Here is the thing, I feel like I have a special connection with Nature, its warm embrace, its anger, its love, its motherly affection and much more.
I am blessed to have been born in this part of the world, to witness miracles in its natural form, an eternal bliss!!!
Last week, I went camping to Shnong-Pdeng in Dawki along with my family. We reached there at 6pm in the evening and despite the darkness around us, the locals were very helpful. In a jiffy, they were guiding us all along the way till we reached the camp site where it’s safe as they informed us that “The water level may rise at any moments if it rains in the up hills.”
The local durbar guys came and meet us, briefing us about the place and helping us setting up our tent. It was nice to see how helpful these people can be. We paid Rs 200 for a single tent and in total we had 5 tents.
It was fun filled, tension free, memorable night with the sound of the river and the melodious tones resonating from the hills as our lullaby. We sang and shared jokes through-out the night and none of the locals complained about it.
The best part was when we woke up in the morning with the sunrise hitting your face directly. Just like in the movie. You feel the warmth of the place itself. After breakfast we strap on our life jackets and into the boat, we jumped. The rush begins when you can see the rocks, fishes, frogs inside the river, the crystal clear Umngot river.
It beauty mesmerizes us all. Never have I experienced such a sight before in my life. The lush green mountain that cuts the river is like paradise.
Though the Road from Dawki to Shnongpdeng needs improvements, in fact a re-vamp, the trip and the unbearable was however, worth it.
After seeing the number of tourists flooding to this place despite the pathetic condition of the road, it kept me wondering “How nature lovers can consider everything else secondary, and focus on the one thing – The serenity of it all as their prime target.”
If you’re wondering, there is a zip lining too in Shnongpdeng, but too bad I didn’t get a chance to see it and it also the potential for scuba divers too to make the most of it. I was informed that there is a team from Shillong who run side by side with the locals, providing Kayaking guidance and lessons but I’m not sure how the charges are.
The natural pool is just ‘Awesome’…Jacuzzi type. The suspended bridge is one awesome place for photography asyou can actually see the river bed rocks from above clearly, I have heard that some of the local fishermen even caught a 10/12 kgs cat fish. OMG!!! Just imagine how big that would be. The sight of it will be frightening.
In as far as infrastructure is concerned; I seriously urge the government or any authority to consider repairing the roads as this is one such place where the flow of domestic and international tourists in every year is great, owing to its natural beauty.
During my stay there, I met a tourist from West Bengal. And this is what he said to me. “Please try to preserve the beauty of this place as we don’t have much of these left in our country anymore.” Can you weight the value of those comments? I do, because I truly understand that if we don’t do anything to protect and preserve our environment, a day will come will all this will all be but a mere mirage.
A tip of Advice: Shnong Pdeng offers Scuba & Snorkeling, Kayaking & Canoeing, River Rafting & Tubing, Outdoor Activities, Boat Tours & Water Sports.
Contributed by John S Kharphuli
Image credit: John S Kharphuli