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Laitlum Canyons, Shillong Overview

Perched on the East Khasi Hills, Laitlum Canyons is a less explored but one of the most picturesque tourist and trekking destinations in Shillong. The canyons are located about 21 Kms south of Shillong which is about a half-hour drive away. Literally, translating to 'End of hills', this exotic viewing site offers the best panoramic views of the whole of Meghalaya embraced by the majestic hills and valleys. The spot is secluded and serene, ideal for quiet and peaceful getaways. It can be visited by families, friend groups as well as couples. To catch this place at its best, visit Laitlum Canyons either during sunrise or sunset.

One has to hike for about 2 minutes via the shorter route or more than that via the longer route to reach Laitlum Canyons. This long, rocky and verdure trail provides a spirit of adventure to the enthusiastic trekkers. From the top of the Canyon, one can also catch a view of Rasong, a small hamlet nestled deep in the ridges of the Laitlum gorge. It is a must visit for nature lovers and photographers.

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Trekking at Laitlum Canyons

Laitlum is a trekker's paradise. To reach the viewing spot, a short 2-kilometre trek has to be undertaken. One can also choose the longer path to reach the top. 

Trek to Smit Village: There is also a challenging, yet interesting trekking opportunity for the adventure lovers and trekkers down to the Smit village, which is about 6 kms away from the Canyons. The flowing Laitlum stream, underneath an ancient-looking bridge enroute promises wonderful views and a lush green path. There is also a 270-degree viewpoint where one can stop and stare, as well as click photographs of the 4 nearby waterfalls. The trail is not an easy one and has alternate steel and gentle stretches. The round trip requires about 4-5 hours. Although the terrain is difficult with a lot of curves and bends, the lush green valleys, the clouds floating within an arm's length and the spectacular view is worth it. However, if one is acrophobic, he/she must avoid this trek. 

Trek to Rasong Village: There are trails that lead one to a small local village known as Rasong, which is inhabited by as less as 300 people, who depend on an old fashioned ropeway system that transports food and other items of livelihood to them. The trail that leads to Rasong is a stairway comprising of 3000 steps, passing through bamboo plantations and orchids on the way. Villagers take this route to reach the nearest market. 

Other trails: There are other small trails and paths that lead to tiny slate-roofed homes, perched at great heights. There is a grassy hilltop overlooking the valley, where one can climb and explore the stray shops. One can find a lot of tea sellers here. These Canyons have been shot in the recent Bollywood flick Rock On 2.

Best Time to Visit Laitlum Canyons

Laitlum Canyons remain accessible from 6:00 AM in the morning to 5:00 PM in the evening. The best time to visit it is in the afternoon hours since during morning and evening, the places are covered with fog and one cannot catch clear views.

How To Reach Laitlum Canyons

To reach the Canyons from Shillong, hire a private taxi. The Unmed Road is the last motorable point before the Canyons. From Shillong, one must turn east onto Laitumukrah point, then turn right at Demsein long bus stop, then take a couple of left turns to reach Swalad bus stop. Head on NH 44 followed by a right turn to Smit Road move straight to Jongsha Mawkynrew road and Unmed Road, after which one can spot the Canyons.

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