Travelogue of my Shillong Sohra(Cherrapunji) Trip

#1 Dec 12th, 2018, 21:42
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  • rohinton is offline
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My travelogue for our Shillong and Sohra(Cherrapunji) 8 day trip.
First, I have to thank all members of IM for providing the name of the nicest driver in Shillong and Sohra. Yep, members who have travelled with him may have guessed correctly .
It is Mr. Paliram Pal, a Bengali settled in Shillong area with wife and two sons. Mob No.9198621 02512 Believe me, this guy knows the roads of both areas like the back of his hand. He was most caring and attentive of our needs and showed us some attractions which I did not know about despite my research on these two areas.This guy knows how to build a relationship.He currently owns a Maruti Alto K10 which is spacious despite being a small car.He operates from Shillong so some other driver like Dipen Mob no. 91 98567 08461 or Deb mob no. 919863024753 who are his associates will pick you up from Guwahati Airport or Guwahati Railway Station.
Initially, I had planned to stay four days in Cherrapunji and three days in Shillong but I later changed my plan to three days in Cherrapunji and four days in Shillong as Paliram Pal convinced me that Dawki was much closer from Shillong.
DAY 1 5th Nov, 2018
We web checked the day before for our early morning Spicejet flight and took out print outs of boarding pass for our flight.The flight had a stopover at Delhi but we did not have to deplane as the same flight was to take us to Guwahati.When flying from Delhi to Guwahati sit on the seats on the left side of the plane as you will get a gorgeous view of the Himalayan ranges from 30000 feet.



The Spicejet pilot was nice enough to point out the various mountain ranges.We had our pre-booked breakfast on the plane. Reached Guwahati Airport at 12.35pm.We found our driver, Mr.Dipen arranged by Paliram Pal outside the airport and left for Cherrapunji. Initially, Paliram was to pick us up at Shillong but since he was busy on that day, he arranged for Dipen (Mob no given above ) to take us to Cherrapunji and then he would arrive the next day and take us around. It is a very long drive of at least five hours (155 kms three hours to reach Shillong and the rest to reach Cherrapunji) with horrible winding roads because of which I proceeded to vomit the expensive breakfast I had on the plane! Here,I must mention that we were totally shocked to see it was quite dark by 16.30 hours .
Anyways, We reached our homestay and I paid Dipen Rs.4000/-. We stayed at Sunrise guesthouse for three days paying a very reasonable rate which included breakfast. This guesthouse is very well managed by Risa ,a sweet young girl with Sofia.We were pleasantly surprised to see Risa welcome us with much needed tea and biscuits. Later, we had a nice dinner here.

Day 2 6th Nov, 2018

As promised, Paliram turned up at 8.30 in his Alto K10 and Risa was kind enough to give him breakfast and tea not just that day but all three days that we were there.
We left at 9.30 for our first stop,Mawsmai Caves.




As mentioned in the video,this cave which is lighted has a very narrow passage at one place to go through but it is a very small cave and you will be out in hardly ten minutes.

Second stop was the Khoh Ramhah or Pillar rock which is sort of in the shape of a Shivling.



Third stop was Thangkharang Park.
It is a large,well maintained park.You can view the valleys below.It is also an ideal place for a picnic.
You can spend an hour here leisurely strolling through the park.
After that we had fish thali at Nalgre Restaurant ,which specializes in Bengali food which was not bad.





After lunch, we went to see the Dainthlen waterfalls which were beautiful.

and later the long,scary Arwah caves which I would not advise anybody to go without a guide. God forbid if you were to lose your way.Also,the guide will show you the few fossils which are inside.
Before entering the caves, you have to walk quite a distance somewhat uphill.





I found myself sharing space in the washroom outside the Arwah Caves with this big spider.He was lurking behind the water bucket and he scared the sh** out of me!


After that , it was time to return to Sunrise guesthouse and the hot tea and biscuits.We had dinner again in Sunrise guesthouse.

DAY 3 7th Nov, 2018
After breakfast,we left for the seven sister waterfalls but sadly did not even see even a trickle. I guess, you have to come here in the monsoon to see the waterfalls in full force.Then, we left for Eco Park.


It is yet another large, well maintained and aesthetically built park.
After that, the beautiful Nohkalikai falls.


We also visited the Ramkrishna mission which has some museums about Northeast culture.
We had lunch at Orange Roots which was nice.It is run by the same people who manage Cherrapunji Holiday Resort.





After lunch, I wanted to try ziplining at Mawdok which is some distance away from Cherrapunji .After overcoming my initial fear and after understanding as to how it operates, I went ahead.


