Borghat Temple is situated in Borghat village in the Jaintia hills and is at proximity to the Bangladesh border. Although it was in perfect shape until the 1880s, it now stands in a dilapidated condition after the earthquake of 1897 that shook its foundations. This, however, has not dissuaded the religious travellers from visiting the place.
In fact, its ruined beauty has only added to its intriguingly mysterious aura. It is primarily a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its interiors have been made of burnt brickbats. It is surrounded by a humble, plain brick wall of 100 m by 70 m in length and width respectively.
In the olden days, the Jaintia kings would perform animal sacrifices. However, this is not in practice anymore. Casual visitors offer their prayers and at times perform small pujas here. The best possible way to reach the temple is to hire a cab and take the Lad Rymbai – Bataw – Borghat road.
Dawki is a small town in Jaintia Hills, which is also a border crossing between India and Bangladesh. It is mostly used for the transportation of coal from India to Bangladesh, and during the peak season, over five hundred trucks cross the border every day.
On reaching Dawki is the Umngot river, where an annual boat race is held during the month of March and April at Umsyiem. The Umngot river also forms the natural boundary between Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills. In 1932, the British built a huge suspension bridge across the river that would connect the two districts.
Shared transport, as well as morning buses, are available from Bara Bazaar, Shillong to the border post of Dawki. One may also book a tourist bus or cab for a more comfortable and pleasant journey. On the other side, there is the Tamabil bus station which offers bus service to Sylhet (Bangladesh).
Ialong Park is situated at a distance of 8 km from Jowai. It covers the sacred grooves which gives another splendid reason to visit the park, along with another factor that it overlooks the scenic Pynthowah Valley. The park is constantly being renovated and beautified under the Special DRDA Tourism Project taken up by the District Administration.
In an effort to change Ialong Park into a major tourist hub, a water eco-park is also under construction. Along with this park, the place is well accommodated with water dams, toilets, canals, changing rooms etc. A variety of flowers, some native to Meghalaya adorn the park. One can sit on the grassy slopes and enjoy the sunset coming down upon the valley.
Ialong park can be rated as one of the best amusement parks in Meghalaya. It is best to visit between the months of November to June and one can reach there by hiring a cab from Shillong.
Iawmusiang, also known as the land of the sacred stone, is popular for having the biggest market in Jaintia Hills. The place gets its name from the sacred stone that lies in the centre of the market. At the local Bahdienkhlam festival, people gather around the stone and worship it.
The beauty of this place is enhanced by the cane bridges that are built by the Khasi and Jaintia people to cross small streams traversing around the town. Iawmusiang also happens to be one of the best shopping places for visiting tourists.
Several kinds of handicrafts, cane baskets, cane mats, stools that are extremely durable rain shields, sleeping mats can all be found here. There are also beautifully designed bamboo sticks which are used to make fishing traps. It is a town enthralling with life. It is very easy to reach Iawmusiang by taking a tourist bus or cab from Shillong as well as from Jowai.
Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake gets its name from the pitcher garden that surrounds it. It was built by the Government of Meghalaya (Soil and Water Conservation Department). The lake is conveniently located on the Jowai-Amlarem Road.
The carnivorous Nepenthenes khasiana pitcher plants spread over a distance of 50,000 sq m. It enhances the look of the entire place as everything from the boat-house to the fountain in the centre of the lake has been made to depict the symbolizing pitcher plant.
The lake consists of a greenhouse, an arched bridge and gravelled pathways. On a beautiful day, the placid waters perfectly reflect the image of the nearby hillocks. The lake is also apt for enjoyable boat rides.
The Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake is also an ideal place for bird watchers as a number of migratory birds flock these areas. The best time to visit this place is between November-June by a booked taxi from Shillong.
The Jowai Presbyterian Church was established 150 years back by the Welsh Presbyterian Mission. It possesses the proud title of being one of the oldest churches in the region. As one can already guess by the name, the church is situated in Jowai, which lies on the National Highway 44. This active industrial town is the headquarters of the district of Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya.
The church is built keeping with the typical British architecture, which is one of its delightful qualities. The interior of the church is spacious and can accommodate a large number of people during masses that are held regularly at the premises of the church. The church is located at a serene spot, away from the noise of this busy town, aiding in letting the visitors have some quiet prayer time.
Having a history of 150 years, the church attracts a number of tourists from different places throughout the year. The most feasible way to visit the church is by taking the Shillong-Jowai highway. The bazaar buses are not so much recommended as they are mostly crowded with goods. However, one can conveniently book a private cab as Jowai is at a mere distance of 64 km from Shillong.
Khim Moo Sniang is one of the popular tourist destinations of Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya. In the local language of the place, "moo" means stone and "sniang" means pig. And this place gets its name from the pig-shaped rock which is set in here.
The Jaintia community worships this stone as they believe that it has the power to protect them. Tourists love to visit this place and pay their respect to God that the locals have so much faith in God. There are several food joints and small restaurants in the area where one can indulge their taste-buds to the local delicacies of the Jaintia Hills.
There are also small shops that are built mostly of wood and bamboo, where one can purchase handmade local products of the region. One can easily reach the Jaintia hills by taking a bus or taxi or even a tourist cab from Shillong.
Kiang Nongbah Monument was built in the honour of a Jaintia patriot by the name of U Kiang Nongbah who died as a martyr in the struggle to free the Jaintia land from the British rulers.
This historical monument was built in the centre of a vast field known as Madiah Kmai Blai, which is on the banks of Syntu Ksiar, alongside river Myntdu. This field also has its own historical significance, as it is the place where U Kiang Nongbah had taken his oath to fight and drive the British out of their land without fearing any consequences.
