UMNGOT RIVER – @banerjeesantanu
“Flowing between two hills was a clear emerald stream.
Silent and calm, sparkling in the sun,
Green yet clear, so far yet near.”
Up in the Meghalaya’s, there lies a small border town called Dawki : one of the enchanting places. It has been a center of attraction because of its cleanest river in India and a beautiful suspension bridge. It lies about 75 kilometers from Shillong (India) and just 2 kilometers from the Bangladesh border. The town is a hotspot for trade between the two nations especially for coal mines and limestone experts but in reality, it has a fairyland enclosed within The Umngot river in Dawki. The water of the river is so clear that the boats floating on it, look as if they are on a crystal glass surface. It is so fascinating that when you see the water from a distance, it looks transparent. It’s a natural divide between Jhantia and Khasi hills where the river flows into Bangladesh through the town.
The river bed is strewn with deep round pebbles and stones which possibly look like gemstones hidden right underwater. The sounds you can hear are just the gentle swishing of the river and the melodious calls of the birds. Towards the shallow end of the river, Travelers can get into the water for a quick swim since the current is not very strong. An excellent place to take a dip in the cool water while tiny fish swim around your legs. Fishing is one of the main occupations here except agriculture and mining.
The beautiful suspension bridge is the connecting route between the borders. A walk over it gives one a beautiful panoramic view of the hills and Bangladeshi plains. The bridge was built by the British in 1932. It is one of the nearest gateways to Bangladesh.
The best time to visit Dawki is during the dry months from November to April. It is well connected by road from Shillong. You can hire a taxi or a cab and the buses are also available. You can also travel by train to Guwahati railway station. Dawki is 180 kilometers from Guwahati. Accommodation options are available in Shillong, Riwai, and Mawlynnong ( Asia’s cleanest village). The boat ride can cost you anything between INR 500 – 750 per boat, depending on the season. For the restaurants and restrooms, you need to head to the village.
Thus, Dawki is a box full of surprises with nature calming at its best.
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