The winter sun beats down on my face and I welcome it. It’s January – the coldest month in Meghalaya. I smile blissfully because am floating, as if on air. In reality, am floating in a boat on river Umngnot – they call this heaven Dawki. I look into the teal waters and spot transparent fishes – some sleeping, some dancing, some going about their business like clockwork. Further down on the river bed are smooth stones, the size of potatoes. The rays of the sun create magic in this underwater world. “Should I dive in?”, I ponder. But the water is ice cold. We’re at the mouth of the river and it flows downstream to the valley of Bangladesh – yes, am just a stone’s throw away from the international border.
This is how I remember Dawki.
Beautiful Dawki, close to my homeland. This was my birthday trip of 2017. And here I am, months later, reminiscing and planning the next one. The thing about Dawki is, since it is in the North East of India, and like many places in this region, there is nothing much a google search can tell you. So I thought I can try and answer the most common questions you’ve asked me about it:
Q: Can I take an impulsive trip to Dawki?
A: Only in winters because that is when you can spot the fish and the pebbles down to the bed from the boat. During spring, summer, and autumn, the rainwater brings in a lot of mud from the hills.
Q: How far is it from Shillong?
3.5 hours by road.
Q: How do I get there?
Shillong is the closest city. From here you can hire a taxi or board a bus from bada bazaar. Your next best option is to reach Guwahati and take a taxi or bus. There are no trains.
Q: Can I stay overnight?
You can stay somewhere very close like Mawlynnong or Pynursla. There aren’t options in Dawki. AirBnB can be your best friend. I recommend Victor’s guest house.
We spent a blissful night at Victor’s, eating amazing food and warming our hands by the hearth, sharing stories. To my surprise, his father, just like mine, worked in Oil India Ltd. What are the odds of finding a host in the middle of nowhere and having a common connection like that? Magic!
Q: Which is the closest place I can spend the night in?
Mawlynnong and Pynursla. You can camp in Shnongpdeng.
Q: What are my eating options?
If you don’t like munching on chips and crap, get your own. Mawlynnong has affordable, hygienic lunching options. Pynursla has some road-side eateries.
Q: How much does a boat ride cost?
Q: Is it safe?
Q: What else can I see in the vicinity?
The cleanest village in Asia – Mawlynnong. The living roots bridge in Mawlynnong. Krang Suri falls.
There. Now I will love to answer any other questions you may have because there is nothing I want more than you exploring my beloved North-east.
Welcome aboard 🙂