Offbeat Jowai
Local travel

Offbeat Jowai: Explored the unexplored

Hi, lovely soul. Welcome to offbeat Jowai. 60 Km from Shillong lies Jowai, a small town in the Jaintia Hills of the Pnar community.  The vegetations are a little different from that of the Khasi hills although some similarities are there.

There is not much tourist attraction in Jowai particularly but the place is best suited for NATURE LOVERS and is one of the most serene places I have ever known. Perfect for trekking, camping, picnicking with friends and family and for a HERMIT like me; just connecting my soul with nature gives me strength on a weary day.

Did you know that the Jaintia hills district (War-Jaintia) is quite famous for betel nut & sweet oranges? Bettle nut is one of the most traditional welcoming dishes! Well, it’s not exactly a dish but rather it’s a welcoming food for every visitor at home.

This is the oldest way of welcoming any visitors at home. It’s our culture of showing love and respect.  I remember as a young adult when we visited some houses and they don’t offer us anything, we would say; “Tang u kwai ruh kim ai,dei?”(they don’t even offer us kwai)…well only a typical Khasi will understand this.

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Apart from this it is also quite well known for having the ONLY Native Pitcher plant (Nepenthes khasiana) in India found in restricted places in Jaintia hills.

For example, it is found in Jarain village, Moostem-Chyrmang and some parts of East Jaintia hills. It is an endangered plant species.

Pitcher plant
Pitcher plant

The food habit of the Jaintia hills is quite unique from those of the Khasi hills. We love khniang ryndia (silkworm) & ῆiang kseh (pineworm), the most delicious dish for me personally. I’m a typical Pnar girl and this is the season for pineworms and soon silkworms.

And oh, the local crab, local tadpole(dalun), dohtli , yum all my favourites’, it salivates my taste bud and lots of tasty wild edible herbs as well.

If you come to Jowai, you got to taste these offbeat foods. If you don’t taste it once in your lifetime; then your memories will not be that memorable. Get out of your COMFORT ZONE and just do it.

 Besides this typical food, Jowai has many beautiful unexplored scenic beauty that lies within the soul of our remote areas.

The hills and the valleys are so breathtaking that sometimes I wish I have wings to fly over and have a bird’s eye view on a clear Sunday morning and set over the tallest branch and look down on Earth with a blessed feeling.

Today, I’ll take on a journey with me to some of the offbeat places in Jowai and the nearby areas.

# Trekking to Syntu Ksiar/Tre riat:

Syntu ksiar view
Syntu Ksiar View

Syntu Ksiar is a very common tourist spot but its’ beauty lies not at the main junction but at the sides; where you will be able to experience all the natural lakes and streams along the way.

The main spot at Tre riat is crowded, which I don’t prefer at all! That’s why I usually took the road less travelled.

So we start our beautiful trekking track from Polytechnic but you can also start it from Lumphareng. We went through the rough country road but the view is great. The journey is downhill; so you will not feel tired.

Along the way you will encounter crystal clear Myntwa river; with lots of locally freshwater fishes and crab in it.

Carry your water, food, sunglasses and whatever you need for the trip to make it memorable.

Country road
Our trekking starts from here
Offbeat Jowai
Moving forward we reach here, then downhill.

Distance: Half an hour downhill on foot and 2-3 hours going up back. 

Duration: One day. But starts early while the sun is not hot so that you can keep your energy level at bay.

Is it worth it?: Absolutely YES! The view along the way is great.

Best time to visit: All year through, except while trekking during the wet season; make sure you carry salt for leaches.  

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Collection of Syntu ksiar
Fun things to do and see at Syntu ksiar
For your kind information: An appeal to those who are here:

People litter so much almost everywhere. They throw beer bottles, plastic bags, Chips plastic and all sort of non-biodegradable substances’.  We request you all BOTH Locals and Non-locals; to kindly take care of your environment as long as it is lasting and make it beautiful; especially for those who went for a picnic (lai bamdoh) with friends and family, as well as those who wash their laundry in the open field.

Do not throw any kind of plastic-like surf excels plastic, Chips plastic and beer bottles on the streams and lakes. Besides lakes & streams, this implies the hilltops as well. Most people come onto the hills to refresh their minds and dump their ignorant on the grass!

If you are keeping your HOUSE CLEAN; keep your Neighborhood and Environment Clean as well. Don’t clean your house and throw litter at your neighbourhood!

Find a healthy way to dispose of all non-biodegradable stuff. For example, you can burn all plastic before disposing of them and decomposed your household waste as much as you can.

So, where are we? Let’s get back on track. Trekking track. 

