Fig: Shillong to Dawki and back route with the elevation map
No trip can be considered as completed in Meghalaya without enjoying the route from Shillong to Dawki. A river of crystal clear water at Indo-Bangladesh border .
With that spirit to see the clear water of the river , I started the most exciting day of the trip as soon after the sun rise.Taking the previous day’s remaining pieces of smoked pork as breakfast, whose fats oils became like grease in the freezing cold of Shillong. Tried to gear up the pace of my solo ride as fast as possible followed by a warm up walk accompanied by my friend. Throughout the whole ride , I was only imagining the breathtaking view of the crystal clear water of Dawki river. Even though the destination was a much lower altitude, but ride started with a lengthy climb of around 4 kms .The view started to be more stunning .
Wow!!! hills hills and everywhere the green hills.
The climb was enough to make my body warmed up ,defeating the morning cold. As proceeded further after passing through a village at end of the climb, mesmerizing view of the giant hills started attracting the eyes.
Stunning view of morning sun rays penetrating through the clouds and shining some portion of hill was mesmerizing. Hills were also preparing to clear their foggy cover with the morning sun.
For few Kilometers of road, one side of the road was a steep slide of the hill, while the other side was the wetly hills with dense forest standing like a wall . Some time when u passes through between the hills with dense trees, body starts shivers with the morning cold breeze.
I did not want to miss the opportunity to have a breakfast with the local Khasi people, with a bowel of rice and few pork pices, that seemed to be their traditional way of food habit.
Apart from a couple of steep killer climbs, the almost whole route can be travelled without pedallng. This was the most luxurious part of the whole journey, as you get a chance to utilize your top most speed gear ratios of your bike. Same time it was realized the challenge of the return journey ;).
Without spending much time for photography, I tried to reach the bottom of the hills as fast as possible considering the duration of return time through the up hills. Within 3 hours I could able to reach Pongtung from where Dawki was around 25KM with continuous downhill.
This junction was the diversion for Mawlynnong , the Asia’s cleanest village and the double decker living root bridge;and towards Dawki which was my destination.
After crossing few Km , the water land of Bangladesh can be viewed from some part of the route. We could feel the mixture of low altitude climate and the hills .Trees were also looked like similar that grown in plane land. Sweet fragrances of flowers were floating in the air, so refreshing it was!! It made me feel like I was living in my own village itself. Temperature also gradually started increasing with the decrease of altitude.Last around 6KM was steep downhill till the Dawki river. With the sudden change in temperature, body also got pumped up.
It was so amazing to see the green crystal clear water , the surface of the river and the nice pebbles can be viewed very clearly .This was my motivation to ride till Dawki !! Many boats were there for the tourist attraction. There is the Indo-Bangladesh open boarder monitored by Indian BSF and Navy forces. Spending not much time in the river, within a hour I finished re fuelling with a stomach full of rice plate before heading back towards Shilling before noon .
The real game started.If you were looking for a ride to challenge your endurance level with low intensity gradual climb,look no further than the route from Dawki to Shillong of around 80kms. Aaah…!! I prepared mentally for the never ending gradual climbs .
Due to the steep climb in the broken tarmac road and the raising temperature at noon, body started releasing fuels after few kms at the starting itself. Indeed a break was needed after a couple of Kms .Kept some bananas and oranges as reserved energy as there happened to be less frequent fuel stations for the legs in the coming miles.
Never ending continues elevations were exhausting where your body was driven by the mind only. Here you may need some stretching as well, to make your constantly used muscles relaxed.
A few packets of jams and soch packets.Route passes through the green desert having hardly any populated area. Desperately waiting for a shop for a cup of coffee. Apart from the few private tourists vehicles, road was also almost silent. Had a break with some snacks after struggling around 45kms .Through out the ride,the packets were keeping my energy level running.
Ohh..another 45km to go!! from Tambill town to Shillong . Tried to keep my pace increased once started the rolling road and climate also becoming moderate as I moved towards higher elevation. Sun was also gradually sliding from top of head. Never know when to get another chance to ride in such a winter afternoon under clear sky of Meghalaya. Started to capture some memories in some view points of the hills in each ride break.
Energy got some boost as distance coming nearer to the end of the trip.Last 25kms was more of rolling and some downhill, that I started enjoying again. By the time , it was about to getting dark,but comfortably managed to reach Shillong before dark where I ended my trip.
What a self satisfactory accomplishment by ending the tour of such a naturally virgin portion of the earth , the whole memory of the trip is captured in my vain.
Nearest Railway Station :Guwahati Railway Station
Nearest Airport :Guwahati Airport
Best Season / Time :November to Feb