Last stop for the day was Garden of Caves. It is a new attraction not covered, as yet in other travel sites.Some small waterfalls, rock formation and a heart shaped stone are worth seeing here.
This will require you to walk quite a lot up and down and can easily take at least two hours of your time.


Later, we snacked on delicious momos at Halari Restaurant.

Dinner again at Sunrise guesthouse.

Day 4 8th Nov, 2018
After breakfast, it was time to say our goodbyes to Risa and Sofia and leave for Shillong.
First stop, The Mawphlang sacred forest.A guide is compulsory for whom you have to pay Rs.300 for the short easy walk of hardly forty minutes and Rs.500 for the longer walk.The guide will show you the place where rituals were held and explain the history of the various
tribes, etc. Only if you are really interested in learning about all this,
you should visit here.There is a Khasi heritage village, too on the opposite side of the road.





We had a lovely lunch at the uniquely built Highway Snacks Dhaba.





After that, we went to the very beautiful Elephant Waterfalls.The unique thing about it is that this is one waterfall which you can see close by and also that it has three sections.


It was late evening by the time we reached Breeze Vale Homestay
in Motinagar, Shillong.The owner, Derrick Lyngdoh Mob no.91 8259922656 was considerate enough to send his location on Google maps to me.
We booked here for four nights after reading the nice reviews on Airbnb and elsewhere.
5th day 9th Nov, 2018.
We left with well packed breakfast given by Derrick for Mawlynnong and Dawki,very early.We stopped at a viewpoint en route for some pictures.
Reached the Living Root bridge first. Here, seeing that one of our family members had a problem of climbing up and down, Paliram Pal did not park the car on the top where others did but drove a little down and parked where the descent and ascent was much shorter.




After that,the Skyview Point which is a eighty-five feet high structure made from bamboo.




and the Balancing Rock, a natural wonder

and then the cleanest village in Asia,the Mawlynnong village made up of only 130 families.Frankly,nothing much to stop and see here unless you want to buy handicrafts to support the locals.
We then proceeded to the India Bangladesh friendship gate at the Bangladesh border.



We had a basic lunch at Tamabil and left for boating on the crystal clear Umngot river.
We paid Rs.700 for the boat for all four of us.







After the boat ride we headed for Shillong.We ordered take away food from Deja vu Restaurant about which we had read nice reviews.We were not disappointed with the food and very reasonable prices.

6th DAY 10th Nov, 2018.

After breakfast,we went to the beautiful Shillong Cathedral.
then Lake Hydari Park which has a mini zoo and children's play area.

Then to the five storied and with two basements, The Don Bosco museum which is a great source of learning about North East culture.Weapons,utensils, dresses are all on display here.There is a play area for toddlers so that parents can browse peacefully.On the top floor you can see a well made nine minute documentary about the Northeast.Above that on the terrace there is a viewing gallery for you to see the whole of Shillong.Unfortunately, it has grills so you can click snaps but cannot record any videos.Students get discount on the entrance tickets if they show school or college ID cards.






After that went for lunch to Trattoria in Police Bazaar,to try Jadoh,the pork biryani. We liked it.Trattoria was very crowded with locals,testifying to its popularity.




We roamed around Police Bazaar and then left for Wards Lake, a lovely lake for boating and landscaped gardens.






We spent three hours there boating and strolling in the park.There is
a bridge over the lake which enhances the beauty of the whole place.
After that,takeaway dinner at Cafe Shillong which was very disappointing considering the nice reviews that I had read about it.

7th Day. 11th Nov, 2018.
After breakfast,Paliram invited us home for tea and snacks which we could not refuse considering his endearing nature.
First stop was Laitlum Canyon.Vehicles go directly to the top. Go there for gorgeous views of the valley below.


Next, we left for Shillong Peak for which you will have to take your ID Cards as it is a security sensitive area.There is a very powerful binocular
here from which you can focus on any place in the city of Shillong.
We had intended to see the Airforce museum but unfortunately, being a Sunday, it had already closed at 13.00
We then left for Cafe ML 05 about which every youtuber covering Shillong has been raving about!ML 05 is the registration number of
vehicles in the Shillong district.Hence the name.Here, you can choose how you want to be served, either lounge/ relax on the carpeted floor or sit on the chairs.Food was expensive but exceptionally good.But,the place seriously needs some extra staff. The hostess was doubling up as a cashier apart from other staff multi-tasking and it took a long time for us to receive our food.The young staff there were doing their best.One cannot fault them.





Then we went to Police Bazaar for shopping for souvenirs for friends.
We bought some stoles and small boxes from Khasi Emporium.


We ate at KFC and then left for our homestay.We paid off Parimal Pal.

