RASTA: A Road Trip to NE with Family, PART-2

#16 Jan 13th, 2018, 03:30
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#16
So my journey starts on 12th December 2017 in Meghalaya.

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The long but rewarding Journey Ended after 19 days in the state.

It was 50 % Planned and rest " as it comes" type trip.

Karikor's tips at every moment helped to complete the trip successfully.

Started from KHASI HILLS, then to JAINTIA HILLS and ended with GARO HILLS.

We found around 60% very good roars, 30% was average but rest 10% did not have any road at all. (Sabash Optra)

Taking Optra itself was the biggest challenge of the trip.( its a 15 years old vehicle)

I am starting my Story with the total route we covered in Meghalaya.....The Pink lines are the roads we passed through.

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Our trip within Meghalaya covered

Umden

Mawphanlur

Nonglang

Ranikor

Mawlyngbna

Mawphlang

Sohra (Cherrapunjee)

Nongriat

Kongthong

Shnonpdeng

Ialong

Mawlyngot

Tura

Then back journey to Bhubaneswar.......
Last edited by BIMAL PRADHAN; Jan 13th, 2018 at 12:15..
#17 Jan 15th, 2018, 13:42
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#17

Travelers nest

Meghalaya Government through "Meghalaya village development and promotion tourism cooperative society limited", has been trying to promote tourism in many villages.

Societies are selected and given various support at different parts of the state. The support may range from financial, Administrative, technical, training as well as promotion.

Besides other activities, some of the societies have build guest houses/home stays for tourists. The properties belong to the society and the profits is shared among them.These guest houses are named "TRAVELERS NEST"

Some of the societies have marketed locally available products along with the availability of staying option successfully.

Mawlyngot- Tea tourism
Umden- sericulture( Silk weaving)
Ranikor- Fishing
Kongthong-Honey

All travelers nest, has a capacity of 3-4 well maintained rooms with attached baths. Besides food, almost all places have some activities is designed for the tourists

Umden- Fishing, Swimming,Village walk, Weaving training
Mawphanlur-Kayaking, Treking, Fishing,Swimming
Nonglang-Fishing,Boating,Swimming
Ranikor-Fishing,Kayaking,Swimming
Mawlyngbna-Treking, Fishing,Kayaking
Kongthong-Treking
Ialong- Nature walk
Mawlyngot- Trekking, Tea plantation and manufacturing

There are many things common in all the TN:

*All are prices at Rupees 1500 for one cottage per night

*Almost all places the food is charged extra @ 250/- for non veg meal and 200/- for veg meal, 100-150 for breakfast. Usually the tea is free. But this rate is not the same always.

*All places have tents , which are provided by the Society. The rate per night is 500-700 per tent. But these tents are hardly used. Few places, they even do not know how to pitch the tent. I will definitely prefer tents in my next visits, as it comes cheap. There is definitely a common bath for people staying in the tent.

*Where ever Kayaking is available, its CHEAP.....DAMN CHEAP. Just Rs. 100 for an hour. If no other guests are there, you may kayak for hours at the same price.

* Fishing rods are available in all TNs.

*All TN confirms bookings over phone. You can pay after reaching in most places. They do not have any online payment mode.

*Some TN are registered with few online travels sites. But they are listed at a higher price, Also they take a big margin and transfer less amount to the travelers nest. This goes against the very ethics of a society. One should directly book with the respective Travelers nest.

* Once booked, one must keep reminding the contact person about the booking. Sometimes they forget. Also many times the guest do not turn up.

* Before reaching, Please call them and inform them about the food preference.


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Whatever information I could gather, these are the total list of Functional Travelers Nests in meghalaya. During my trip to the state, I stayed in each one of them.I have covered these places in more details in the following pages.
#18 Jan 15th, 2018, 14:33
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#18
From the Highway, Umden is 18 kilometres. On the way one can visit
1-Marngar Lake (Boating),
2-Little further There is Bamaeri Resort ( ATV, Swimming, Restaurant etc.). There is an entry fees of Rs 100/- per head to the resort.
3- One can buy tea from the factory of Nalari Tea, which is in between Merngar lake and Bamaeri Resort.

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Road is single lane but good, last 1 km to reach the travelers nest is rough but not bad.

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At the Umden TN, we were greeted by two old ladies KONG(Elder sister) Trans, who is the owner of the property (Secretary of the society) and Kumari, who helps KONG Trans in cooking, Also MONKEY, the Dog.

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It was almost evening by then. Just enough time to explore the place.

