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Tourist Places To Visit In Jowai
The headquarters of West Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya, Jowai is a small town best known for its scenic setting and breath-taking panoramic views of vibrant landscapes and the majestic Myntdu river. A rich mix of local culture, ancient heritage, and fascinating tribal customs attract both global and domestic tourists from all over the country to this quaint region of Meghalaya. The lakes and waterfalls of Jowai are worthy of a special mention and are some of the best hotspots in the town. Here are all our recommendations on the best places to visit when travelling to Jowai.
Often compared to the Elephant Falls in Shillong, the surroundings of Tyrshi Falls are connected to the green paddy fields of Pynthor Nien via an arch bridge; wonderful views of this rice valley can be enjoyed from the bridge as you cross over to the Tyrshi Falls. One has to trek down to the waterfall after getting off the bridge, which is an enjoyable hike as you reach the milky water of the falls gushing down and spraying travellers with water even from a distance. Tourists love to use this spot to click memorable pictures, especially of the views of the valley below from the waterfall.
The oldest region in Jowai, Nartiang village used to be the summer capital of the Jaintia rulers and is now most well-known for the ruins of the Summer Palace, situated on a hill near the village market. There is also a Hindu temple here dedicated to the goddess Durga, which was built over 600 years ago and is considered a Shakti Peeth. The temple becomes the site of Durga Puja celebrations each year with a mix of Bengali and Khasi-Garo culture. The Nartiang Monoliths situated in the Law Mulong region of the village are some of the most renowned monoliths in Meghalaya. Known as the ‘Garden of Monoliths’, the area has been declared a region of national significance under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958. They cover an area of around 100 metres in diameter and consist of various stones from different historical eras.
Krang Suri Falls
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the district, Krang Suri Falls is situated near the Amralem village of Jaintia Hills and surrounded by exquisite beauty, boasting a calm and peaceful ambience. On a warm sunny day, the sparking sunlight hits the shimmering blue waters of the falls and creates a stunning and memorable sight. A chiselled out steep gravel path leads to the waterfall from the parking spot near the village, and it takes about half an hour for visitors to trek up to the waterfall. There is a viewpoint along the way that offers amazing views of the waterfall. The exact location of the falls can be a little tricky to reach and one might have to seek help from the locals to find your way. At the site of the waterfall, arrangements have been made by the administration for water sport activities, with snacks also available in the area for visitors.
Some of the country’s deepest and largest caves can be found in Meghalaya. The Umlawan Caves are among them and are interconnected with the Umskor Caves and the Kot Sati. They are made entirely out of limestone and situated at Lumshnong village of the West Jaintia Hills district. The local villagers use one of the entrances as a washing spot, which also tends to get flooded during the monsoon season. Almost 100 metres deep and 21 km long, the chambers of the cave have a total of 24 entrances and are filled with innumerable formations made from stalagmites and stalactites, which is the main attraction of the caves.
Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake
The endangered pitcher plants are spread over an area of 50,000 sq. metres in this region and in the very middle of this local vegetation lies the Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake. While the exotic pitcher plant population is the main attraction of this area, there are also boat rides available for those interested in spending some time on the lake. There are gravel footpaths perfect for enjoying strolls, arch bridges and a greenhouse-interpretation centre situated here among the pitcher plant gardens as well.
Syntu Ksair is a vast expanse of land that is situated on the banks of River Myntdu. In the local Jaintia language, the name can literally be translated to ‘golden flower’, which has an interesting story associated with it. According to local legend, a woman named Syntu from the ‘lawchibidi’ clan committed suicide by jumping into the Myntdu river here. Her death led to the blooming of a beautiful golden flower here that cannot be plucked by anyone and still grows to this day, lending its name to this region. Syntu Ksair is also well-known for being the centre of the freedom struggle that was led by Kiang Nangbah; a memorial has been constructed here in his remembrance after he was hanged in 1862. Syntu Ksair is an ideal spot to enjoy picnics with families and friends as well. A bunch of local food joints in the area make it a great spot to enjoy regional delicacies.
Thlumuwi Stone Bridge
An old historic stone bridge, the Thlumuwi bridge is a manmade one that was constructed over the Muwi stream by the Jaintia Hills warriors. This was the main route used by the Jaintia kings to travel back and forth between their winter capital in Jaintiapur and their summer capital in Nartiang. Built out of large stone slabs that were supported on larger stone pillars, the original bridge was 500 years old before it was broken by an elephant crossing over it. The new bridge that stands in its place today is less than 100 years old. The picturesque Thlumuwi waterfall is also located nearby and creates a beautiful scenic view from the bridge.
The Thadlaskein Lake is an anthropologically significant lake situated about 20 km from Jowai that can be reached easily via road. Hiring a car to reach is the most accessible option. The origin of Thadlaskein Lake is quite interesting. The lake was made by the people of almost 300 tribes, belonging to Sajjar Niangli village, in order to escape the attacks of the Jaintiapur king. This manmade lake is fed by a perennial spring and even today, and worshipped by the people of the Raid Mukhala tribe who continue to offer sacrifices near the lake. Apart from its historical importance, Thadlaskein Lake also has immense popularity among tourists for its pure scenic beauty and the opportunity to enjoy picnics in its surrounding meadows. There is also a small hotel here managed by the Meghalaya Tourism board that offers decent service to visitors.
An eco-park situated in the Ialong village, Ialong Park is most known for its sacred groves and is well-frequented by tourists for views of the lovely Pynthorwah Valley. Spread over an area of almost 13 hectares, the park is an integral part of eco-tourism in the region and receives constant renovation by the district administration under the Special DRDA Tourism Project. There are lodges here that allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding them from the comfort of their own accommodation. Lovely views of the Myntdu River paddy fields and the valley, and wonderful species of flowers in the park are just some of the highlights of Ialong Park; the grassy slopes of the gardens are perfect for enjoying a mesmerizing sunset.