Amazing Dawki, Shnongpdeng and the river Umngot in Meghalaya - A photoblog


This is a photoblog supporting the travel blog on the same topic. You can read the travel blog here.

Nature never ceases to surprise you in Meghalaya - probably one of the most beautiful states of India. Be it the so many gorgeous waterfalls or unique caves, be it the sacred forests or incessant monsoons. Perhaps that is why some of the tribes of Meghalaya worship nature. And perhaps that is why every tourist visiting Meghalaya cannot prevent falling in love with it. We too were already love stricken having seen most of the well travelled sections of Meghalaya. However Meghalaya sprung up yet another surprise in the form of Umngot river. The much famed Umngot river (also often called Dawki river) amazed us beyond words can describe at Dawki and Shnongpdeng - two small villages very close to Bangladesh border. While Meghalaya throws number of mind boggling landscapes and fascinating cultural aspects at you, the magic of Umngot river at Dawki and Shnongpdeng stood out as probably the most mesmerising experience for us. It might be best if we let the pictures to the talking.

This article is a photo blog of Umngot river passing through Dawki and Shnongpdeng in southern part of Meghalaya. Both Dawki and Shnongpdeng are part of Jaintia hills.

This article is a part of the series – The Meghalaya Odyssey, where we take you through various must visit places across Meghalaya along with detailed travel guides which help you plan your own trip. If you have missed out on reading our previous articles, read them by clicking on the below mentioned links or photographs:

1. Introduction to Meghalaya

2. Plan your trip to Meghalaya

3. ​Shillong Travel guide

4. Mawphlang Travel guide

5. Sohra (Cherrapunjee) Travel guide

6. Sa-I-Mika Resort @ Cherrapunjee

7. Mawlynnong (Asia's cleanest village) Travel guide

Photoblog - Mawlynnong - A Photostory

8. Experience Dawki, Shnongpdeng and Adventure sports at Umngot river

A photoblog on amazing Dawki, Shnongpdeng and River Umngot (This article)

9. A complete travel guide to Jaintia Hills

10. Mawsynram and Mawlyngbna


Our first glimpse of Umngot river was near the Dawki bridge. Dark greenish hues of Umngot flowed between hills on both sides. Dark green in the center faded away towards the edges as the depth became less. The spectrum of greens with water of Umngot river turning almost transport towards the banks looked spectacular. The small boats in the river added gems to this crown of Meghalaya.

Zooming in to check out the banks of river Umngot where the water is pretty transparent with light shades of green. Fishing boats are lined up here on tied to prevent it from floating away. Visiting this boating point and taking a ride is a must do for tourists visiting Dawki.

The transparent water becomes dark greenish as you go inwards in the river Umngot as the river becomes little deeper. The shades of the river also seem to vary based on time of the day and how the light falls on the river. The colors also depend on your vantage point - the point from where you are viewing. It is thus necessary to spend more time around the river Umngot exploring it different times of the day and seeing from varying angles.

Shnongpdeng another small village further away from Bangladesh border is also a magnificent place to witness the magic of river Umngot. As the river here remains pretty shallow, it gives you amazing views of the stony river bed. The green is much more faded and the water much more translucent at Shnongpdeng.

Watching locals fishing from their boats is a joy at Shnongpdeng. Here a guy can be seen lighting his locally made cigarette and fishing. An occupation like this must have its own joy.

But all need not be well. Fishing can be a struggle and when you might have a family to feed, the importance of collecting food for the day might be felt. We saw this woman a bit anxious, a bit helpless, a bit sad while fishing.

We loved watching this old lady fishing. We passed by her number of times while Kayaking and made eye contact with her. She fished for the whole day and was back again the next day early in morning. Watching her felt like peeking into her life and probably she was doing the same. We had to click her and store the unspoken connection digitally.

Apart from the crystal clear waters, Shnongpdeng in Meghalaya is also famous for water based adventure sports. Camping sites and adventure activity providers throng the banks of Umngot river at Shnongpdeng. There is also an annual watersport festival that happens in Feb-Mar in Shnongpdeng. You can see the preparations for water polo and a race in pictures below.

It was difficult to believe how transparent the water was at Shnongpdeng when the sun was right above the river Umngot. Whether you are seeing down below while riding a boat or from the footbridge on top of the river, you cannot help getting amazed by the pebbles in the river bed and the abstract patterns formed by light.

Capturing the top view of boats from the footbridge of Shnongpdeng with the pebbly river bed seen through transparent waters as backdrop would make any layman capture surreal professional looking photographs. These views had us stunned for quite some time and perfectly summarize magical Umngot river at Dawki and Shnongpdeng.

Hope you are as amazed by river Umngot at Dawki and Shnongpdeng in Meghalaya as we are. We would suggest visiting such offbeat places while they are still offbeat. If you are wondering how to plan your trip, where to stay etc., you can read about Dawki and Shnongpdeng along with our recommended campsite - Pioneer Adventures in our travel blog. You can also read complete travel blog series - The Meghalaya Odyssey.

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How did you find the pictures in this photo blog? Was Dawki and Shnongpdeng better than your expectations? Where you able to click more amazing pictures of river Umngot? We would love to know. Do drop your comments below or directly connect with us via email. Do share this blog if you liked it. You can see our other photo blogs here

#India #River

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