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Tourist Places To Visit In Nongpoh
Situated on the National Highway 40 in the East Khasi Hills region of Meghalaya, Nongpoh is the administrative head of the Ri-Bhoi district and a charming town worth exploring on each trip to this part of the state. The beauty of Nongpoh and its scenic locations often goes neglected, getting overshadowed by the commercial viability of Shillong and its neighbouring regions. The stunning landscapes and cascading waterfalls make for lovely views as visitors travel through the town and are sure to leave with plenty of memorable moments and pictures worth a thousand words. Here are our recommendations on the best places to visit when travelling to Nongpoh.
Umiam Lake is a top attraction in Nongpoh. This pristine beauty is situated in the very heart of the town and is surrounded by unrealistically majestic forests. Incidentally, the Umiam Lake is actually a reservoir dam spread over an area of 220 sq. km., which is also believed to be the first hydro-electric plant in north-eastern India. The lush green East Khasi Hills that surround the lake make up one of the best panoramic views in the region, with an adjoining park that is a hotspot for picnics among locals and tourists.
One of the most distinguished bird sanctuaries in the state, the Nongkhyllem Sanctuary is filled with colourful birds fluttering throughout the region, delighting every bird lover who visits. Apart from several species of exotic migratory birds, there are also different kinds of hornbills who call this place home, making this sanctuary a true bird watcher’s paradise. Moreover, there is a wide variety of wildlife who reside in the sanctuary as well, like the Bengal tiger, Himalayan black bear, leopard and numerous reptiles. Spread over an area of almost 30 sq. km, the Nongkhyllem Sanctuary remains open all year long.
The Road Side Market
One of Nongpoh’s major tourist attractions is the roadside market here. All of the region’s fresh produce that is grown on the hills is sold in the stalls of this market; tourists are often fascinated to find parrots and mynahs being sold here as well. Nongpoh is known for its beautiful orchids, which can also be found in this market, including locally made handicrafts.
Dwar Ksuid is a fascinating place filled with large rock formations on a pristine pool, making it one of the top places to check out in Nongpoh. Literally translating to ‘devil’s doorway’, the locals popularly believe that this place is where the devils assemble. The rock shapes also often seem to resemble a lotus, which imparts an unearthly charm to the entire place.
Lum Sohpetbneng is a sacred location about 40 km from Nongpoh with great historic and religious significance. The name translates to ‘navel of the earth’, and local legends claim that this is where the first seven Khasi tribes, who are believed to be the original settlers of the Earth, resided. In fact, locals also believe that a golden vine perched on top of the 1300-metre-tall hill here is a bridge that connects the earth to heaven. The Seng Khasi tribes hold an annual pilgrimage to this revered region in the month of February each year and conduct their religious rites and rituals.
Thrills Fun Park
The Thrills Fun Park is located about 5 km away from the Umiam Lake Resort and is the perfect place to spend a day having adventurous fun with family and friends. Kids especially will love this place where they get to enjoy ample excitement in the form of rides and water slides, away from the routine sightseeing activities that adults usually enjoy. Some of the main attractions of the adventure park are go-karting, toy train, pool activities and also a pony ride.