Trek to Shillong Peak like a Bilbo Baggins adventure
By Monojit Mandal
SHILLONG: Do you remember Bilbo Baggins’ adventure through the lush green woods of Middle-earth in JRR Tolkien’s 1937 novel, The Hobbit…
Well, if you love Trekking and like to travel the path unfrequented by humans filled with natural bliss, then this trek through a secret trail to Shillong Peak will remind you of Bilbo Baggins for sure.
At an altitude of 1962 m above sea level, the peak is located 10 km southwards to the city; Shillong Peak is arguably one of the highest points of Shillong and offers a bird eye view of the beautiful city. As per the folklore and mythology, the local deity Leishyllong who protects the city has her abode on this peak.
On a clear day, the view from this point overlooking at the waterfalls, the foothills and the lush green surroundings are just breath-taking and a treat to the eyes. And well, of course, a photographer’s paradise.
Shillong Peak can be reached through a driveway from Upper Shillong or Road towards Smit. It generally takes 30 minutes or more depending on traffic conditions from the city to reach there by car.
But as the wise man says, “the journey matters more than its destination”… Trekking up to the Shillong Peak is the protagonist in my write up today.
To start with, there is one cobbled trekking route from Umkynrut-Kynjat Phutbol to the Shillong View Point authorised by Govt. of Meghalaya Tourism. It is a very safe path to take for foreigners, outsiders and visitors.
As it is paved all through, it cuts down on various aspects of risk generally associated with trekking.
There are resting places at various points so that trekkers could sit down, snack in and get some relief for the tiring legs before heading up through the long trail. It is obvious to carry your own water, light food, rain covers, and other essentials.
On average, it may take 45 minutes to climb the entire stretch to the Shillong Peak, which passes through a dense and lush green forest.
One may come across unknown flowers, exquisite birds and exotic fruits all around the stretch, just ideal for photographers as what the doctor prescribed. Sighting animals is very rare to none though.
However, there is another path which was guided and described by a blogger from starting near Pomwait (Madan Laban Nepali School) which leads to Shillong Peak, not so frequented by people, not even known to many. And this is exactly why this is one spectacular route to trek all the way up through the lap of raw, untouched nature.
You can lie down on the soft green carpet of grass, hear the light breeze whisper in your ears, watch the wildflowers dance in their own tune and the butterflies fly all across you to greet you inside their wonder Kingdom.
The entire trail is so beautiful that you will experience something out of this world, perhaps a little piece of Heaven which will fill your soul with wonders and leave you speechless.
It is advisable to trek this trail with a local guide or someone who knows this place well, as it can be difficult at times with right directions. The climb is quite sharp and therefore a good trekking gear is a must.
This path not as easy though, but is so overwhelming, that it will leave you with an experience of a lifetime.
Starts with a steep climb, will gradually blend in with nature’s bliss that will touch you so deeply that you will find yourself right on the pages of Tolkien’s 1937 novel, The Hobbit, with only the difference being here is you the Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, making the adventure all by yourself...
Climbing up you will come across an elephant rock (named by few locals), resembling a resting elephant in the deep blanket of the forest. Take a break there, it even looked like a resting dinosaur head.
Carry water, light food, rain cover along with other essentials needed for trekking. This trail is also very safe, however, outsiders must go with a guide and people with medical conditions are advised to avoid this trail.
Authors Bio: Monojit Mandal is a writer, photographer and travel enthusiast. His works have appeared on many online and offline magazines and portals like National Geographic, Tripoto, Filmibeat, The Best Travelled and many more…
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