Every time I travel to a new destination in India, I realize how vast our country is and how much more there is to explore. While I have visited quite a few places, I never had a tryst with the landscape North Eastern arm of our nation, except for visiting relatives in Agartala a couple of times. But that does not count as exploring. As I had often heard from my father (who used to travel to all these remote places), the North East is full of mysteries, hidden away in the thickets of its lush greenery, waiting to be experienced by only a true explorer. And I’ve always wanted to explore fun activities in Shillong.
So when my cousin went to study in Guwahati, I found the opportunity to fulfill my wanderlust while helping him go and settle down. With a few more days in hand for his classes to start, we planned to explore the neighboring state of Meghalaya and enjoy some activities in Shillong. We had heard quite a lot about Meghalaya being popular for watersports and fixed it as our holiday destination.
Adventurous Activities in Shillong
It was late winter and the hills had started getting warmer from the spring sun. It was perfect to hit the road. Now to start any adventure or nature tour, you have to reach Shillong first. From there you can get onto your own travel plans or book any of these adventure sports packages online. We found a good deal on the Guwahati to Shillong taxi fare. It takes nearly 3 hours from Guwahati to reach Shillong, via NH 6.
From there, we had to reach Dawki for the real adventure. I had only read about this place in the travel guide but had no idea of what to expect till we reached there. Thankfully, we had managed to rent a reliable car from Guwahati who could tread the unknown roads without complaining or wasting time.
Exploring the waters
Truly a hidden gem of Meghalaya, Dawki or Dauki is no less than the perfect landscape painting. Green, tranquil, and flawless in every way, this little valley is a dream come true for a nature lover.
The Umngot River here is where the real magic happens. This mountain-fed water body is known for its green water, yet so clear that it looks like a floating mirror. The placid river makes for a great place for kayaking and fishing.
The river banks have ample spots for camping and renting boats. We waded down the still waters for some time, till our shoulders hurt from rowing.
It was afternoon by the time we lazed down on the river banks, to try our hands at fishing. The fresh mountain water of the lake is a breeding ground for rare species of fishes. And these Fishes are the ones which you can only see in this part of the country. My cousin and I envied our fellow anglers who were rejoicing their catch of catfishes and carps. We barely managed to hook one silver carp each, which we eventually released back in the water.
We really wanted to stay back and camp for the night and made some last minute adjustments with our driver.
Near By Activities in Shillong
The next morning, we headed to the nearby Jaintia Hills where there are a few small water sports outlets. This hilly region marks the border between India and Bangladesh and upstream Umngot River. The two-hour-long ride in the cold torrent, down the rugged terrain, was thrilling at its best.
It was a one-of-a-kind exhaustive trip, but my cousin and I both agreed that nothing else would have been a better start to experience the North East. And as far as I was concerned, I was glad, I didn’t choose to go by the typical touristy list of sightseeing and experienced Meghalaya in a way my father would have. Surreal yet fascinating, charming, yet enchanting, these exciting activities in Shillong have indeed made a mark in my travel logs.