I am such a baby in hills and clouds, I swear. Mostly people prefer summer holidays in a cold place and winter in a warm place. Majority of time when people plan a trip in India during summer, they visit one of the most beautiful hill station of the country: Shillong. I have been lucky this winter season to have escaped cold and peaceful hill station of North-East.
If you are new to my blog let me introduce myself in brief. I am a 21 nomadic soul from a small town with big dreams, who chose travel and peace as a keyword of life. While searching the ideas of budget travel, I came up with Twenties and Lifestyle and here you are!! :) Your new friend !!
I have been to Shillong few times before and no doubt every time it blows my mind. But this time, I planned a trip in winter to visit a hidden paradise of Shillong : The Sacred Grove of Mawphlang, a forest where trees live and breath. Remember about the story of Snow White who found seven dwarf in a lost forest? Some trees that can give life to a dead soul? Trees that listen to someone’s prayer and give them shelter….Those trees lived in fairy tales of our grandmothers used to tell. I honestly had no idea about the existence of those Mythological trees in real world and dream of my childhood becomes true as I stepped on the place “The Sacred Grove: Mawphlang”.
How to reach
I made a trip of two days to the wonderful town covered with mystical mist and fog during this December. I started my journey from Tezpur, Assam and I bet Rs. 6000 is enough for you to complete your journey without any worry ;)
I started on 17 December’17 at 7:30 am from Tezpur. You can quickly reach Guwahati as you get into a “By Pass” traveler from Tezpur, which make the way straight to Guwahati not via Nagaon. And if you want to save your time, start your journey early in the morning so that you can get a direct traveler and less road traffic.
Traveler charge per person from Tezpur to Guwahati is Rs 180.
At 10:30 AM, I reached Khanapara, Guwahati and had my breakfast and hired a taxi directly to Shillong. Well if you have enough money to spend or want to enjoy a self drive on the magical roads of Shillong, you can go for Zoomcar (now available in Guwahati) or Awerides (No security deposit needed). Zajabor is an another comfortable travel partner for all the road-trip lovers. If you need any guide for a road trip in gorgeous land of North-East, I would suggest you to go for Zajabor.com. But if you are all about saving money while traveling, there are other available options too.
You can take a taxi (Mostly Swift Desire) : 250 Rs/person or a public Sumo which will cost around 170/person. You can also choose bus with 100-130 Rs/person. Hiring a taxi is the best and comfortable option if you have a group of three or four people.
The road from Guwahati to Shillong is short(Almost 101 kilometers) and worth every rupee you spend on it. As soon as you cross Nongpoh, you will feel the touch of cold breeze and smell of fresh air. The road is perfect for a ride, especially the roadside stalls with seasonal fruits are the cherry on the cake. I tasted Pineapple and star fruits. Local Khasi people serve these with spicy-salt and trust me, you can never forget the magical taste of it.
(A roadside stall of seasonal fruits)
(Delicious Pineapples and star fruits)
Another attraction of the way : While traveling through this route, there is a must stop place called “Barapani” (Umiam lake). Every time I visit, my eyes feel so relaxed with it’s peaceful landscape.
(Mesmerizing view of Umiam Lake)
Do : during the ride from Guwahati to Shillong
- Have a cup of tea at Nongpoh roadside Dhaba.
- Don’t forget to take the delicious bites of seasonal fruits. Yummm!!!
- Stop to see the eye pleasing landscape of Umiam lake (Barapani).
Where to stay
I reached Police Bazaar, the center place of the town Shillong at at around 2 PM. Well. no doubt you will have lots of option to stay in Police Bazaar, you will get all the star Hotels. But I personally prefer to stay few miles away from the market and reasons behind this are-
- I am in my vacation…means a break, break from loads of work and daily rush and hurry. During my vacation, I don’t want to feel the same by staying in a hotel in Police Bazaar.
- When I open the window in the morning I want to see some green hills and mountains, definitely not the roads, rocks and concretes.
- I want a silent and peaceful environment while I am on a trip.
