Meghalaya Tourism
 
nartiang monoliths

Jaintia Hills-Land of Myths and Legends

The Jaintia Hills in the State of Meghalaya is bounded on the North and East by the State of Assam. On the South by Bangladesh and on the West by East Khasi Hills District. The total area is 3,819 sq.kms. having a population of 2,95,692 (2001 Census). A land of undulating hills rich in mineral deposits. The natural vegetation changes according to the topography of the land kingdom of Jaintiapur now in present day Bangladesh.

Jowai

Location: Jaintia Hills District

64 kms. from Shillong is the administrative headquarters of Jaintia Hills as well as the commercial centre. It is situated along side the Myntdu river which encircles two thirds of this over expanding township.

Nartiang

Location: Jaintia Hills District

The Village of Nartiang is significant for its Summer Palace of the Jaintia King whose Capital was Jaintiapur. The remnants of the summer Palace is located on a hillock approximately two kilometres from the Nartiang market. The archway which can be seen to this day shows that they were well versed in the making of red bricks similar to the ones used by the Ahom Kings of Assam. From the cannons found in the Shiv temple it goes to show that they had skills in techniques of fire arms and metallurgy. At present there lies a Hindu temple in this vicinity and the priests who practice, there are direct descendants of the original priests that came from Jaintiapur.

Nartiang Monoliths

nartiang monolithsLocation: Jaintia Hills District

Monoliths exist throughout the length and breadth of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. However, the biggest collection of monoliths or Megalithic stones in one single area is to be found north of the Nartiang market. These consists of Menhirs (Upright stones) Moo Shynrang and Dolmens (flat stones in the horizontal position) locally known as Moo Kynthai. Within the perimetre of these Megalithic collection stands the tallest Menhir erected by U Mar Phalyngki a trusted lieutenant of the Jaintia King to commemorate his victory in battle. Other monoliths were erected by U Mar Phalyngki, U Luh Lyngskor Lamare and various clans of Nartiang village between 1500A.D.and l835A.D.

Durga Temple at Nartiang

Location: Jaintia Hills District

durga temple nartiangAdjacent to the ruins of the Summer Palace of the Jaintia King in front of the arched gateway of red bricks stands the Durga Temple. It is believed that the temple was constructed by the Jaintia King on his conversion to Hinduism. It is said that the temple construction initially was like a typical Khasi house having a Central wooden pillar (dieng Blai) and the roof was in thatch. Later, the thatch was replaced by a corrugated tin roof. Further modification on the roof as we now see has a steeple like a Church.

During the rule of the Jaintia Kings, human sacrifices were offered to Goddess Durga. Within the temple there is a tunnel that reaches the river Myntang and it is through this hole that the heads were rolled down to the Myntang River. Human sacrifice was banned during British rule and goats are now sacrificed.

Khim Moo Sniang

Location: Jaintia Hills District

This locality derives its name from an embedded rock in the shape of a pig. The literal translation from 'Moo' is stone and 'Sniang' refers to pig. A stone deity venerated by the Jaintias for its protective power.

thadlaskein lakeThadlaskein Lake

Location: Jaintia Hills District

8 k.m.. from Jowai on National highway - 44 is a man made lake at Thadlaskein fed by a Perennial spring. According to tradition, one Chieftain Sajar Nangli had an irreconcilable difference with the King of Jaintiapur. Not wanting to be blamed for an inevitable bloodbath he decided to flee from the Kingdom with his followers. Before his departure, however, they dug the present day lake with the ends of bows as a memorial. The lake is revered by the people of Raid Mukhla who continue to offer sacrifices near the Lake. A popular picnic spot for locals.

Umhang Lake

Location: Jaintia Hills District

This lake at Wataw (Bataw) village overlooking the plains of Bangladesh is flanked on either side by lush green forests. This lake is attributed to Sajar Nangli who dined at this spot and drank water from a spring to quench his thirst. He and his followers decided to create a lake unlike any other in the Jaintia Kingdom, so they spent several months digging this magnificent lake. Here too the people of Wataw (Bataw) regard the Umhang Lake with reverence and pay homage alongwith sacrifices annually.

kiang nongbahKiang Nongbah Monument

Location: Jaintia Hills District

On the banks of the Myntdu river in the Syntu Ksiar Valley on a field known as "Madiah Kmal Blai" stands a monument dedicated to Kiang Nongbah. Kiang Nongbah, a Jaintia patriot during British rule who died as a martyr for the cause of Indian liberation from British rule. The last words uttered by him from the scaffold before the public hanging on 30th Dec. 1862 had remained true. "If my face turns eastwards when I die, we shall be free again within a hundred years. If it turns westward, we shall be enslaved forever."

syntu ksiarSyntu Ksiar

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Syntu Ksiar meaning Flower of Gold is a vast stretch of the river bank of Myntdu river where people usually go for picnics and angling, in the vicinity of Jowai which encircles two-third of the Jowai Township. The name literally means Golden Flower. On the banks of Syntu Ksiar along side the river Myntdu, an elegant monument has been erected in honour of the Jaintia patriot- U Kiang Nongbah.

stone bridge thlumuwiStone Bridge at Thlumuwi

Location: Jaintia Hills District

16 kms. from Jowai on the Jowai Muktapur road to Dawki lies Thlu Muwi. This stone bridge built by U Mar Phalyngki and U Luh Lamare under the orders of the Jaintia King. Because of the rise of the Muwistream during the monsoon a bridge was required to be built for the King's journey from Jaintiapur to Nartiang. The bridge consists of huge well hewn granite stone slabs perched on equally similar pillars. Beside the stone bridge is also the Muwi Waterfalls.

dawkiDawki

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Travelling from Shillong to the International trade route border town of Dawki is a splendid drive of 95 kilometres passing through deep gorges and ravines, which is certainly a thrilling experience. On approaching Dawki is the Umngot river, the venue of the annual boat race held during March - April at Umsyiem. The Umngot river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar or Jaintia Hills with Hima Khyrim of Khasi hills over which is a single span suspension bridge was constructed. This is the gateway to Bangladesh where major export and import transactions take place.