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Last edited by BIMAL PRADHAN; Jan 15th, 2018 at 22:20..
#19 Jan 15th, 2018, 14:52
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#19

December 13th...Our 13th day into the journey....our second day at Umden.

It was 4 in the morning, Megha woke up to catch fish. Manav followed.

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We did not feel decent to wake up Polish for tea, so here comes my Butane stove and food bag.

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While kids were trying to catch fish, we had breakfast at 8.

It's a beautiful place. One of those places where you can come with books to read, excellent place for honeymoon (no one to disturb, no shops to buy, nothing else to do other than being yourself), a place for the peace loving LAZY people like me.

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#20 Jan 15th, 2018, 22:18
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Dec 13th- UMDEN VILLAGE

We liked the entire setup of the place. Not worried about the kids......with friendly and caring people like KONG Trans, Polish and Kumari, We were not worried about the food or even the cloths which were drying. Some times you feel bad, as they do your work without you asking for it. But that is what makes all Khasi special.

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Umden is famous for cooking in Bamboo. Whether it is chicken or Sticky rice....just inform them. Hot Bamboo cooked Tasty food will be served. Entire Meghalaya is bad for Roti eating people, But you ask for it and they will do their best to make it.

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Take a small trek to the other side of the fishing pond. You may decide to travel in car...few kilometers to see a place with monoliths. Ask Polish to tell you about the village, where beautiful wooden products/Utensils are made.

One thing you can not miss is the DIWON Village, The village which is famous for ERI SILK weaving. What is special here is, they cultivate the tree for the silk worm....so starting from breed the silk worm to caring, taking the silk out of the cocoon, making the thread by hand/machine and then finally weaving the Shawls/ Chadars and Stoles, Everything is done in the village itself. Many houses have looms.

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Kong Trans is a master weaver and trains many new weavers. She has traveled to many parts of the country. The products made from raw silk thread made manually is rough to feel but better and costlier.

After dark we came back from Diwon village. Had dinner and went to sleep.

Next day travel to Mawphanlur.
#21 Jan 16th, 2018, 01:16
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Dec 14th-15th......Mawphanlur

Started early to beat the infamous Shillong traffic jam on the way to Mawphanlur.

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At Umsning, take a left turn on the Umsning-Mawrong road. After about 7 kms will come the famous strawberry village of Sohliya. The place also offers bird sightings of various bulbuls and sunbirds. Deepak Laloo's strawberry farm is a must visit (Nakliar Tours, C/o M/s D. D. Laoo & Co., G.S.Road, Police Bazar, Shillong-793001 Email: nakliartours@gmail.com, Phone No: 0364-2502420, Mobile 9436104844). Stay options are available in the village. The place also offers an excellent view of tea plantation.Strawberry plucking is done in Mar-Apr.

Umiam Lake offers a great view from the highway itself. We decided not to stop here now as we are expected to cross this place during our return trip to Bhubaeneswar.

Lost couple of hours in the traffic jam near Shillong. Filled the tank here ( Luckily)and moved towards Mairang.

Just after Shillong stopped at MEG TEA garden. Saw the tea plantation and bought some Green tea from their shop.

Then came our lunch destination of SUSIE GERMAN RESTAURANT at Mawkriah. Her Chicken Schnitzel and Grilled Chicken are the best.

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After reaching Mariang, take the right towards Jirang & Guwahati.....exactly 3.5 kms ahread take left towards Nongkhlaw. 10 kms from this point is the Kyllang Rock. Reaching the top after about 40 minutes easy trek is rewarding. After walking 100 mts from the starting point, take the rock to the left....steps are not visible initially, but after 2 minutes you will see the steps.

One must read the interesting story of war between KULLANG ROCK and SYMPHOR ROCK(near welloi).

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After Kyllang, moved straight to Mawphanlur. The road is Excellent till the Travelers nest.

WOW ......what a place.

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Transis( The owner) came little late. His daughters and wife were prompt to provide us portable fire place as it was very cold.

A small shop nearby....daily needs are available.

At night, Manv and Ravi got busy with Star gazing.

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It was a cold night. The place was full. Ravi decided to sleep in the car itself.
#22 Jan 16th, 2018, 09:46
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#22
Bimal did you take any pictures from the top of Kyllang Rock?
#23 Jan 16th, 2018, 10:11
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#23
This is so enjoyable , so much detail. Great going and TFS
#24 Jan 16th, 2018, 12:17
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#24
Lovely.. the way you write, you actually take the reader for a ride ... looking forward to your TR..
#25 Jan 16th, 2018, 15:11
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Thanks to all of you. I am not an explorer like KARI...neither A great photographer like Somnath.

