek, me and my cousin didn’t packed lunch, instead had some maggie at a local food joint near Double Decker Root Bridge. Unfortunately my family thought we’d be back early, so they went to the Parking at Tyrna after hopping through market. So they skipped the lunch that day.

      3. Yes you need to deposit an advance through online banking for the booking. Rest in cash on-spot. Those are very remote areas, so carry whole amount in cash once you leave Shillong. No Breakfast is not included unless mentioned specifically like Maple Pines Farm.

      4. No, you can ask Kari though. I found El-Dorado Guest House to be most convenient, budget friendly and close to market. You’ll find lots of budget hotels at PB itself. However we didn’t wanted to stay right within the hustle bustle of market. So El-Dorado Guest House was our best bet considering the Cafe’s we hopped through at Laitumkhrah, close to PB and everything else yet far from the hustle bustle of market.

      5. Yes. You need to inform them in advance. A day in advance would be more appropriate and then again a reminder on the day of your arrival.

      6. Well I have a list of Cafe’s in Shillong and Sohra that I wanted to try. I need to find them. Please give me some time πŸ™‚

      7. No. The itinerary is fine. The places are very close to each other and doesn’t requires much travelling making it hectic.

        November 9, 2018 at 10:49 PM

        Thanks a lot Krishnandu for replying to each of my queries patiently.Now that you have cleared my doubts,it will be easier for me to plan.

        Nonetheless I shall be eagerly awaiting for your list of Restaurants & Cafes along this route from Shillong to Sohra to Jowai so that we can enjoy the local delicacies at its best.

        Regarding the accommodation,I have already asked Kari and he old that his mother is making ready their buliding to be opened to travellers as kind of homestay.I immediately expressed my desire to stay there but it is yet to be completely ready.
        Hence,I was just exploring fallback options.

        Does the Air Force Museum charge any entry and/ Camera Fee as well? I have not found any mention of the same in your writing and Google reviews are also not helping.

        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          November 10, 2018 at 10:17 AM

          Yes there’s Entry Fee at Air Force Museum.

          Regarding Must-Not-Miss Food Options…

          If you like local food halt at Kong Da or you may halt at Jiva Veg Restaurant (Jiva Veg Restaurant) while going to Shillong from Guwahati

          Susie’s is a must while travelling towards Mawphlang / Mawlyngbna from Shillong. Check Susie’s German Restaurant

          Here are some of the Cafe’s you can try out at Shillong

          • Polo Irish Pub
          • Tango Restro Bar and Lounge
          • Cloud 9
          • ML 05 Cafe
          • The Grub Cafe and Bakery
          • Swish Cafe
          • Deja Vu
          • Living Roof
          • Mellow Mood Cafe
          • Dylan’s Cafe

          And in Sohra, if you want finger licking Bengali Food, go for Nalgre Restaurant.

          Hope that helps πŸ™‚

          • Debayan gupta
            March 8, 2019 at 4:56 PM

            Thanks Krishnandu once again for helping me plan my trip to Meghalaya.

            I have made all the bookings of Accomodations at the following places-

            Shillong: EL Dorado GH.

            Mawlyngbna: Traveller’s Nest

            Mawphlang: Maple Pine Firm

            Sohra: Conniferrous Resort

            Shnnongpdeng: Shatsngi Homestay

            Lalong: Traveller’s Nest

            My flight tickets are also booked.One thing I am getting stuck is the booking of transportation. Had a word with Mr. Pradeep Modak,Mr. Dipak Sarkar(Seems to be famous on TripAdvisor) and Wan(Details on Maple Pine Firm website).

            As you have travelled with Bimal Modak,my question to you is-

            Did you contact other drivers like Mr. Sarkar as well?
            What made you choose Mr. Modak?

            Actually he was initially quoting a bit higher than the others but he is offering most probably his Chevvy.But Mr. Sarkar is offering the services of an ERTIGA at the same price while Wan drives an ETIOS(btw he is the most economical).

