Waterfall Chasing at Mawlyngbna

Mawlyngbna (pronounced maw-lyn-bana) is a quaint little dreamy village nestled atop a hill overlooking the Bangladesh plains. Located in East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, about 75 Km. from Shillong, this picturesque village is all about adventure activities from trekking to canoeing to kayaking to fishing, and camping.

This post is about our experience of waterfall trekking at the village. A more detailed post on the village will follow soon.

Through the Jungle to Um Diengkain

Passing through a dusty track, we entered a jungle – a dense jungle with huge butterflies of myriad colours, a damp forest floor covered with narrow and broad leaves, tall aged trees with trunks wrapped in layers of moss, multitudes of ferns of various dimensions, and every such thing that you can imagine only in a rain forest. The constant calling of cicadas added to the charm, making it even more enigmatic. After a while, the forest gave way to a semi-barren land that was covered by patches of grass but was devoid of trees.

Pic 1: Following Chest, our guide, through the dusty track towards the jungle.
Pic 2: Somewhere inside the jungle.
Pic 3: The jungle gets left behind as we land on a patch devoid of trees.

Soon enough, the sound of the cascading water reached our ears. A few more steps and the waterfall made its elegant appearance. From far it looked like a dainty white sheer curtain amidst the greenery. Approaching closer, we alighted with ample caution through a set of rustic precarious rocks that served as steps to go closer to the waterfall. Up close it looked forceful and was not the least dainty as we presumed. The pool of still water surrounding the waterfall was emerald green where we found locals quietly fishing away. Other than them, there was nobody else. We had the entire waterfall to ourselves.

Pic 4: Wading through water to go closer to the waterfall, the bridge you see on the left was broken.
Pic 5: Up close

Our guide, Chest, asked whether we wanted to go closer. That would entail walking through a set of moss-covered slippery stones. Being the cautious adventurer that I am, it wasn’t something I was very keen about. As always, my sister played down my concern and we went ahead. We were so close to the waterfall now that sprays of water landed on us every now and then, drenching us quite a bit.

Pic 6: It wasn’t easy to cross over, the stones were very slippery and that’s where she had slipped.
Pic 7: Locals fishing in the emerald green water.

On our way back, a small glitch happened – my sister slipped on one of the mossy rocks and hurt her arm. It did not seem like too big a thing at that point of time as she was able to move her arms freely. There was an obvious pain but that was manageable. The pain, however, multiplied manifolds later that night. So much so that we were all set to leave Mawlyngbna much before our planned departure.

Upto the Mouth of Ar Phalat

Ever traced the course of a flowing water and landed up to the mouth of a waterfall? Well we just did. I had read about such treks but experienced one for the first time and it was just as exciting as it seemed. We were almost not going for this trek to the mouth of Ar Phalat waterfall as the pain in my sister’s arm had aggravated the night before. It was the traditional Khasi oil massage that came to rescue. In the morning, she was better though the arm still did hurt. After breakfast, we decided to go ahead with the trek. We walked through the lanes and bylanes of the village towards our destination. Chest and I walked ahead while my sister walked slowly trailing way behind us.

Pic 8: This is what we saw as we approached Umseiniong River.
Pic 9: Those large depressions on the rocks are common and they create nice little water pools.

Soon we found ourselves walking over moss-covered stones alongside Umseiniong River. One would imagine these rocks to be slippery, but they weren’t. Most of it was dry and didn’t feel very difficult to walk on. Some sections were tricky though and we had to be cautious with our footing. As expected, this trek is possible only during certain months of the year when the water level is low. The mouth of the waterfall was a huge flat rock that just drops to the plains of Bangladesh. There is no way beyond the rock and no option other than to retrace our path. The water from the river was passing down only through one side of this huge rock. During monsoon, the gushing waters would cover the entire surface of the rock.

Pic 10: Not so difficult but some sections were tricky.
Pic 11: The water was as green as you see. There was nobody around other than us.

As we stood at the edge, gazing at the Bangladesh plains, I wondered about the water most likely flowing into River Padma. The water doesn’t change as it flows from one country to another. The flowing water couldn’t care less about the imaginary boundaries we humans have marked out on earth.

With nobody around, it was blissful time with Mother Nature. On our way back we spent a lot of time sitting beside the flowing water as you see in the featured picture.

Pic 12: The flat rock at the mouth of the waterfall from where the water cascades during monsoon. Note the Bangladesh plains down below.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

28 thoughts on “Waterfall Chasing at Mawlyngbna”

    1. Yes, it wasn’t completely easy as we had to jump across boulders sometimes with quite a big gap in between. The water, though less, was forceful enough and another slip would have been bad. Her arm got better, all because of the goodness of the herbs in the traditional oil. Thank you for reading 🙂


      1. Someday, I hope!

        It’s definitely been a while. Things got busy at work and my whole routine got completely disrupted. I expect to be busy for the next half year or so – but hopefully I’ll be able to reset my routines again.


  1. Beautiful, made me trek-sick.
    “Ever traced the course of a flowing water and landed up to the mouth of a waterfall? Well we just did.”
    And more than jealous
    And always a big fan of the way you put things, such organized order.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My trek to Mardi Himal was cancelled. It feels bad, I miss that place without going there.
        Anyway how is your sister?
        Glad to hear my comments delight you and so does your exciting post. I apologize for not visiting your place frequently.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I see…that is really bad. My sister is okay now. In fact she had gotten better with the traditional oil massage.
          Please don’t apologize. I know you’re busy and lately I haven’t been very regular too. Hope the content writing work is going good. 🙂


  2. You all had a blissful but exciting trek, and the pictures were blissful too. 😊 Good to know. Nice reading about the hidden jewels of Meghalaya. And by the way, what a name your guide had – Chest! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another wonderful treat, I am quite awestruck at the many beautiful places in North East and how less I have seen of them. The forest itself sounds so magical, right out of an Enid Blyton adventure, only this one is real! The waterfall is magnificent to say the least, and the chance to be so up close is a privilege to most. Just to think that this is everyday stuff for the people who stay there! And the photography and detailing is to notch as ever!
    I love the remarking of the waters not being bound my the imaginary boundaries we have drawn for ourselves, so true!

    So this was your first real trek, one that led onto so many? Amazing how well you have used your time to see so many places, truely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not really. This wasn’t my first trek. My treks started with the Himalayas and then all of these happened. I started to seek out such places after my Himalayas Sojourn. It’s a lovely place. Do visit it sometime.


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