Writing for the first time, may be after my 12th exam

I want people to get as much information as possible, so that it will be easier for them to plan for Meghalaya
#26 Jan 16th, 2018, 16:44
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Dec 14th-15th......Mawphanlur

Good morning.....the cocks and hens shouted.

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It was cold...very cold outside.

With out any catch in Umden had made Manav more determined to prove his fishing ability. Today no specific plan. Mawthadraishan Peak is the only thing in mind. Fishing and Kayaking will take the whole day of Manav and Megha.

Transis, offered us to take the other cottage with European toilet, but we were happy in the cottage alloted to us.

Sandhya was quick to cash in on the beautiful sunlight after 8 am.



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Ans then we met the Managing director of all Travelers nest in Mehalaya. Kong Ri is a nice lady. She wants all TNs to do well. I had lots of things to tell and suggest. Promised her that after the trip will make a comprehensive report and sent her. Ms. Daphi, her assistant noted down everything I had to say. We had lunch together.

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After lunch, It was time for us to go to the peak. Again no photographs from the peak, just like Kyllang.

Manav, Megha and Ravi were busy in fishing. After 3 pm Kayaking started. Hours and hours of kayaking for just Rs100/- per head. Many people came in cars just for kayaking too.

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The loud music from the nearby picnic spots, the cool breeze and a beautiful setup.....all created a lively picture.

There is a JIO tower in the property itself...still it is not reliable. But its the only option.

When we came back from the peak, Manav and Megha were busy playing football with local kids.

It was one of the best day in the entire trip. Relaxed in an excellent location. One word comes to my mind " TRANQUILITY"

Night was colder than day before. Luckily, Ravi had a place to sleep.

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Tomorrow taking a route, which I did not get any information in any forums, or even from locals.
#27 Jan 16th, 2018, 18:38
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16th December. Nonglang

Today its By By for Mawphanlur and travel to Nonglang near Mawkyrwat for night stay.

We have decided to take the route via Nongstoin specially to be able to visit NONGKHNUM island.

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"Nongkhnum Island is the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second biggest river island in Asia, after Majuli Island in Assam. Located about 14 Kms from Nongstoin, the district hqs. of West Khasi Hills, it is 20 to 25 sq. kms in area. Travelling on foot from Nongstoin through the villages of Lawse, Mawduh and Mawthar, it takes about two and a half-hours to reach the Island."

But now it seems there is a metal road till the place. Later Karikor told me, how he used to trek to the place passing 2-3 hanging bridges during his childhood.

About the route and road condition, I did not get much help from anywhere. But one thing was sure, its a damn beautiful place and also it was advised by all not to go there in a sedan.

Early morning, we remember for two reasons

It was COLD....After seeing the ice on the top of grass and the car Ravi tanked his luck that he did not have to sleep in the car that night.

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Transis couldd not resist the dirt in the Chevy. and started cleaning it.

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After Mawphanlur, the road till Nongstoin was flawless. Then the nightmare started. THE ROAD IS NOT SUITABLE FOR SUV ALSO.

We were moving at a speed of 6-7 km/hr. On the way at Photkynthei was an under construction building complex. Karikor informed me later that it is for Nongstoin District Jail. Construction started in 2003 and still not complete. What a site for a Jail.

After traveling 6 kms from Nongstoin, take riht onto the Nongkhnum Road. Another 8-9 kms further is the Island. These 8 kms can be termed as a mini Dzukou valley. Rainy season must be spectacular. Park the car and walk for about 1 km to reach the island. But SUV can reach till the end.

When we reached, there were no one in the place. CUP NOODLES, Biscuit and little snacks was our breakfast. Water of the river was clean so we did not hesitate to drink.

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We decided not to visit the falls nearby. We expected the road ahead to be as terrible as the last few kilometers.

A beautiful resort with 10 cottages is coming up on the banks. Once it starts, a must stay place for travelers. But to reach the resort one has to cross a hanging bridge by foot. As there were no one, could not gather any information of the place.

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Back from Nongkhnum, The road did not improve a bit. The view was breathtaking though.

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Size:  26.5 KBManav's second catch after Mawphanlur

Tai Resort is simply great. This Travelers nest is different than all other TN. The lake on its two sides, the location, The hills surrounding it, The fishing and boating facilities and above all the in house restaurant makes this property, one of the best we have stayed in.
#28 Jan 16th, 2018, 20:06
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#28

MAWKYRWAT-NONGLANG-JAKREM and NEARBY

One must plan for at least couple of days to discover this area. Its interesting, virgin, less crowded and offers everything for every interest.