            Chevvy: Rs. 32000 for the 9 day trip

            Ertiga: Rs. 32500 for the 9 day trip

            Etios: Rs. 28000 for the 9 day trip excluding driver;s stay and food at Shnongpdeng & Lalong?

            I am stuck here unable to make a choice. Can you offer your valuable advice regarding how to make the choice?

            If u fell this is not the proper forum,the I am okay with that also.

            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              March 8, 2019 at 8:19 PM

              Well this is very critical question. Well I took quotations from few other drivers too and unfortunately Mr. Pradip Modak quoted me the lowest.

              I even spoke to Mr. Wan (from Maple Pines Farm), however I’d have to hire 2 such vehicle for my family of 6 considering the seating capacity of Etios. So again that was not economical.

              Pradeep Modak do have great reputation in TripAdvisor and other forums as well. And he being offering the cheapest I just went ahead with my intution.

              Well, I know what you are feeling, and believe me, before every tour of mine I go through the same situation where price difference is not much. And believe Driver is the main entity for me which makes the tour sweet and memorable or bitter. Because I being budget traveller, I mostly spend the night at hotel, so it really doesn’t matter much except a clean bed and clean washroom.

              So rest of the time, it’s all about the person who’s driving me around to see places. And my ad-hoc requests for stops to smoke and take pictures here and there!!

              And till now, I can say that, I have went ahead with my intution based on the words I had with the driver over phone and till now I haven’t ever been wrong! That’s my luck may be.

              But one thing I’d like to say here is that, I respect and behave with the driver such as he’s my family member which most tourists don’t. And believe me this is a very important factor, as they would behave with you as you’d behave with them. For E.g. I never let them pay for their lunch (yes even though their fare includes TA / DA) and we ask them to sit with us whenever we are having food while travelling. Share the snacks we are having while he’s there with us. We share the smoke and everything. And they never fail me when I ask to see some extra spot taking a de-tour. They even drive me at odd-hours to get a perfect picture or some hidden unknown spot which can’t be found on Internet. So in short, they go the extra mile to help you out or to please you. So in the end it’s the behaviour above money.

              Finally to answer your question, you have to choose one based on your intution or the vehicle type if that’s important factor for you, as the price difference is not much as I can see.

  • Ambar
    February 16, 2020 at 8:19 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    I have gone through your blog and it is very informative if anybody wants to travel to Meghalaya. Based on your recommendation , I have contacted Mr. Pradip Modak for car. Now, he is giving me two options for car hire – I can via per KM rate , or, can hire him for fixed amount per day basis. I am facing dilemma because the per KM charges are coming very less compare to ‘per-day charges’ . It is almost double. Do you think it is good idea to go per KM basis with Mr. Pradip Modak ?

    We need two small sedan car for two families for 9 days trip.

    Any suggestion will be very helpful.


    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 16, 2020 at 9:48 PM

      Hi Ambar, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you found my blog helpful πŸ™‚

      Generally Per KM basis is the cost for dry car. So everything else like petrol and driver’s TA/DA is not included in it. That’s the main catch. And if you include those it’s much more than Per Day Basis.

      Now to be on the safe side, I’d recommend you to get these things clarified. Like ask him, if you hire on Per KM basis, is there any extra/hidden charges other than the one he’s quoting?

      Based on that you can hire a vehicle. Also, if you are 6 person, you can consider hiring a large vehicle like Sumo / Bolero / Innova / Xylo etc. Per day charge for one Sumo / Bolero / Innova / Xylo will be lesser than two 4 seater vehicles like Indica / Wagon R etc.

  • […] One can visit the above-mentioned places while you are in Shillong as sightseeing places of the town. However, if you want to escape this touristy environment and try out some offbeat destinations where nature resides by itself then you may choose to explore Mawphlang, Mawlyngbna and Mawphanlur circuit. […]

  • […] from the above mentioned places, from Cherrapunji one can also visit Mawsynram village – the wettest place of the earth, Dawki – a crystal clear lake also known as […]


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