DAWKI – AN OPTICAL ILLUSION?

A quaint little town tucked away in the Western belt of the Jaintia hills, Dauki or Dawki is a centre of attraction in Meghalaya. Located at an approximate distance of 95 kilometres from Shillong, Dawki is often called the land of surprises, especially because very little is known about its culture and the natural environment in the region.

About Dawki:
The town of Dawki is popular for housing coal mines and limestone exports that keep the trade relations between India and Bangladesh, alive. One of the only places that are connected to Bangladesh via road, Dawki is also called the nearest ‘Gateway to Bangladesh’. Blessed with verdant tourist spots, Dawki is a very important tourist spot that plays a significant role in Meghalaya’s tourism and in bringing revenue to the territory.

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COURTESY: https://thrillingtravel.in/2017/06/umngot-river-dawki-meghalaya.html

Wah Umngot river:
As you stand on the suspension bridge and overlook the Umngot river, you see boats with riders almost floating in the sheer blue waters. Waters so clean that you can see the pebbled bed of the river, occasionally, school of fish also swim through the turquoise waters of the river. As the fish gush through the chilled waters of the river, you see a rainbow of myriad colours unfurl in the clear blue waters. You might be wondering why people regard Dawki as an optical illusion, the reason for this is that the Umngot river, when looked at from the suspension bridge, makes you feel like the boats are hovering in the air, making it the most magical sight, ever. The Umngot River can easily be called one of the cleanest rivers of India, with fishing being the primary occupation, you would also see a few fishermen out on their boats, going about their daily chores.

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COURTESY: https://assamholidays.com/2018/10/05/dawkiboat-ride-on-the-crystal-waters-of-umngot-river/

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COURTESY: https://budgetwayfarers.com/dawki-meghalaya/

How to reach Dawki?
You can choose to travel to Dawki through either road or rail.By road: Dawki is connected to Shillong over a well-connected network of roads. The best option is to hire a private car or to take a taxi from Shillong to Dawki. By train: The closest station to Dawki is the Guwahati Railway Station. You can take a train to Guwahati and then travel to Dawki by road, which is about 180 kilometres away.

Meghalaya is home to beautiful landscapes that are spread over the entire region.  Wondering how to plan a trip in a way that you can explore Dawki and the surrounding areas? Here is a little guide for you that will help you plan a trip and explore Dawki along with the nearby regions:

Planning your trip to Dawki and exploring places around this Meghalayan tourist spot:

1) Reaching Shillong:
As we have already gathered, Dawki does not have its own railway station or airport so, suggest you either take a flight to Guwahati Airport or take a train that drops you off at Guwahati railway station, depending on your budget and time constraints, if any. You would take about two hours by taxi from Guwahati Airport to Shillong.

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COURTESY: https://shivangireviews.com/2017/05/06/travel-diaries-shillong-to-dawki-day-5/

2) Things to do in Shillong:
Once you reach the Airport, travel to Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. Shillong is a beautiful city located about 103 kilometres from the Guwahati airport, it also makes for an excellent tourist spot. We would suggest you stay back at Shillong for a day or two if you have got more time. When you are in Shillong, make sure you visit the Shillong Peak, the tallest peak of the town which gives you some amazing bird’s eye views of the landscapes of the region and the telescope installation also allows you to have a closer look at the city from this mighty mountain. Next, you can also explore Ward’s lake, the Don Bosco Monument and the Sacred Forest when you are in Shillong.

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COURTESY: http://khurki.net/shillong-carry-sneakers/

3) Reaching Dawki:
We suggest you take a private car or rent a taxi that drives you down from Shillong to Dawki. It would take about an hour and a half for you to reach Dawki from Shillong.

4) Things to do in Dawki:
You can go camping, hiking and kayaking along the Umngot river in Dawki. If you are not in the mood for adventure, the best thing to do is to stand on the Dawki suspension bridge and admire the beauty of the Umngot river. You can also head to the Umngot river bank to dip your feet in the chilly waters as you brush your feet over the pebbles for an organic foot massage.

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COURTESY: http://www.traveldglobe.com/destination/dawki/point-of-interest/kayaking-on-umgnot

5) Head to the cleanest town of Asia:
Mawlynnong, located just about an hour’s drive away from Dawki is declared as the cleanest village of Asia. The village is shockingly clean, without even a speck of garbage or trash and is home to over eighty settlements. Locals are involved in farming and in the natural production of broomsticks. The village is full of narrow streets with greenery on both sides of the roads, fenced with bamboo garbage cans, which is one of the reasons for the village to be squeaking clean.

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COURTESY: https://traveltriangle.com/blog/mawlynnong-cleanest-village-in-asia/

6) Explore Shnongpdeng:
After you are done exploring Dawki, you can also choose to go a little further, to the town of Shnongpdeng for your fix of adventure. The town of Shnongpdeng is known to have the best hospitality and also houses some very home-like homestays where you can stay back after a long day.

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COURTESY: https://www.tripoto.com/trip/a-guide-to-shnongpdeng-a-village-in-meghalaya-where-boats-float-in-air-5b0c49f9b9d30

7) Bidding adieu to Meghalaya:
After breathing the freshest air at Meghalaya and relaxing in the midst of the spectacular views, when it is time to bid farewell, we suggest you travel back to Shillong. After reaching Shillong, you can get some rest and then head over to Guwahati Airport or Guwahati railway station going back to the grind, away from the untouched land of the Meghalaya.

Best time to visit Dawki:
The best time to visit Shillong and Dawki is from September to May as the weather is very pleasant around these months so you can enjoy outdoor activities the most. It is best to avoid visiting Meghalaya from June to August as these are heavy monsoon months, making it more difficult for you to travel and enjoy your trip. If you’re someone who likes to do unconventional things, you could give it a shot during monsoon too. It is one of the wettest places in India and you’ve been warned!

When are you booking your tickets to witness nature at its best in Dawki? Let me know your thoughts and plans on this in the comments section below

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