Updated: Sep 26, 2019
By E Kay
I'm sure every other day, like us, you just want to go off on a long ride or drive, far from the madding crowd, to while away a couple of hours, to re-energize. Thankfully, there are many such places still left in the world where you can just go off for a few hours to relax in the lap of nature. And one such place lies about 80kms from the capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong.
This particular spot eluded us several times. Whenever we set out to this place, something or the other would always come up and we never made our day trip. But this particular Sunday, we decided it was all or nothing and thus, we set off at a little after 12pm on a not very sunny Sunday. To get to this destination we take the NH106 (Shillong to Nongstoin road).For those of you not so familiar with the area, we take the route towards Upper Shillong-Mawphlang-Mairang-Nongstoin.
So, most tourist places and places in the world are abound in legends and folktales and how they came to be. And this place we were off to, has a fascinating tale behind it. Legend has it that a long time ago, Kyllang Rock derived from Khasi word Kylla Lang. It is a family rock comprising of male, female and a child. There are many folktales related to Kyllang Rock, one being a story of a family, where the father, mother and their child were returning from Jaintia Hills and proceeding towards Mawdoh.
However, on their way, a stone pierced the feet of the wife while she was carrying the child on her back. The stone got stuck at the wife’s foot making it difficult for her to walk any longer. Henceforth, the husband had to carry her on his back together with the child. As they began walking, the stone which was stuck at the wife’s foot miraculously started to grow and when the family stopped to rest, the growing stone engulfed the three. According to Khasi folklore Kyllang Rock is said to have a special magnetic field which doesn't allow one to fall of its roof. Another Khasi legend of Kyllang was a mischievous God known for his mood swings. He often challenged people and showed off his powers by hurling rocks.
Symper, another giant rock, located at Weiloi was more calmed and did not approve Kyllang’s behavior and always protested his violent and destructive nature. Kyllang did not like Symper’s interference and hence a battle started between the two. Symper won the battle by default since he had accidental blessings in the form of boulders whereas Kyllang only had sand. After the battle, it is believed the Kyllang moved to Khadsawphra in West Khasi Hills and Symper stayed in the same location in East Khasi Hills, and there you have it. We were off to the Kyllang rock or Lum Kyllang, a massive granite rock, a geographical wonder in its own right. The route to this rock is picturesque with small hamlets dotting the entire highway till Mairang, a town in the west khasi hills district.
This rock lies at about 11 kms from Mairang. You need to enter the town of Mairang and from the market area, you will find a diversion towards Kyllang. It is a little difficult to locate the road that leads to the site as there are no markers except for one about 4kms from the rock, however, your gps navigation would surely help you out with that. Thanks to the newly constructed highway, it will take you about a little over two hours to reach Lum Kyllang. There are a few stretches of bad roads after taking the inroad towards the rock, but otherwise, the roads were in a relatively good condition. But again of course it's been about a year since we made the journey, so the road conditions may have worsened or gotten better.
As we approached this magnificent geographical formation, we were struck in awe at the sight that lay in front of us, an amazing giant dome of red granite looming in the distance. At over 5000 feet above sea level, this massive rock is claimed to be over a million years, and has a width of around 1000ft in girth. The best part we discovered was that the top of the peak is trekkable and an easy one at that. There are steps that have been constructed throughout the northern side of the rock that makes the climb rather easy. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the top of the rock, and that too with a number of stoppages.
And once you reach the top, the view is amazing. You can see the beautiful landscape all around, the lush green forests and the farm areas. We spent about an hour at the top of Lum Kyllang and then trekked back down. As we rode off, I kept looking back at this mighty piece of wonder, wistfulness, nostalgia in our hearts, with the huge structure fading away into the distance. Definitely an afternoon well spent and a place worth visiting.