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How To Reach Nongkhnum Island
The largest island in Meghalaya, Nongkhnum River Island is situated in the West Khasi Hills district of the state and covers an area of about 20-25 sq. km. While it is mostly uninhabited except for a few local Khasi tribespeople who reside here, Nongkhnum Island is a remote yet truly a must-visit spot in western Meghalaya. The marvellous landscape of the region will prove to be a delight to your eyes and the ambience of the region will rejuvenate your soul like no other. While getting the opportunity to admire the exquisite beauty of Nongkhnum Island is enough to bring you to this place, there’s also plenty of other things to do here like spending some leisure hours at the beach or fishing or even camping overnight here. Read on to find out what are the most convenient ways to reach Nongkhnum Island.
The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam may not be the nearest but is the most convenient means of travelling via air to reach Nongkhnum Island. The airport is situated at a distance of about 150 km away from Nongstoin, which is the nearest commercial town from the island. The Umroi Airport in Shillong is located closer to Nongstoin at about 120 km away but is less accessible from various cities across India in comparison to Guwahati Airport. Travellers are then required to cover the rest of the distance between Nongstoin to Nongkhnum Island via road.
There is no rail connectivity in Meghalaya, with the exception of the newly launched Mendipathar Railway Station that only runs passenger trains to Guwahati. Travellers who prefer journeying via train can choose to catch a train to Guwahati Railway station from any major junction across the country. From here, the rest of the journey to Nongkhnum Island can be covered via road.
Road journeys to Nongkhnum Island essentially start at either Guwahati or Shillong, once you’ve reached either city through airways or train. Some local travellers might want to start their road trip all the way from their point of origin and pass through Guwahati or Shillong along the way while continuing on to Nongstoin. It should be noted though that while driving yourself to the aforementioned capital cities is convenient enough with the good road networks, the roads become less easy to navigate as you near the remote regions of Nongstoin and Nongkhnum Island. The road from Nongstoin and Nongkhnum Island, in particular, is in very poor condition, with stones and dirt that last all the way. The best option is to hire a private taxi or get into a shared one from either Guwahati or Shillong and break up your journey by stopping by and admiring various scenic points along the way to Nongkhnum Island.
With just a few Khasi tribe inhabitants living here, Nongkhnum Island is far from being a commercial spot. There is no bus connectivity and the only way to reach here is by shared or private taxi. Not surprisingly, tourists will find themselves exploring the entire island solely on foot or travelling to nearby attractions in their cab. Since the entire region can easily be explored in a single day, the lack of transportation here does not come across as a real problem.
Some people even choose to trek from Nongstoin to Nongkhnum Island. The distance is barely 15 km, and if you’re in good shape, it would take just a little over two hours to reach the island with exciting passages through the beautiful villages of Mawudh, Mawthar and Lawse.