Myntwa river
Crystal clear Myntwa River

# Trekking to Tyrshi Falls:

Tyrshi falls
Tryshi Falls

The best way to start this trekking is from Lumpariat or Carolene Colony and or from behind Bosco Pnar.  From these localities, you will be able to see a great view down the valley.

We starts it via Lumpariat and went down through the foot trial that was there ever since. Along the way, we observed lots of cute ferns and moss growing around the damp area.

We whistle; and laugh; we run oh what joy. 

So right after the end of the foot trail, we came across a small stream where people do their laundry naturally on the rock and moving forward; a wide-open space of paddy fields; that stretches across the area is mesmerising.

Myntdu paddy field
Rice paddy field in Autumn before reaching Tyrshi

After crossing over several paddy fields; we reach the bottom view of the Tyrshi Falls and it feels so good, but the best view awaited is the at the top of the Tyrshi Falls.

Down below you will see a beautiful and enchanted bird’s eye view of the whole of Myntdu rice paddy fields and make you feel at PEACE WITH NATURE.

Distance: Half an hour to 1-hour walk from Lumpariat to the falls. You can also visit it by car. The road is good.

Duration: You’ll need a day.

Best time to visit: For trekking Autumn, Spring & Winter.

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# A walk through the Pine forest: Offbeat Jowai

Pine forest walk
The bright blue sky makes me smile

There are lots of safe Pine forest places to just hang up and be YOURSELF. Clear your mind; get fresh air, anything you like.

I love strolling around alone in the pine woods and nearby hills near my house. The feeling is just amazing. I feel so connected with mother Earth. The calmness, the freedom, how peaceful it is and how it helps me recharge my energy are just amazing.

I feel complete when I am with nature. I feel like I am in transition to heaven. A walk through the woods when you are not feeling yourself is the best therapy ever.

I use to sit alone for 2-3 hours doing nothing but ADMIRE the beauty of nature endlessly. After that, I would do my meditation and focus on my intense AFFIRMATIONS.

I even bring my journal and write now my goals for the day. This is the best moment to focus on me and my personal growth because at home my focus was diverted to many unnecessary things.

Through the pines
Amongst these Pine trees is where my soul resides

# Long drive to Mukhla-Myrjai road:

Offbeat Jowai

This is a toast to all nature lovers. A long drive to Sah bseiῆ – Mukla road and then all the way up to Myrjai village is the best thing in the whole wide world. You will witness the most beautiful scenic beauty all the way.

You will have to take a stop and spend some time with nature and immerse yourself in the beauty of the green hills and mesmerizing paddy fields.

Mukhla has the most beautiful soothing hills just before reaching Myrjai. The alignment of the hills is in such a way that they look in sync with one another in harmony which reminds me of our traditional folklore of that of the sun and the peacock.

At the end of the breathtaking hills of Mukhla lies Myrjai; a small village with fewer population. 

Distance: 20-30 KM from Jowai.

Offbeat Jowai
Mukhla and Myrjai Border

Jowai Meghalaya

# Picnic at Kaikada Falls:

Offbeat Jowai food

Kaikada is not a big waterfall; it’s a small one with numerous picnic spots surrounding it. Twice a year people from a nearby village will always go for a picnic in this area because the scenery is beautiful.

Valleys of paddy fields are surrounded by small cute attractive hills. This place is a local favourite; NOT a tourist spot. We would carry pots, plates, cups, meat, rice, vegetables, salads and everything needed for a picnic and cook our food in the open.

It was one of the best experiences ever! And last time we pack our food because we are too lazy to cook on the hill.

Distance: 30 minutes from Jowai

The Shillong vagabond

The food:

Last but not least is the FOOD. Remember the local foods I’m talking about. Yes! Yup! Couldn’t help but share it with you guys.

When it comes to food most people think we are “NON-VEG”; yes we are but we are rather omnivorous. We eat both veg and non-veg side by side every day and rice is our staple food.

In offbeat Jowai we have offbeat food. Well, I won’t say much but I believe a picture is worth a thousand words!

All these are my favourite, some of the best seasonal indigenous delicacies in Jaintia hills. 

Offbeat Jowai Food
Our indigenous Delicacies
Sohphlang, Tungtoh(fermented soyabean) Ja chulia, khniang ryndia

I hope you’ll love reading this. Join our tribe as well by subscribing to our email list. We promise we won’t spam you.

If you plan to visit Jowai, comment below I’ll be happy to meet you. If you are living in Jowai, let us know your thoughts.

There are so many places in offbeat Jowai. We will meet you soon on our next adventure. Take care and Stay Blessed. You are abundance. You are gracious and we would love to meet you again.

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