- I feel, Police Bazaar is comparatively more saturated than the other places of Shillong. And I want to smell the culture of Meghalaya which is more in other places.
If I am getting peace and positive vibes, I am ready to drive few miles more.
I have been to Shillong many times and I discovered some places which are very peaceful and affordable to stay. In simple words- Perfect for your Holidays. One of them is – Magnolia Bed and Breakfast.
(The Combination of comfort and beauty: Magnolia bed and breakfast homestay)
The beautiful house at Golflink, Shillong, 10 minutes away from town. I have visited Magnolia Bed and Breakfast four times before and each time I visit, it feels home :). The gorgeous beauty of this alluring house is full of comfort. The red and white interior with large spacious rooms reminds me the castle of fairy tales. The manager Anand is a very nice person, he is very polite with his guests and he won’t let you feel any uncomfortability during your stay in Magnolia Bed and Breakfast. The peaceful ambiance with a nearby Baptist Church with a perfect complementary breakfast is all you need for a holiday.
(The Baptist church behind :))
They have two properties in Golflink, Shillong. One is the main property and another is located few kilometers away from the main. Both properties are equally beautiful, one with the view of Khasi colony with paradise like white houses and another with never ending green view of beautiful Golf course. Magnolia Bed and Breakfast has limited number of rooms. So if you want to make a stay at their property, Reserve your room beforehand via Booking.com.
(Golf course view)
Their second property is not listed online. So you can book it just with a call.
Phone number of Magnolia Bed and Breakfast : 090890-50050
Important Note: Make your booking via Ebates and get cash back on your bookings with $10 of welcome gift.
Search another home in Shillong through Airbnb: Get Rs 1200 off on your first booking.
A journey to the Enchanted Forest : Sacred Grove of Mawphlang, Shillong
Anand, the manager of Magnolia Bed and Breakfast, booked a cab for us and it took 1200 Rs for the entire day tour. Sacred Grove of Shillong is situated 25 Kms away from town in a village named Mawphlang of East Khasi Hills District. The road to the place is blessed with nature. You will have the beautiful view of the hill station from the top.
There is an entry fees to visit the place, that is 15 Rs/person. I reached the place during the time of sunset and I swear, I chose the best time to visit. I was lucky to watch the entire view of winter sunset sitting at the lush green valley. The dew drops in grass, freshness in the cold air definitely made my year complete. There are many local stalls where you can have a cup of handmade warm tea and enjoy the breath taking view.
(Sunset view from the Mawphlang Valley)
Mawphlang Khasi Forest is significant for Khasi tribes as they consider it is as “sacred”. There are 50 sacred Groves in Mawphlang, most of them are rare and medicine tree. As I entered in the forest, I started getting mystical vibes. The colorful fauna and variety of mushrooms are so pleasing to see during winter. The complete trek to the forest take less than an hour at 400 Rs. You can also take half trek if there is shortage of time. The majestic jungle spread over a huge with it’s own unique history. Take a guide on your trek and you will feel the emotion of the Sacred forest.
(Standing stones in Sacred Grove of Mawphlang)
(The blessed forest with river in between)
I lived one hour of my life with nature and swear, it probably changed my view about life. Breathing with the alive trees, away from my machinery artificial life is certainly the greatest experience of the year. I could feel the family of pure nature….unseen fauna, orchids and rare fruits… I wish we could have the entire earth inside it!
I met a group of kids with bonfire :). Walking through the forest made me freeze and I so needed a bonfire. I call that a perfect day when the little one told me, “You look so cute.” Awwww!!! I want to take him home :)…
(Ignore the camera quality, just look at that cute face)
Finally..the sun set and I packed my bag to return from that peaceful place.
I have been born and brought up in a green valley so have a strong inclination towards peace of nature. Sacred Grove of Mawphlang definitely made me happy about my decision of choosing Travel In My Twenties. At the peak of Shillong, I found the meaning of my life.
Don’t forget to put this place in your bucket list, trust me this is One of the place you must visit in your twenties. :)
- How to plan a stress-free trip: Ultimate Resource Guide
- How can you save money while travelling: Cheap yet luxurious
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