Iawmusiang

Location: Jaintia Hills District

The largest Jaintia market as well as the commercial centre of Jaintia Hills, Iawmusiang derives its name from the sacred - stone within the market which was brought to its present location from the village of Nongbah. The Iawmusiang market day occurs once in an eight day circle. On this day people from the villages come here to sell their wares. Jaintia Hills is famous for its spices.

Ruparsor bathing ghat

Location: Jaintia Hills District

On the Jowai Muktapur road approximately 8 kms. from Dawki is the Rupasor Bathing ghat. This bathing pool is hewn out of granite. The water which comes into the pool is through the curved trunk of an elephant fed by the Rupasor stream. This bathing pool was used by Royalty, believed to have been constructed by U Mar Phalyngki and U Luh Lyngskor Lamare under the direction of the Jaintia King. The pool measures nineteen and a half feet in length, fifteen feet in breadth and five feet deep. To the West of the pool there used to be changing rooms for the royal family.

U Lum Sunaraja

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Near Umkiang village on top of the hill there is a deep lake believed by the locals to be the spot where old and aged elephants go to die by plunging themselves into the deep pool. It is also believed that valuable ivory of the dead elephants are guarded by huge serpent so that nobody can take away the tusks.

umlawan caveUmlawan Cave

Location: Jaintia Hills District

The sleepy hamlet of Lumshnong village came into lime-light recently when it has been confirmed that the Umlawan cave situated in this village is the longest and also the deepest in the sub-continent. The Umlawan cave is inter­connected with two other caves namely Kot-Sati and Umskor caves. The total length of these caves is more than 21 kms and about 100 m in depth. This place is 60 kms east of Jowai. Dotted across the entire district there are numerous caves and caverns with spectacular stalagmites and stalactite formations. Till now only a few of these caves have been explored and surveyed.

Lady of good Health Shrine

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Shrine of our lady of good health. In Raliang village, 32 Kms off Jowai road there stand, a magnificent triple storied octagonal structure consisting of only one big hall with the altar on the centre. Atop the dome of the shrine and over the altar there is an imposing statue of our Lady of good Health made of shimmering white marble standing upon a globe. The shrine is a replica of our lady of Good Health at Turin Holy.

Borghat Temple

Location: Jaintia Hills District

This village is situated close to the Bangladesh border. Borghat Temple dedicated to Hindu religion is located within this village. In olden days, sacrifices were offered in this temple, however it had been damaged during the 1897 earthquake.

jarain pitcher plantJarain Pitcher Plant Lake

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Located at Jarain, in Amlarem subdivision of War-Jaintia region amid the natural habitat of the carnivorous pitcher plant -- Nepenthenes Khasiana spreads over an area of 50,000 square metres. A pretty lake sits placidly amid gravelled footpaths, arch bridges, pitcher plant garden and green house -interpretation centre. The railings of the boat-house are styled on the pitcher plant. A pitcher plant replica in the middle of the lake doubles up as a fountain -- the setting is perfect for a leisurely boat ride. There are paddle-boats to engage visitors as they soak in the greenery of the low lying hillocks around. Four boats have been provided and the lake is attracting a lot of visitors from far and near.

krang suriKrang Suri Falls

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Krang Suri is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the District. It is located in the Amlarem Civil Sub Division. To transform the place into a tourists destination the District Administration has initiated steps to construct Chisseled and graveled footpaths and view points to enable visitors to better appreciate the beauty of the waterfall and its surroundings. The footpaths are hewn from the natural multi colored stones available in the area, no cement has been used and stones have been placed symmetri­cally to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area.

ialong parkIalong Park

Location: Jaintia Hills District

The Park is located about 8 kms from Jowai.  It is known for its sacred grove and for its setting which overlooks the beautiful Pynthorwah Valley. Through the Special DRDA Tourism Project the District Administration have taken step to beautify the park by creating infrastructure such as water dams and canals, toilet facilities with changing rooms,  hoardings, jungle clearance which has attracted tourist far and wide. A water eco park is also taking shape with an intention to change Ialong into a major Tourism Hub of the District.

tyrshi fallsTyrshi Falls

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Tyrshi Falls on the Shillong-Jowai Road (NH 44) is Jowai's answer to Shillong's Elephant Falls. This fall is located about 5 kms from Jowai. A pretty arch bridge connects across an expanse of green paddy fields, which opens up to the gushing Tyrshi falls thundering down to the Pynthor (paddy-fields) below. A winding footpath offering a breathtaking and panoramic view of the Pynthor Nein, eases your trek down to the bottom of the falls, which glides down like milk over a vertical drop.

iooksi parkIooksi (Kupli) Park

Location: Jaintia Hills District

Iooksi village in Laskein Block is located some 40 kms from the District headquarter. For the development of the park in the village the District administration through the Department of Forest (Social Forestry) have constructed an approach road to the park, ram shelters, railing in the view points, sitting benches and play items for children to attract visitors to the area.

A recreation centre has been developed on the banks of Kopili river. A local NGO, ICSO (Iooksi Centre School Organization), has been assigned the task of managing the project. The ICSO regularly organises boat racing and swimming competitions in the area.