Tourists from all across the world come here to pay tribute to this local hero who had sacrificed his life for the freedom of his people and his land. The best and easiest way to reach the Kiang Nongbah Monument is to book a tourist cab or bus from Shillong, or from Jowai.
Krang Suri Falls is situated in the Amlarem Civil sub Division of Jowai. Amongst the myriad of waterfalls found in the region, the Krang Suri is the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Surrounded by greenery and big rocks, it is one which inspires poetic thoughts. Dropping down from a low level into a basin-like depression, it is an ideal spot for taking a cool dip.
On rainy days, the water drops down gustily, creating the illusion of a mist. For ease of access, gravelled pathways have been constructed by the District Administration. They have also tried to keep it as natural as possible by discarding the use of cement, and instead using natural multi-coloured stones to align the paths.
The best time to visit here would be the monsoon season when water is found in abundance.
Lady Of Good Health Shrine in Railang village is located 32 km off the Jowai highway. The shrine stands three storeys tall with an octagon-based structure. The structure can be spotted from a distance owing to daunting statue built on top of the dome of the Lady Of Good Health, carved in white marble mounted on a globe.
The shrine consists of a single large hall with the altar at its centre. The original shrine is located at the small town of Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared. According to legends, the apparition of Virgin Mary, carrying little Jesus had occurred to a small shepherd boy who was providing buttermilk at the place where the basilica stands today.
The Lady of Good Health Shrine in Jowai shares the same beliefs, which revolve around these miracles that took place. The easiest way to the shrine is to book a tourist cab from Shillong.
Looksi (Kupli) Park is in Looksi village in Laskein Block of Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. It is approximately 40 km from the district headquarter. To develop the park, the district administration, through the Department of Forest has constructed a road that leads to the park. They have also built ram shelters, railings at view points and sitting benches for people to rest.
There are also play items like slides and swings for children to enjoy their time at the park, and attract more visitors. Overall, it is an excellent place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and relax and have a day with your family and friends.
There is also a recreation centre on the banks of Kupli River. A local NGO by the name of Looksi centre School Organization regularly organizes boat racing and swimming competitions here. The best way to reach the Looksi Park is to take a tourist cab from Shillong.
Nartiang was once the summer capital of the Jaintia kings, and today tourists and devotees from all across the globe visit here to bestow witness to this ancient culture and religion. The Durga Temple at Nartiang stands today as a confirmation of the Hindu heritage of this kingdom.
The original structure of the temple has been revamped, but one can still see the idols, altar and swords, which were used centuries ago to offer sacrifice to the goddess. There is also a Shiv Temple. The market of Nartiang also has a legend associated to it, about a man named U Mar Phalyngki, who had carried a large slab from Raliang market to Nartiang.
Today, one can find this same market at Nartiang, standing alongside a large bunch of monoliths. Tourists love to visit this market and see the tribal men and women sitting under small thatched structures selling fruits, vegetables, local delicacies and cane baskets.
On the way to Nartiang, there is the beautiful Thadlaskein Lake. Boating in this lake on a calm evening, with the pleasant breeze blowing across your face is a delightful experience. The best way to reach Nartiang is to book a tourist cab from Shillong.
Ruparsor Bathing Ghat, flanked on the Jowai Muktapur road, comes under the list of principle attractions in Jowai, Meghalaya. The ghat is situated only at a distance of 8 km from Dawki, which is another major spot for tourists.
The bathing ghat, which is embedded in granite, is believed to have been constructed at the order of the then Jaintia king with the help of the masons called, U Luh Lyngskor Lamare and U Mar Phalyngki. The pool is 19½ feet in length, has a width of 15 ft and is 5 ft deep.
It was made for the recreational purposes of the royal family and was accommodated with changing rooms towards the West. The bathing ghat gets its water from the Ruparsor stream, which flows through a ridge that resembles the curved trunk of an elephant.
The Ruparsor bathing ghat with its serene surrounding is a pleasant tourist spot that’s worth visiting. Its cyan-coloured water dazzles the eye and makes the traveller want to dive in and rejuvenate himself with its coolness. The best way to get to this tourist place is to get a tour bus or book a private car from Shillong.
Syntu Ksiar, in the Jaintia language literally means "the golden flower". This is the place from where freedom fighter Kiang Nangbah had initiated the freedom struggle against the British. It is situated on the bank of the river Myntdu.
Today, Syntu Ksiar is an extremely popular picnic spot for the locals. You would almost always notice both children and adults angling and swimming in the river here. There is also a beautiful wire suspension bridge that has been built across the river. Additionally, there is also a water harvesting system across this river.
It is one of the places around Jowai where tourists come to relax and enjoy their families while basking in the soft sun and cool breeze from the river. There are also several small fast-food joints around the place where you could enjoy some of the local delicacies. The best way to reach Syntu Ksiar is booking a tourist vehicle from Shillong.
Thadlaskein Lake is an extremely popular picnic spot for both tourists and locals of the Jaintia Hills. Legends say that this lake was dug using the end of bows, by 290 different tribes of people from Sajjar Niangli Village in order to escape the wrath of the then king of Jaintiapur.
Till today, the people of the Raid Mukhala tribe worship this lake and perform sacrifice near it. Apart from its historical significance, Thadlaskein is also a very beautiful lake and extremely popular for outing, picnic and boating. The lake is surrounded by beautiful meadows and river Myntdu. Several types of rare orchids can also be seen here.
The flora and fauna of the surrounding areas are absolutely breathtaking and a paradise for nature lovers. Thadlaskein Lake is located 58 km from Shillong, and only 8 km from Jowai. One can easily reach this destination by booking a tourist vehicle from either of the two places.