Meghalaya has enchanted us with her beauty and we were in love with the sunning landscape, amazing roads and the perfect relaxing environment that the state has to offer. The best experience was undoubtedly our visit to Laitlum Canyons which holds true to it's name "End of Hills." This beautiful location in East Khasi Hills is an amazing hot spot to catch views of the hills of Meghalaya. A 45 minute drive and some 30 odd kilometers from the capital, Shillong, this lesser known destination can be reached via Smit Village.
On a cloudy and misty day, we were the only tourists here barring a few locals who had come there for a picnic. We were taken aback by the beautiful gorges and valleys that this place had to offer. The lush greenery around, mountains hugging each other and a tiny stream flowing between the valley was breath taking. We stood at the edge of the hill soaking in panoramic views.
The tiny settlement amidst the vast green top canyons is a sight to behold. We walked around and climbed down the winding steep rock cut steps leading us down to Rasom village that has about 350 residents in total. This path of around 3000 steps through bamboo plantations and wild orchid groves is probably the only way for these villagers use to commute to the Capital. We came across a rope pulley that is till date used by the villagers to transport food and other commodities to their village. The rope pulley looked very antique and was made of bamboo and we were glad that it was not used to ferry people but only for goods.
We were there on a Sunday morning and the church prayers echoed around the entire valley. Though Nature kept us in tender hooks with mist engulfing the canyons and thick clouds hovering over, intermittently we had stunning views spending around two wonderful hours. It is a perfect place to beat the fast paced life of city. A paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. It would be a good idea to come here early in the morning if you are planning on trekking down all the way to Rasom village.
En route to Laitlum Canyons we were very fortunate to see two bulls slugging it out. We happened to be driving around at the right time. We stopped our vehicle and saw the entire fight with the villagers cheering their favorite bull. Nervous final moments of the fight, one bull literally stomped over the other earning a thumping victory. The villagers do this in order to pick the best and strongest bull for mating. It was a nail biting moment and we were glad to have been an audience to this brilliant moment. This would not fall under "Animal Cruelty" like Matador. Bulls are cared for and loved in India and for ages have been integral part of farming families. Across India many sporting activities take place year round to identify best quality stud bulls for mating and keeping alive excellent and healthy breeds.
There are not many public transport options to reach Laitlum Canyons but taxi rides can be easily arranged from Shillong. A bumpy cab ride to and from Shillong costed us Rs 1100. A meager Rs 20 is collected as entry fee for vehicle. If you want to feel tipsy you can stop en-route and taste the locally brewed rice beer. This place is a blessing for travelers as it is not exposed to commercialism yet.