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Things To Do In Nongpoh
Nongpoh is a beautiful yet largely unexplored little town in the East Khasi Hills region of Meghalaya. The entire landscape of this majestic town is dotted with little treasures in the form of age-old heritage spots and rich cultural traditions that is still alive in the lifestyles of the locals. While most visitors travelling to Meghalaya tend to focus on the popular regions like Shillong, it is hidden gems like Nongpoh that end up stealing every traveller’s heart for its pristine beauty and soothing ambience. While it may be somewhat of a remote location, it doesn’t lack in its fair share of tourist attractions. Here is a list of our recommendations with the top things to do when in Nongpoh.
Watch the Sunrise at Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is a pristine water body situated in the very heart of Nongpoh. Spread over an area of more than 200 sq. km. and originally built as the reservoir of a dam in 1965, Umiam Lake has become one of the most popular tourist locations in the region and mesmerizes everyone who visits with the serene beauty of its surroundings. While there is a water sports complex at the banks of the lake for whoever may be interested, the true charm of enjoying Umiam Lake lies in idling by its shores and finding the perfect opportunity to watch the sunrise over the horizon of the lake. The countryside around the lake is also a great place to enjoy picnics with family and friends.
Bird Watching at Nongkhyllem Sanctuary
The Nongkhyllem Sanctuary is one of the most distinguished bird sanctuaries in north-east India. Visitors get to enjoy views of several exotic bird species, including many other varieties of the hornbill. Apart from birds, there are also wildlife species that call this place home like the Bengal tiger, the Himalayan black bear, the leopard and numerous reptile species. Spread over an area of almost 30 sq. km, the sanctuary remains open all year round; but winters mark the best time for bird lovers to visit.
Shop at the Road Side Market
One of the top things to do when visiting Nongpoh is to have a shopping spree at the roadside market. All of the region’s local produce that is cultivated on the hills can be purchased at this market, which includes indigenous fruits and vegetables that can be bought at very low rates here. Nongpoh is also known for its orchids, which is one of the favourite items tourists love to bring home from the roadside market. If you are into pets with wings, parrots and mynahs are sold in pet stalls here as well.
Explore the Beauty of Dwar Ksuid
Dwar Ksuid can literally be translated to ‘devil’s doorway’; a popular tourist spot and also a region where the locals believe the devils assemble. However, the true charm of Dwar Ksuid lies in its beautiful rock formations situated in the middle of a serene pool. Some of the rocks even congregate to form shapes that resemble a lotus, apart from several sand boulders that impart an ethereal beauty to the place.
Visit the Holy Site of Lum Sohpetbneng
Lum Sohpetbneng can be translated to ‘navel of the earth’. The region has long been a sacred site for the locals and has immense historical and religious significance. The locals believe that the first seven Khasi tribes were the original settlers of the earth and that this is the spot where they first resided. They also believe that a golden vine perched at the top of the hill here is the bridge that connects the earth to heaven. Even today, the Seng Khasi tribes make their annual pilgrimage to Lum Sohpetbneng in the month of February each year and perform their religious rites and rituals.
Adventure Activities at Thrills Fun Park
Thrills Fun Park is situated a few kilometres away from the Umiam Lake Resort and is a fun destination to spend an afternoon in for people of all ages. Kids will find the park particularly exciting, where they get to indulge in adventure rides and activities like go-karting, water park rides, toy train, snooker, pony rides etc. The swimming pool here is great for those who simply want to relax and enjoy the ambience. The canteen and restaurant offer ample refreshments, and for those who’d prefer to spend more than a day here, there are guest houses and cottages available for accommodation as well.