Meghalaya is rich with lush green mountains, pine-covered hills, crystal clear rivers, spectacular waterfalls, and biodiversity-rich flora and fauna. It is also the wettest state of India.
While each place in the state is beautiful, some incredible places attract tourists the most. One such town is Dawki, a small hamlet nestled in the Jaintia Hills near the border of India and Bangladesh. It is famous for its crystal clear water of the Umngot river (also known as the Dawki river).
The fascinating beauty of Dawki distinguishes Meghalaya from other parts of India. Like the double-decker living root bridge and Mawphlang sacred forest, Dawki is also a unique place to visit in Meghalaya.
How to Reach Dawki?
Dawki is located about 90 kilometres distance from Shillong. To visit Dawki, first, you need to reach Shillong, which is well connected to Guwahati by road with cab and bus service. It takes almost 3 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati. From there, you can hire a cab to reach Dawki.
One who prefers a train journey can reach Guwahati station. By plane, you have to reach Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.
The route from Shillong to Dawki is amazing in a single word. The picturesque waterfalls, mountains, and greenery surrounding the highway make the whole journey beautiful.
Why is Dawki so Popular among Tourists?
The water of the river in Dawki is so clear that you can clearly see all the rocks, stones, fish, and even colourful pebbles at the bottom of the river. When the boats float on the emerald green water, it seems as if it is floating in the air. The fishermen with their pretty little boats on the crystal clear water and the surrounding beauty of the river make the place picturesque.
Apart from its natural beauty, It has a coal mine and limestone stocks, making it an international trading point for India and Bangladesh.
Best Things to Do and Places to Visit near Dawki
Dawki is a natural paradise, and it has a lot more to offer to people who look for activities. It is a perfect place for nature lovers. You can enjoy different activities there which can be a memory of a lifetime.
1. Boating on the Beautiful Dawki River
There is a suspension hanging bridge over the Umngot river from where tourists can enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the place. But you can witness the real beauty of the river when boating. Each boat takes a maximum of 4 people and one ferryman.
Boating on the river gives you a feeling that you are floating on a transparent glass surface which is actually the water. The beauty of the bottom of the river and the beauty of the mountains around the river combine to create an amazing picture.
There is a small island situated in the middle of the river which is filled with differently shaped colourful rocks. Sitting on a rock and immersing feet in the water of the river, one can feel the silence all around for a long time peacefully. Then, towards the shallow end of the river, one can get into the river and take a dip in the cool, clear water, and it is so refreshing.
2. Must Visit the Krang Suri Waterfall
Just one hour’s drive from Dawki, you can reach Krangsuri waterfalls located in the Amlarem Civil subdivision of Jowai in Meghalaya. Surrounded by greenery and big rocks, it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit in Meghalaya.
The waterfall creates a magical natural pool where one can take a bath, and it is an amazing experience. You can get the best view of this waterfall during the monsoon.
3. Explore Asia’s Cleanest Village Mawlynnong
From Dawki, it takes only about 45 minutes to reach Mawlynnong, which is achieved the title of the ‘Cleanest Village in Asia.’ A small village with about 80 households is located very close to Dawki. The cleanliness of the Mawlynnong village is evident from the moment you arrive.
While walking through the village, you won’t see any litter, dust, or trash on the ground. Plastic is also banned here. The villagers always keep the surroundings of their homes and paths clean. The villagers arranged dustbins at some distance intervals all over the village. There are also some homestays where you can stay or enjoy the delicious food cooked by the locals.
Sky-walking is also an interesting activity in Mawlynnong. You will have to visit the Sky-walk, a towering structure made entirely of bamboo poles, to get a magnificent view of the area, including Meghalaya and the area of Bangladesh.
4. Enjoy the Beauty of Byrdaw Waterfalls
Byrdaw falls is located in the village named Pomshutia, just next to Dawki. One has to trek almost two kilometres to reach the waterfall from Pomshutia village. During the monsoon season, the place becomes mesmerizing. The entire trek route and the surroundings of the waterfall also get green and alive this time.
