Mawphlang Sacred Grove
Adventure / Trekking | Nature
At a distance of 27 km from Shillong, Mawphlang Sacred Grove is a reserved forest located at Mawphlang village near Shillong, Meghalaya. Also known as Lawkyntang, it is an ideal destination for nature lovers and among the best places to experience Shillong Tourism.
Situated in the East Khasi Hills, Mawphlang Sacred Forest is preserved by the natives since ancient times as a part of their religious beliefs, in which forests are considered as a sacred entity. Covering over an area 80 hectares, the Mawphlang Sacred Grove is a treasure trove of rare medicinal trees and plants like the English yew, the Chinese sumac, chinquapin, etc. It is also home to several species of trees that work as climate indicators like Japanese blue oak and graffiti. In total, there are about 450 species of trees and plants in this forest as well as rare species of animals and birds.
According to the locals, the sacred forest is protected by the Lyngdoh clan, who believe that the deity Labasa resided here. The villagers believe that the deity protects their village during crisis. The forest also serves as an important ritual site for the people of Hima Mawphlang who perform various thanksgiving and blessing ceremonies in the area. Members of the Khasi tribe also burn the bones of their dead inside the forest.
The only rule of the forest is one cannot allowed to take anything from here, not even a leaf! There are tales of people who have broken this taboo becoming sick and even dying. In fact, local lore says that in 1970, the army tried taking out the dead wood and trees from this forest, but they were not able to do so as the truck didn't start even after trying multiple times. This sprawling forest comes alive during the three day monolith festival held here that showcases the tribal heritage and culture. The David-Scott Trail, one of Meghalaya's most popular trekking routes, is located behind the forest.
The whole trek inside the forest will be around 3 to 4 km and one has the option of either going for the short trek which is about 30-40 minutes or for the long trek which is about 90 minutes duration. A tourist guide is required to visit the place and you will not be allowed inside without him.
Timings: 9 AM - 4.30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs.20 for Person, Rs. 300 for Guide & Rs. 20 for Camera