8th day Nov 12th
After breakfast, it was time to bid farewell to Derrick and Breeze Vale.
Parimal Pal had arranged for Deb( Mob no 919863024753) to drop us at the Guwahati Airport charging us Rs.2000/-in his Maruti Dzire.
We stopped at Umiam Lake which is 18 kms away from Shillong and would have done boating if we had time.




We stopped for a nice veg lunch at Jiva Restaurant on the way to the Airport.


Reached well in time to catch our flight.
Now,about the mistakes we made were not getting up early to sightsee
as in November, it used to be quite bright by 6.30 am and by 16.30 it would be quite dark.If we had factored in an extra day and stayed in Dawki or Mawlynnong(basic homestays) overnight, we could have seen the very beautiful Krangsuri waterfalls, an hours drive away from Dawki.If we had skipped Mawphlang Sacred forest, we could have seen the Airforce Museum and we missed boating in Umiam Lake because we left late from Shillong on the way to the Airport.We also missed eating at City Hut Dhaba about which I had read very positive reviews and the Aloo muri bhel outside Lady Hydari Park.Most important, we were sorely lacking in days and also fitness to climb up and down the 3500 steps needed for seeing the Double decker Root Bridge.
Anyways,we saw most of the attractions and the weather was salubrious with the temperature throughout our trip being between 10 to 13 degrees which we loved as we hail from humid Mumbai.
Parimal told me he has guests who want to do Sohra(Cherrapunji) and Dawki in a single day! I believe you should spend more time in fewer places rather than lesser time in more places.Are we spending money to smell the place or see the place?!!!
There is a English Khasi dictionary available in the Google playstore but it may not be needed as locals speak fluent English.
Khublei (Thanks in Khasi) for reading.Comments welcome,If you are still awake after reading this!
Last edited by rohinton; Dec 13th, 2018 at 23:42..
#2 Dec 12th, 2018, 21:54
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#2
Why did the pictures in my travelogue not open despite posting the links of India Mike Album but the youtube links opened.Can somebody please help?
#3 Dec 12th, 2018, 21:58
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#4 Dec 13th, 2018, 01:18
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Thanks, Aarosh.Finally did it.
#5 Dec 13th, 2018, 01:20
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#5

Pics

I may not have put my pics here if I had known they were to appear as so tiny.Anyways, they look okay in Album.
Last edited by rohinton; Dec 13th, 2018 at 01:21.. Reason: Mistake
#6 Dec 13th, 2018, 02:26
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If you look at the link that you are pasting, you will see that you are using the link for the thumbnail.
#7 Dec 13th, 2018, 20:16
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Edited Pics

Okay, Aarosh.Finally finished.Thanks.
Last edited by rohinton; Dec 13th, 2018 at 23:45.. Reason: Mistake while uploading pics
#8 Dec 16th, 2018, 01:46
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#8

Travelogue of my Shillong Sohra(Cherrapunji) Trip

@rohinton : Thanks for the wonderful travelogue with videos and useful information. I am planning meghalaya Jan 22-26. How much did it cost for Parimal Pal ?

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#9 Dec 26th, 2018, 10:15
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#9

Travelogue of my Shillong Sohra(Cherrapunji) Trip

@rohinton: Could you please clarify my below queries regarding your stay .

Breeze Vale -
1- Is heater portable to room / bed ?
2- Possible to club single beds together and make it double ?

Sunrise Guest house
1 - Comfortable for ma little one to sleep through very cold night ?

Irshad
#10 Dec 26th, 2018, 20:07
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#10

Breeze Vale and Sunrise

Breeze Vale
1)Yes, Heater is portable.You will have to plug it to nearest electrical outlet.
2)yes

Breeze vale has 3 different flats available.
Sunrise

1)Yes

Sent you a private mesage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhammed Irshad View Post @rohinton: Could you please clarify my below queries regarding your stay .

Breeze Vale -
1- Is heater portable to room / bed ?
2- Possible to club single beds together and make it double ?

Sunrise Guest house
1 - Comfortable for ma little one to sleep through very cold night ?

Irshad
#11 Dec 26th, 2018, 20:39
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#11

Travelogue of my Shillong Sohra(Cherrapunji) Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohinton View Post Breeze Vale

1)Yes, Heater is portable.You will have to plug it to nearest electrical outlet.

2)yes



Breeze vale has 3 different flats available.

Sunrise



1)Yes



Sent you a private mesage
Thanks @rohinton.

Irshad
#12 Dec 26th, 2018, 23:19
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#12

Great writeup! Appreciate you taking the time to help others. 

#13 Dec 27th, 2018, 00:54
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#13

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by nadreg View Post Great writeup! Appreciate you taking the time to help others.
Thanks.I have benefited a lot from India Mike and its members and this is my way of repaying all.

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