5. Enjoy the Beauty of Borhill Waterfalls
Borhill waterfall near Dawki is one of the hidden and unexplored waterfalls in Meghalaya. Through the Dawki-Riwai road of Meghalaya, you can visit to see this waterfall. You will surely be amazed by the beauty of the waterfall situated near Dawki.
6. Visit the India-Bangladesh Border
Nearby the boating facility, you can see the India-Bangladesh border where BSF (Border Security Force, India) and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) are protecting 24×7.
You can taste some unique and tasty pickles from local salesmen, both from India and Bangladesh here. It is quite interesting to see that the river shared a common shore with India and Bangladesh. If you love drone photography, do not fly a camera drone near the border as there are strict restrictions. Instead, go to the upper part of the river and fly it there.
Where to Stay near Dawki?
Camping at the side of the cleanest river can be the best option to stay here. Camping at Dawki is a treat for all nature lovers and adventure seekers. The camps are situated right by the Umngot river. It is a wonderful feeling to hear the burble and rippling of the Umngot river from the camp at night. For this reason, Dawki campsite is one of the best camping places in India.
Here, you can also witness the beauty of the crystal clear river in the early morning. The campsite authority can arrange multiple adventure activities like Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, and Snorkeling. Carry the basic camping essentials to camp comfortably by the Dawki river bank.
Apart from it, you can also stay at any of the homestays in the Shnongpdeng village, located by the river, 10 Km away from the town of Dawki.
If you are not interested in camping, the best option is to choose the beautiful homestays at Mawlynnong as there are not many hotels located near Dawki. The owners maintain their homestays very well and provide tasty food to the tourists. You can also stay at the Lamin Guest House if you want to stay close to Dawki.
Best Time to Visit Dawki
The Winter season (November to March) is the best time to visit Dawki. Like other regions of Meghalaya, Dawki does not become so cold in winter, and this time the weather is very pleasant and enjoyable. This weather is very suitable for roaming around. The clarity of the transparent Umngot river looks best at this time. Boating on the crystal clear water becomes so attractive, and you can capture photos of many beautiful landscapes and rivers with your camera.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dawki
Dawki river is located in Meghalaya, India. It is a small town in the West Jaintia Hill district. It is a popular and offbeat tourist spot among travellers near the border of Meghalaya and Bangladesh.
The distance between Dawki and Shillong is about 90 kilometres by road which takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach via NH206.
There are cab and bus services available from Guwahati to reach Shillong. From Shillong, you can hire a car to reach Dawki. Alternatively, you can also hire a car directly to reach there. The distance between Guwahati and Dawki is about 195 kilometres which takes around 5 hours to reach your destination.
Dawki is mostly known for the beautiful Umngot river where you can witness crystal clear water to the bottom. The beautiful blue-green colouration makes it extraordinary among travellers. There are also some waterfalls like Krang Suri, Byrdaw, and Borhil waterfalls nearby Dawki. You can also visit the famous Mawlynnong village located a few kilometres away from the place.
The best time to visit Dawki is during the winter season when the current in the water reduces and becomes crystal clear. In the other seasons, it does not look as beautiful as in the winter.
To visit Dawki from cities like Mumbai or Delhi, you need to reach Guwahati first. For such a long distance, you should prefer to visit by air to the airport of Guwahati. From there, hire a cab to reach Dawki which is located almost 200 kilometres away.
Tips to Visit Dawki
Choose the right time to visit Dawki to enjoy the entire tour. I recommend not visiting there directly from Guwahati. Make a night’s stay at either Shillong or Cherrapunjee. It would make you more comfortable and enjoy the beauty of Dawki to its fullest the next day. It is advisable to carry enough warm clothes with you during winter, especially for the evening and night.
When visiting Dawki, make sure to book where you will stay in advance. And don’t forget to carry your photo id proof. You can also check the official website of the Department of Tourism, Meghalaya Government to know more about Dawki tourism.