I am a poor traveller; poor in the sense that I travel less although I wish to enjoy places. This is quite contradictory, isn't it? Yes, and all the thanks to my laziness!
But this time, a few friends sufficient enough to cause the humdrum, made a toast to a plan for a Shillong tour. And I joined in, trying to test my travelling luck one last time.
Luckily, there was no disappointment. The tour proved to be cherishing. The Department of Meghalaya Tourism is well organized and they gave us the best and most comfortable sight-seeing planner. We returned happy.
The complete tour was broken up into three days of exciting travel. The first day, we were taken to Cherrapunji, the second, to Asia's cleanest village, Mawlynnong, and the third day, we drove around Shillong. Cherrapunji is around 75 kilometres away from Shillong town (w.r.t. Police Bazaar point). Mawlynnong is located at a distance of around 90 kilometres.
We expected rains; so, we had five umbrellas packed in our bags before the journey. The roads housed spots of pleasure: the curvy mountains rubbed with specks of clouds, the valleys that nested little huts and houses, and the roadside tea stalls of bamboo. Everything seemed like a painting on the air. Cherrapunji trip had the following spots: Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Bangladesh View Point, Mawsmai Cave, Thangkharang Park and Ramakrishna Mission Ashram. Although each of these was unique in their own way, the most striking were the Nohkalikai Waterfalls and Mawsmai Cave.
'Nohkalikai' in local tongue means 'jump of Likai'. Likai was a woman who earned by labour. She had a daughter who was more than her life. She had to remarry as she turned widow early. Her second husband could not bear her love for her daughter and was jealous of their bond. He felt Likai's love for her was the reason why she did not pay attention to him. One day, when Likai went out for work, her husband planned a murder, chopped her daughter into pieces and cooked the little one's flesh. Likai, on returning from work, was surprised to learn that her husband had cooked the evening meal. He offered the meal to Likai. Tired, she ate the meal and after dinner she went out to have a taste of betel nuts. As she drew the hand out of the grinder, she found a finger of her daughter. Suddenly, her world turned ugly. She was struck with unimaginable grief, and grew insane. Her heart was too weak to carry the weight of her daughter's death. She could not believe she had eaten her love's dead flesh. She knew not what to do, and as she had already grew insane, she jumped off the waterfalls. So, the waterfalls was named after the 'jump of Likai' to remember a mother and her love for her daughter.
The Mawsmai Cave is a natural cave which has a length of almost 150 metres and can be traversed through. The tourists can have a trip through the rocks amidst the cave. There are a number of narrow paths and so, people with problems of bending and breathing are advised not to take a chance. However, it was an adventurous inside, like Indiana Jones going for the Crystal Skull. There are little bridges to cross watery portions but since it was raining, the bridges were a bit submerged. But nothing seemed a problem. The water trickling from the sides of the rocks presented a true experience of a dream. The Mawsmai Cave is, in fact, a place which must not be missed at all.
The fog played its best, but we did not regret. The fog touched a sweet sense in the photographs we took. The Nohkalikai was a playful place. The fog lifted for only around 2 minutes. The people there commented that even a 2 minute glimpse is luckier; sometimes people return after 6 days of visiting without having a pleasure to watch it. Perhaps, that's how silent Nature participates in games with Her world!
|Seven Sisters Waterfalls|
|Bangladesh View Point|
|Seven Sisters Waterfalls Eco Park amidst fog|
|Nohkalikai Waterfalls: India's second largest falls!|
|At Nohkalikai Waterfalls: fog surrounds the hills!|
|Roadside on the way to Cherrapunji|