After exploring Cherrapunji, one thing is clear to me. The people of Meghalaya are madly in love with the game named Football.Football grounds of different sizes can be seen frequently, each car has either Manchester United or Chelsa or any other club flag replicas as their decorative hangings, even a house with a big football at its top will surely justify my statement.
Throughout last two days I was seeing a picturesque church on our way to and back Cherrapunji . I thought of exploring it many a times, then deferred it for next day and I had to pay my lazy attitude. We left for Mawsynram on day 4 morning and it was raining cats and dogs (probably an invitation from Mawsynram, the wettest place of the world), I just could manage to take a picture of the church somehow. We have seen open graveyard on our way. No big walls, no gates, souls taking rest under the colourful sky among the greens—death is really luring if such a bounty is the gift after death.
The road is comfortable, the scenery is wonderful. The journey from Sohra to Mawsynram is memorable—green pasture, hillocks, flowers —everything was so beautiful. Two hours journey was sometimes thrilling with dark clouds making the visibility almost zero.
Finally we reached Mawsynram . A few steps down from the bus stand was a cave named Mawjynbuin cave, another wonder of nature. The entrance is wide open and in the middle of the cave a stalagmite structure is hanging from the ceiling of the cave and a similar stalagmite structure is growing out of the ground below and both of them are on the same line, opposite direction. From the locals we came to know that ‘Mawjynbuin’ means the breast stone, the height of the lower stalagmite was only 2 feet 40 years ago but now it is almost 4 feet in height.
The locals in old days believed that if the two stones meet the world will end that day. However, the top stalagmite has a hole in its mouth from which water is dripping always on the lower one. This is very much symbolic of the Shiva Linga and the locals offer puja here.
We had our lunch at Sincera Restaurant with chicken and rice, digestable. For night stay you can contact: Rit Mawksir Café near the PWD Campus, Ph No- 9615810472, 8258052947. Almost 12 km far a wonderful fall is there, we couldn’t make it. Only a night stay will make it possible.
As traveller I am a bit slow, my son is slower and my husband, the slowest. We ate, we met, we talked…..and our Driverji was angry as we were late. Actually, soaking into the atmosphere takes time and hurry kills the charm of travel. But we are very decent people and listened to whatever our driver had to say, then started for Mawphalang , the Sacred Wood.
The Sacred wood will nurture you with myth, unsophisticated beauty and adventure. Our guide was a very energetic Mr. Sunny Lyngdoh. He proudly announced first that they are not merely guides, the Lyngdohs are actually the priest family. My son was curious to know if any animal frequent this forest and was given many names—jackal, wolf, and Cheetah. The last name was enough to make him almost fainted. Mr.Lyngdoh confirmed again and again that before sunset no animal would trade that forest but Dil to bachha hain!!
Jokes apart, the sacred wood is really enjoyable, it was like a treasure hunt…..we found so many unknown fungi, orchids and saw so many unknown plants.
The most interesting thing is that nobody is allowed to take away anything from here—What an excellent way of protecting the greens!!
We saw years old Pine tree, Rudraksha tree and its fruits, fungi, orchid, a plant which helps cow to give more milk and many more-
There are stone monoliths as seen all over Meghalaya, but here these were used as Puja Places (places for praying God) and the highest stone was the standing point of the Priest.
Setting sun was peeping through the big old trees and we had to come out of the forest as We had miles to go before we sleep—-we had to reach Mawlynnong that night.
Khasi Heritage Village is an open stadium just at the opposite side of the Sacred Grove. It was built in 2013 to celebrate the two day ‘Monolith Festival’ annually. It was constructed at a 7 acres land in the East Khasi hills district.
Every year near about 53 traditional Himas (kingdoms) of tribes come from different districts of Meghalaya and showcase their traditional food, sports, medicines , attires, dances,songs etc. Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council is the organiser. Last year (2016) this festival was celebrated at the Umiam Lake ,Shillong as it has become very now.
My next blog post will come very soon —Mawlynnong and Dawki. If you like reading my posts , don’t forget to follow me .