India is a land of wonders indeed. They say, the country has so much to behold, discover and explore, one lifetime seems insufficient. All you need to ask yourself- where do I want to go next? And, you will find it all here. But the ones who travel in a predetermined way would never discover the miracles that are there in the nooks and crannies of this subcontinent.
Hidden away in the thickets of North East, are numerous such treasures, waiting to be unraveled by the hungry traveler. Have you ever heard of Dawki? If you haven’t, then, this might inspire you to book a car rental in Guwahati and explore this gem of Meghalaya.
A gem of North East
Dawki, Duki or Dauki is a picturesque town in the district of West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. Snuggled between the borders of India and Bangladesh, Dawki developed as a trading town for the two countries. But as explorers started discovering the real charm of the place, it soon became open to tourism and started welcoming travelers from far and wide to experience the wonders of nature. The lush greenery, the play of green and blue in the rivers, the crystal clear streams, and the serenity of the surroundings make this place a worthwhile retreat.
Whether you want to do an introspective solo trip, a romantic getaway in nature or a fun-filled break with friends and family, Dawki makes for the perfect setting. But for each kind of trip, you must figure out the right time. Like for solo trips or family vacations, the months of January, February, June, and July are good. But, for couples, the best time is after the festivals- between September and November are better with the weather being more favorable.
Because of its geographical location, reaching the town of Dawki could be a little challenging, especially if you are expecting a cakewalk travel. Dawki is about 200km from Guwahati, a major airport and railway head in the vicinity. You can either fly to Guwahati or take a train. From there, you can book Guwahati to Shillong cabs or take the taxi directly till Dawki. For a more exciting journey, take the helicopter ride from Shillong. However, for the roadrunners, a cab ride through the hills, gorges and dense forests can be more fulfilling.
Once you are here, you would just want to sit and stare into the magnificence of nature- the endless horizon, where the blue rivers meet, flanked by foliage in all shades of green.
The highlight of Dawki is the Umngot River, which is like a floating mirror. The green water of this mountain fed water-body is so clear that you can actually see the riverbed. This river forms the natural boundary between Ri Pnar/ Jaintia Hills and the Hima Khyrim of Khasi Hills. The water-body also acts as the gateway to the major export/import point in Bangladesh.
The Umngot River is a popular venue for the Annual Boat Race that happens every March (till April). There’s a suspension bridge above the river, built by the British officials in 1932, which you can cross on foot for some added thrill.
You could consider camping on the river banks with guided tour groups. Or, you could easily go kayaking, snorkeling, and boating on the Umngot River. There are Zipline rides as well.
The cuisine of North East is unique and out-of-the-box in its own way. Though there aren’t many restaurants and eateries in Dawki, you can still head to the local ‘dhabas’ and try the traditional recipes. Jadoh, Dohneiihong, Makham-Bitchi and Jhur Sideh, are some of the hard to pronounce but lip-smacking dishes of Meghalaya.
Surreal yet fascinating, charming yet mysterious, Dawki unfolds itself differently to each traveler. And the place has the magic of staying in your memories for years to come.