Weather :

Timings : Mawphlang Village - 24 hours
Sacred Forest - 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Khasi Heritage Village - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1 day

Entry Fee : Mawphlang Village - No entry fee
Sacred Forest – INR 20 per person and INR 20 per camera
Khasi Heritage Village - INR 10 per person (approximately)

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Mawphlang Sacred Forest

Mawphlang, Shillong Overview

Mawphlang, home to Meghalaya's Sacred Forest, is a beautiful village situated 25 kilometres away from Shillong, the capital city of the north-east Indian state of Meghalaya. The village lies in the district of East Khasi Hills and is famous for its sacred groves. The village is named Mawphlang as it is one of the several monoliths in the Khasi Hills. The name Mawphlang means Grassy Stone (Maw phlang) and is a land of legendary stories, sacrifices and unique culture. For the ones who want a glimpse of the tradition, culture and lifestyle of the Khasis that is fading away in the modern world, Mawphlang is the place to visit.

Mawphlang is home to the Khasi Heritage Village which was built to showcase the traditional lifestyle of the Khasi Tribes. The monolith has been preserved to introduce tourists to the Khasi Tribes and their lifestyle in nature's lap. The sacred forest is also a famous attraction in Mawphlang which is of immense spiritual importance to the Khasis. The forest is home to a variety of flora and fauna and is a perfect destination for nature walks or trekking making it a true paradise for nature lovers.

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Legend of the Sacred Forest

Locals believe that the sacred forest of Mawphlang is protected by their deity, Labasa. Members of the Lyngdoh clan are ardent followers of the goddess and the protectors of the forest. According to a legend, the forest was first protected by the Blah Clan, who handed it over to the Lyngdohs when they couldn't defend it anymore. It began with a condition from a Lyngdoh woman who has a son. She stated she would plant five saplings and if the seedling grew and became trees, her son would become a protector of the forest.

People believe that nothing can be taken from the forest. Once, some army personnel tried taking wooden logs from the forest, but they couldn't because the truck didn't start till they kept the logs back. Any disrespect towards the sacred forest is believed to upset the deity who then punishes the offenders. People have said to be fallen sick or even died when they disrespected the forest. The sacrifices to please the deity also have a strict procedure. Believers state, if the deity is happy and pleased with the sacrifice, she sends a Leopard while if she's not, she sends a snake.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mawphlang is between September and May as the weather stays pleasantly cold and dry most of the days making it perfect for travelers who wish to explore the village.

Mawphlang Sacred Forest

The sacred forest is a significant attraction in Meghalaya. There are many beliefs attached to the sacred forests right from sacrifices, blessings to curses. It expands over an area of about 78 hectares of land in Mawphlang. Many believe that the lush green forest is protected by the deity 'Labasa', and anybody who takes even a dried leaf from the forest will be cursed. Tourists can explore the forest entirely and also see the monoliths that were used to sacrifice animals to please the deity.

The enormous expanse of the forest is home to a variety of flora. Some plants are said to have healing properties and are rarely found in any other part of the world. One can find Ferns, Orchids, Lily Cobra, age-old Pine trees, several other flowing plants, Rudrakhsha, Mushrooms etc. in the marshy lands of the forest.

Khasi Heritage Village

The Khasi Heritage Village is located opposite to the Sacred Forest. It has been created to showcase the traditional lifestyle of the Khasi tribes that include Myliem, Jirang, Shella Wahadarship Nongkhhlaw, Mawphalang, Nongstin etc. The village has houses built in the conventional Khasi style with bedrooms, kitchens, storehouses etc. It also has a section for archery with the traditional bows and arrows displayed for visitors. There is also an amphitheatre that is often used to screen documentaries and serves as a stage for artists during the Monolith Festival.

Monolith Festival

The Monolith Festival is usually held in March. The district council is planning to make it an annual festival. It is celebrated to re-unite the Khasi Himas through workshops, shows/ performances, art, culture, sports and competitions. The festival is also perfect to get a taste of the traditional Khasi cuisine and spirits. The monolith festival serves as an ideal platform for musicians and singers from Meghalaya. There are also kiosks selling fresh produce at affordable. A museum is also kept to display artefacts, tools, and weapons, traditional daily and occasional items that were extensively used by the Khasis.

How To Reach Mawphlang

Mawphlang is about 25 kilometers away from Shillong and can be reached by road. Tourists can hire taxis to reach the village. Taxis are also available on shared basis. City buses also ply frequently within Shillong that tourists can hail. Private vehicles can be driven via the Mawsynram-Shillong road to reach Mawphlang.

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