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Hot Spring:15 Kms from Mawkyrwat and 60 Kms from Shillong at lawblei (Jakrem)

Umngi River:18 km from Mawkyrwat is the Umngi River. It is a favorite picnic spot for the people of the area. In the middle of its course, there is a small river island where beach voleyball is played. It is the longest river in mawkyrwat sub division and its main source starts from Sohiong; it stretches down to Umpung lake, the most beautiful lake where there are different kinds of rocks and small stones.

Phlangja Ud-Cave:16 km from Mawkyrwat at Phlangja Ud, south of Rangmaw village is a beautiful cave. Stalactites hang on the ceiling of the cave and and above this cave lies a vast grassland from where we can get a view of the Bangladesh Plains. The distance of the cave is about 600 meters.

Rilang View Point:5km from Mawkyrwat at Mawranglang is a beautiful valley on the Nongstoin-Mawkyrwat road meandering across the river. It is convenient picnic and angling spot.

Tynrong Synrang Murin:About 2 km from Mawkyrwat at Mawten, there is a barren grassland surrounded by a unique panorama of sheer expanse in lovely openness. There is an open cave surrounding this flat land on its west.

Bombell Rock:3 km from Mawkyrwat at Mawten is a table land or high land which has a mesmerizing beauty. If one stands on this place one will get a view of the small hills and plains surrounding it.

Synrangbah Cave:At Nonglang, about 3 km from Mawkyrwat, is situated a yawning cave. The Mawkyrwat-Photjaud road passes through this cave having leveled the inner part. It is an open cave where people and cattle take shelter during rain and storm. Bats of all sizes reside in this cave.

Dongnob Falls:8 km from Mawkyrwat at Photjaud, is a beautiful waterfall. In the middle of this falls there is a cave which during winter becomes a splendid natural beauty with the reflection of the sun rays.

Synrang Sngi Rock:8 km from Mawkyrwat, east of Mawten, stands a rock as time keeper rock because when the sun rays touch its face in the evening the local farmers know the sun is going to set and its time for them to return home.

Tynrong Manbasa:8 km from Mawkyrwat, south of Rangmaw, there is a place where during olden times where people used to perform rites by worshiping this sacred stone.

Tynnai View Point:12 km from Mawkyrwat is a table land, where we can get a view of the rivers and plains of Bangladesh and the whole area of Riwar.

Rohbah Fish Sanctuary: 20 kms from Mawkyrwat.the village is bountiful with beautiful tourist spots, having a fish sanctuary called Ursngikyllut of Wahrilang River with a length of about 300 meters with thousands of big and small fishes. It also has a tourist stay home which caters to many tourists that come from outside.

Rongthong:11 kms from Mawkyrwat, this village has rich history."Towards the 15th century, small independent territories in the surrounding area namely- Nongbah, Photjaud and Nongnamlang conglomerated to form Rangthong. The conglomeration of the three territories was caused due to a feud which broke out. The mentioned three, formed an alliance to fend off a threat of encroachment from a neighboring territory. In preparation for the feud, a grand council was held and an ingenious war strategy was adopted. Deep trenches were dug to provide protection, camouflage and leverage for archers and bowmen. The code of war declared the winning faction to be the faction which could capture and behead more or even one captive in a single raid. The code of war was dishonored. One night, soldiers from the neighboring territory infiltrated the village and took captive five civilians- two were female and the rest male. The hostages however managed to escape. In retaliation, soldiers from the alliance captured and executed one civilian from the neighboring faction. The feud ended with the alliance emerging victorious.
The defeated were angered and demanded for another challenge. It was agreed upon; a deep pit was dug and its floor was covered with blades protruding upward. The challenge claimed the winner to be the one who would leap across the pit successfully. Two representatives were nominated from each of the warring sides to carry out this challenge. The alliance emerged victorious and consequently, as per the wishes of the gods, conglomerated to form ‘Rangthong’. The name Rangthong is derived from the word, ‘rangiathong’; ‘rang’ meaning ‘brave warrior’ and ‘thong’ meaning ‘a bet’."

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#29 Jan 16th, 2018, 20:46
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#29
I'm so happy I am also getting to learn something.
#30 Jan 16th, 2018, 20:53
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Hay GURU..... I am confused.....it was Comment or Compliment?

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