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Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Mawphlang Sacred Forest in Meghalaya

14 Jun,2023 05:25 PM, by: Sushmita Dey
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In the beautiful state of Meghalaya, just 27 km away from the state capital Shillong, lies a remarkable place called Mawphlang Sacred Grove. Also known as Lawkyntang, this reserved forest near Mawphlang village is a retreat for nature enthusiasts and a must-visit destination for those exploring Shillong Tourism.

Nestled in the scenic East Khasi Hills, Mawphlang Sacred Forest has been protected by the locals for centuries due to their deep-rooted religious beliefs. They consider the forest as a sacred place, embodying spiritual significance. Spanning an impressive area of 80 hectares, this forest is a treasure trove of rare medicinal trees and plants, including the English yew, Chinese sumac, chinquapin, and many more.

It is also home to unique tree species like the Japanese blue oak and graffiti, which serve as indicators of the local climate. In total, you can find approximately 450 species of trees, plants, and even rare animals and birds within this enchanting forest.

The forest holds a special place in the hearts of the Khasi tribe, who consider it sacred and imbued with its own distinct entity. They revere a local deity named 'Labasa' and seek its blessings in times of trouble or illness. According to local traditions, the Lyngdoh clan is entrusted with the protection of the sacred forest, as they believe that the deity Labasa resides there. The villagers firmly believe that the forest deity safeguards their village during times of crisis.

One important rule of the Mawphlang Sacred Grove is that nothing can be taken away from it, not even a single leaf.There are tales of individuals who have violated this taboo and suffered from illness or even death as a consequence. An intriguing legend recounts an incident from 1970 when the army attempted to extract dead wood and trees from the forest, but their truck mysteriously refused to start, even after multiple attempts.

This sprawling forest truly comes alive during the annual three-day monolith festival, where the tribal heritage and culture are showcased vibrantly. Furthermore, located behind the forest is the famous David-Scott Trail, one of Meghalaya's most popular trekking routes.

To explore the wonders of Mawphlang Sacred Grove, visitors can embark on a captivating trek that spans approximately 3 to 4 km. You have the choice between a shorter trek lasting around 30-40 minutes or a longer one lasting about 90 minutes. However, please note that a tourist guide is mandatory for visiting the forest, and entry without a guide is not permitted.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Mawphlang Sacred Grove, a place where nature, spirituality, and cultural heritage intertwine harmoniously. It's a destination that will leave you awestruck and provide memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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